Last week a friend sent me what can only be described as one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. ‘Mommy, somebody needs you‘ is an article written by Megan Morton over at Your Best Nest. Written from the most heartfelt place, it is an honest reflection about Motherhood, and a revealing lesson for us all. It connected with me on so many levels. It made me stop and think, really think about Motherhood.
Motherhood is the both the best thing I have ever ‘done’ and the hardest thing I have ever experienced. It took me by surprise, how much I felt at ease with being the Mum of Ella, and yet I felt so lost from my former self. During the first six months, I loved every minute of being a new Mum, and yet I morned my former life. Being confident in my job, having the freedom to get in the car and go shopping, being able to visit friends and have a drink without even thinking about it. Have a shower. WASH YOUR HAIR. Read a magazine. Go to the toilet. These simple luxuries in life seemed to vanish overnight, and in many ways, I felt myself wishing for the time when I would be able to do them again.
In a way, you want to make the most of every moment, and yet you also long for the time when you can have ‘your own time’ back again. You go to bed with that little pain in your stomach, thinking ‘when will she wake?’. Motherhood, especially in the early days, is such a juxtaposition of wanting time to slow down and speed up.
Megan Morton spoke of similar feelings, and the experience of ‘always being on duty’. She says:
‘Once upon a time, I had time. For myself. Now, my toe nails need some love. My bra fits a little differently. My curling iron might not even work anymore, I don’t know. I can’t take a shower without an audience. ‘
She struggled with these feelings, and the wanting to have her ‘life back’ until one night, when it all changed for her. She says:
Right now, somebody always needs me. Like last night…
At 3am I hear the little footsteps entering my room. I lay still, barely breathing. Maybe he will retreat to his room. Yeah right.
“Mommy.” A little louder.
“Yes”. I barely whisper.
He pauses, his giant eyes flashing in the dim light.
“I love you.”
And just like that, he is gone. Scampered back to his room. But, his words still hang in the cool night air. If I could reach out and snatch them, I would grab his words and hug them to my chest. His soft voice whispering the best sentence in the world. I love you. A smile curls across my lips and I slowly exhale, almost afraid to blow the memory away. I drift back to sleep and let his words settle into my heart.
There have been moments like this lately that have touched me in ways that I cannot describe. Ella throwing her arms around me when I come home from work, telling her Dad that she loves him, hearing her at the end of the phone. I know that one day, she will grow up, and won’t do these things (or will do, with strained effort). One day she will grow up and won’t need her Mummy anymore. Very soon, she will want to do everything on her own. She will not have an endless supply of cuddles and kisses for her Mum and Dad. She won’t want to walk in my shoes up and down the hallway. She won’t yell for me in the night to help her go back to sleep.
So for now, I need to savour this time. A time when she needs me. A time when I can give her everything she needs. A time when she depends on me to be all the things I need to be. Around the clock. I can still have time for myself, but I need to stop and think about those precious moments that I will never get back.
Soon, I will be revisiting the world of night feeds, sleep patterns, breast feeding and all other things newborn. I look forward to it with a new sense of appreciation and awareness. I know it won’t be easy, but I also know that the time goes so quick, I need to slow down and enjoy each moment. I will be kinder to myself and know that with each kiss and cuddle, I am doing something that will mean more than anything else in my life. Even if I am covered in breast milk, and am running on 2 hours sleep.
Being a Mum means being there in each and every moment. It means being finding a comfortable place between my old and new self. It means slowing down, and not wishing for a time when I will ‘have my life back’. I’ve got my life, and it’s pretty damn wonderful.
I want to thank Megan for her beautiful article, and for helping me to see the challenges of Motherhood through a new lens. I hope it helps others too.