Mothering and Life in General
Mother The Mother, So She Can Mother The Child
I came across that statement years ago when K2 was young. I thought ‘Yes! Finally someone gets it!’ – But did everyone else? What does this statement actually mean and how does it differ from the mainstream thoughts of Parental help?
In my eyes, the last thing I wanted was ‘help’ from family and friends. Not only because growing up I learned that I have to be extremely self-sufficient, but because the help that is given is not always the help that is needed. Usually their ‘help’ was more of the take-the-baby-away-so-mom-can-(insert whatever). Which may help at times, but it should not be the only plan of action. Especially, when the mother and child is breastfeeding.
I don’t understand why, 3 years later, it’s the same norm statement, “You need time for yourself, how about I take K2 for the night”. It’s great they offer, it’s lovely that they care, please don’t get me wrong. But how is that helping my house get cleaned, my cluttered mind stop, or just the constant same-day-every-day routines? Which in fact, is the reason I am always stressed out anyways. Sure, I could do the house work and certainly K2 being at someone else’s home for the night would be a change from the routine. However, it also would add to my cluttered mind. Is she sleeping? Is she asking for me? Is she behaving? Is she ok? Would they call me when she asks for me or would they brush it off as a no-need?
I have so much to do, and I find myself at the end of the day with so little time with K2. I lay in bed thinking, if I did not have to do dishes, I would be able to play with K2 more. If I did not have to clean and organize the house for my business, I would have more time with K2. If I did not feel drained about being drained. I would not use nap-time for me-time instead of clean-time and I would have more time with K.
I can only speak for myself, and how I see things, which is usually different from everyone else. I can tell you I am from a different sort of mold and my thinking has been known to be out in left field. But I like my train of thought, and life works for me picking daisies. Here, is where I think about the hows and whys of life. Let me tell you, Left Field has me thinking this ‘help’ is really counter-productive.
I wake up in sorts. The house is a disaster, there is paint on the floor, there is cut paper in teeny-tiny pieces. There is Cheerios, there are clothing. I scan across the toys and the dishes from the night before. I was just too tired and worn to do the night clean up and now I am in a mood. I don’t expect my home to be on the cover of Home Magazine, but I do expect that when people came by that I would not have to be running around either. It’s Sunday, the day of rest, and I have a child coming the next day. I am stuck cleaning, and it’s going to take all day.
I am out of sorts by the time DH comes out and he wonders why I am so frazzled. Well, not very many people would think highly of dropping their child off at an untidied home. DH will roll his eyes and say the house is not that bad and go back to watch TV in the bedroom. After a few hours of cleaning and finally I totally LOOSE IT. That is when I see him again. He will ask what is wrong, and I will tell him that I have done nothing but clean all day – the same three rooms. Every time I came back to the one I just finished, it’s like I never even started.
His solution is simple, he will take K out. He needs to go to the mall anyways – how convenient. I shout at him “K2 IS NOT THE PROBLEM! HELP ME”. That argument never ends nicely because he replies that he is indeed helping me (he’s staying out of my way). Sure, I can get the house done faster without K2 being here, but what about solving the issue in the beginning? How about taking some stress of me? How about getting off your lazy rear and h-e-l-p me!
You see, everyone loves doing the fun things in life. It’s fun having fun with the children. It’s fun taking them out, and watching them do fun things and explore their world. But while I am at home frantically cleaning and getting pissed off even more that I am stuck here, I am thinking about the time that I am missing with K2.
So here is the bottom line, when you want to help – help. Sometimes people don’t know what they want, I know it’s taken me years to get that down pat. But mother the mother, so she has enough energy and TIME to mother the child. Because that is why we became mothers. To stare into our newborn’s eyes, to wrap that curly lock around our finger. To feel the tiny fist hold your finger. That is what we need. That is what makes us whole. That what we need you to help us get back too.
How about checking off some items on the list of things-to-do? Spending some time at the mother’s home before the baby arrives to see how she does things so you can do them ‘just so’ when the baby arrives (perfect baby shower gift – hint, hint). Bring over some meals, sweep up a room, read a story to the older child while the mother listens in and nurses her newborn close by. Do a grocery run for her. Ask her what she needs to do that day, and help her do it while getting in some adult conversation. How about giving the mom time, because we run out of that so fast. Give the gift of ‘nothing to do’, the gift of more experiences with her children. Because that is what makes the world happy. That is what makes the family. That is the foundation of all good things.
That is what I take from ‘Mother the mother, so she can mother the child’. When you come across a new mom, a depressed mom, a stressed mom, or a perfectionist mom. Help her out and give her the gift of Time this holiday season.