It was a morning like many others. The alarm on my mobile phone sounded twice: when it was time for me to get up and when I already should’ve been half way through my morning routine. The second buzz did manage to wake me somehow. In theory, having slept all night, I sat on the edge of my bed and wondered about the potential meanings of my dream, in which I carried a motorcycle (!) with both its tires flat under my arm…
I started to get ready for work, racing against time, shouting the usual Have you peed already? Stop watching cartoons and get dressed! Unless you do, you’re going to the day care in your pjs. I’m not waiting for you a second longer… The mirror showed me an exhausted face, with large bags under my eyes and layers of makeup as a sorry attempt to present a fresh and ready-for-work version of myself. I’d gone to bed late again and again I was sleep deprived, frustrated, nervous. I felt the familiar pain in my lower back and remembered I have never really had any treatment for my lumbago. Is there a single mother who has time for seeing a doctor and receiving physical therapy?
I was in a dreadful mood.
I grabbed the first dress I saw in the wardrobe, made a miserable attempt to do something with my hair still full of rollers that I’d worn overnight. My apartment was now chronically untidy, the washing still lying hopeful in the ironing basket, the dirty dishes in the sink…
Life seen through the eyes of a six-year-old
Mom, I wish you never grew old. I would then always stay a child, your baby. And we would never die, neither you, nor me, nor grandma, nor dad…
She came close to me, took my hand and glanced at my chipped nail polish.
Mom, I love this enamel…
Then she touched my dress and moved away:
This dress is so pretty, and so soft… Will you let me wear it when I grow up?
She looked at my tired face:
That lipstick looks so good on you, and the blue shade on your eye lids is so nice…
She gave me a hug.
You are the prettiest and the softest mom in the world.
Life seen through the eyes of a six-year-old…
The wrinkled clothes in the ironing basket didn’t bother her at all. She was simply happy because her favorite dress was clean again…
She didn’t see the lines on my face, the puffy eyes, the spider veins on my legs, the extra pounds on my body.
To her, I was the most beautiful and the best mom in the world.
Mom, when I grow up, do you know what I’ll be? I’ll be a mom, just like you!
That day, I finally put together a list of my achievements in the previous six years – what I’d managed to do, to accomplish.
The overview of my first six years of motherhood
It was hard. It was stressful, challenging.
I spent nights without sleeping a wink, crying, trembling with fear.
I didn’t always do what I should have done.
I often didn’t have a clue what I should do, or how, or why. I just soldiered on, day after day.
Because I didn’t have a choice. From the first baby feeder, her first pair of shoes, the nursery, her first fever to this day.
Is that period finally over?
I don’t know.
But at least I can now say that I’m aware of what we’ve been through and the fog through which I felt my way intuitively has now lifted.
Before I gave birth to my daughter, I’d come by and read many books about parenthood.
In them I found detailed instructions about what to do in case of gas discomfort, how to put a baby to sleep, what to do, and what not to do in many other events.
But I don’t remember reading that I would be exhausted and frustrated more or less all the time, that I would never be able to find the other sock in the washing basket, or that the back seat of my car would be covered with breadcrumbs and shredded paper tissues.
There’s another thing I couldn’t find in the books: that my child would love to eat a simple sausage with some yoghurt or pancakes with chocolate and hazelnut cream for dinner.
Or that she wouldn’t mind riding in a “sensible” stroller or wearing an ordinary inexpensive dress as long as she gets loads of love, care and warm hugs.