Sometime, about oh, I don’t know, six months to a year ago, I read this brilliant essay written by a mother about how her children don’t see her. She is on the phone and they walk in, interrupting her because whatever it is that they need is obviously more important than anything Mom could be doing. I will find a link to it because it was really well-written and described to a T how we as mothers feel sometimes. Without going all sorry-for-myself, basically, our roles have changed from women who had such aspiring dreams to women who wipe snot on the inside of our favorite shirt from our children’s runny noses because it is all that is available at the time. But the essay also goes on to liken child rearing to the building of great cathedrals. The sacrifices we make as mothers are similar to the sacrifices made by the tradesmen and the workers who took such great care with their craft. It is because of their hard work that we have such beautiful artifices and landmarks today. The cost to build something like that now is so great, it will likely never happen again.
I agree wholeheartedly with this essay.
I agree with how when our children are young, they never really see us as people in our own right, but as caregivers, sources of love, sources of food … home and everything that is good and needed at the time. It isn’t until they are older, more experienced, and frankly, if we’ve done our job correctly, that they take our feelings into account for anything. I’ve mentioned before that I’m writing a novel. This novel is taking me a long time because, quite honestly, I don’t have a lot of free time. I read a bio of an author who described herself as a “swing shift writer,” something I completely identified with. Writing my novel has to be done in the wee hours of the morning the dark hours of night, or the sandwiched time between Mary getting home from preschool and the older kids getting home from elementary school. Thankfully, Mary still takes a nap. Unfortunately for me, however, Mary’s nap time often coincides with the exact middle of my eighteen hour day and I need thirty minutes to recharge. I have to write then because no matter how important what I’m doing is to me, if I am sitting anywhere in the house where I can be seen, I am open season. They don’t care if I’m in the middle of a tricky sentence or not, they want a cup of juice and they want it … now.
Writing is slow going.
I’ve been sick for the last two weeks with the usual cough and cold that plagues us southerners when the seasons change. It started out as no big deal, and thus, no big deal for my family either. Moms don’t get to “call in sick” and are expected to perform all duties as usual, so things haven’t really changed all that much. Now that the germs have decided to take up residence in my body, must be warm and cozy inside my skin, the kids (and husband) are starting to realize, “Hey, you really are sick …“. Yes, I really am sick and feel like the gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe, stretched out on a hot day and scraped off like something disgusting. However, I have become un-invisible. Maybe its the dulcet tones of my hacking cough that reach their ears, or maybe its the scratchy and scaly sounding “What?” in answer to their calls of “M-o-m!”
I don’t know, but I came home from swim practice today to find my kitchen clean and my husband asking, “How can I help?” We ate the dinner (beef tenderloin stew) that I’d prepared earlier, and I got ready for bed. As I type this, Emma has Mary and Ben in the bath, husband has gone to do the swim practice pickup, Lizzie and Mollie are ready for bed, Lucy has organized the kitchen clean up, and I’ve taken my tiny cupful of that vile swill known as NyQuil and will soon be (hopefully) in la-la land.
It really is a lovely thing to be cared for and loved.
PS. found that post – it is HERE. Go read it.