Having my mom hospitalised for 8 days has had a massive impact on me emotionally. That may seem obvious to most people, but it really brought to the fore for me the incredibly special relationship I have with my mom.
For those who are new around here, and I know there are many, I am very close to my family – my parents, my sister, my aunts and cousins, they go to incredible lengths for me and our family and I would 100% do the same for any one of them. Not because family is about blood, but because of the nature of the relationships that bind us – unconditional, loving, all-encompassing support.
I mention my family often in passing, they are so much a part of the fabric of my days it would be hard not to. I have mentioned my daddy often, the incredible gratitude I have that he survived so much and gets to be an amazing grandfather to Charly and my adored niece Chloe. I often mention my sister and her many talents. I talk about my mom in most posts because she is always here with us.
My mom has been “working” with me since Charly was 4 weeks old. It started out that she left her job through necessity (they moved too far away for her to stay with the company) right as Charly was born, and she was putting off looking for another so she could spend a month with me, helping me adjust to motherhood and spending quality time with me and Charly.
It turned out to be incredibly necessary as I struggled excessively with recovery from my c-section and with what was likely undiagnosed mostly-managed-through-meds-prescribed-for-milk-production postnatal depression and anxiety.
When I realised that I wasn’t about to become the instant natural mother that everybody (including myself to a degree) expected I would be, I thought maybe I could help support my mom as much as she was supporting me by paying her a salary to come help me with Charly 4 days a week as a “job”. As I returned to work on my major client and slowly took on more work and spent more time building this blog and then starting Sisterhood and buying Tums 2 Tots, I realised more and more that I could never do the work at home mom full-time with no help thing. My life as I know it would not be possible without my mom.
Our relationship has naturally strengthened through being together every day with Charly, and the deeper appreciation you have for your mom when you become a mom. Or at least that has been the case for me. I have the best mom. I love that my mom was overprotective, I appreciate that I was always safe and not allowed to do whatever I wanted, I am grateful that my mom was always my mom and didn’t try to take the place of a friend. She is my mommy, my safe place no matter what goes wrong, my moral compass when I need it and the person I can trust to call me out when I stray from the heart of who I am.
I am so incredibly blessed that my daughter has gotten the best of my mom and me these first two years of her life. As she heads into nursery school in a few weeks I know that she has had a solid grounding of love, attention and a good dash of spoiling. She is smart and sweet and loving in turn, if a little demanding. And that is in no small part thanks to my mom.
Having said that, I have always been close to my mom. Although I have always been a daddy’s girl, I adore my father and I think there is a part of all of us that is programmed to be just that; I have always had a special relationship with my mom. It probably helped that I was a nerd; I had terrible taste in boys and likely broke her heart a million times over that, and I smoked from the time I was 16 until a few years ago, which I know broke her heart; but otherwise I was always a “good” kid.
Don’t get me wrong, we went through all the normal childhood dramas, the “you don’t understand me!”, “could you be any more embarrassing?” ridiculousness that it seems we are born as daughters to experience (I dread the day with Charly). But mostly, I “got” my mom, I mostly understood where she was coming from and why she was doing/ saying certain things and, even then, I was glad for the rules she made that allowed me to chicken out of all the bad stuff my friends did by blaming my poor overprotective mom.
My mom was the disciplinarian, she was responsible for hidings (on the bum, and she is still my favourite person – shock horror), the groundings, the final call on whether we could go somewhere or do certain things. My mom taught me right from wrong, she taught me respect for my elders (which I still believe in). It is of great value to me now, as a mother myself, to note that I feel no subliminal or otherwise resentment or fear of my mom. There is no doubt in my mind she always put us and our welfare first.
My mom held me and comforted me when my heart broke, she cleaned me up after an all night drinking binge that ended exactly as these things do, and didn’t clean me up the second time – there was never a third time. She took us for toasted cheese sarmies on Tuesdays and danced with us to crazy 70s music. She makes the very best mommy food from Mac n cheese to crispy chicken to the chicken stew that is Charly and my personal favourite.
Well into my teens and after, I could be found watching tv lying with my head in my mom’s lap; I still tend to hold her hand when we are sitting together. When I was at university, I used to come home a few hours before her (I lived at home until Brett and I moved in together), and I would phone her at work to chat about her day and mine, even though I would be seeing her in a few hours. That is just the way it was with us.
One of the things I will be writing more about at some point is our planning for a second baby. Part of me is really struggling with that now as I realise I don’t think I could do another baby without having my mom here with me.
I don’t see my parents as old. They are both under 60, and the urge to add an “of course” to that is strong, even though they are heading that way. Nearly losing my dad when we were young and then having him survive “terminal” cancer has perhaps given me a feeling that my parents are a little invincible. My grandparents on my mom’s side are both still alive, and so my mind refuses to accept that my parents would be going anywhere for a very very long time.
This hospital stay that came out of nowhere, the first time mom has even been properly ill in years really knocked me. My anxiety keeps spiking on a myriad of things, I think my self-preservation fight-or-flight instincts are still in hyperdrive from the fright of it all. I am having nightmares still about what could have happened when she was ill, what might still happen if she doesn’t get 100% well. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around life without my mom. Even typing that hurts my chest and makes me feel panicked.
Since starting this post, somebody very dear to me lost their mom. She is only 25 years old, recently engaged, about to head into the journey of marriage and children. I feel physically ill when I think of what she is going through. I literally wish I could wrap her up in love and hide her away until the worst of the pain passes, but does it ever?
I am grateful every single day for my mom and now I am even more grateful for every single day with my mom. She is the best mom and granny ever. I wish every child could experience a love and relationship with their mommy and granny that I have with mine. I am so blessed.
Sending all the love xx