Tears. The single word that captures the past 3 months of my life. From tears of joy & absolute pride watching as my baby Sarah hits various milestones (now rolling), to tears of exhaustion and even tears of longing for a life of my own (again) and then more tears of guilt for ever having thought that. Tears.
Being a mom is nothing like I expected. It’s more tiring, more rewarding, more humbling & more heart wrenching than words could ever explain. In one hour, my heavily hormoned body can reach moments of ecstasy followed by sighs of utter desperation. We were blessed with a babe with a big set of lungs, a gorgeously expressive face, amazing muscle tone (so our paed tells us) and high levels of energy (much like her parents, I suppose). Sarah is wonderful. Sarah is beautiful. Mom is absolute besotted. And mom is tired.
After a week of a 1am rushing into casualty with a baby struggling to breathe, being a bridesmaid at one of my best friend’s weddings, 5 sleepless nights and now having spent yesterday in hospital running tests on our precious child, I sit here today, breathing slowly, possibly for the first time in a week. There is nothing as all consuming as motherhood is. Nothing to date has pulled on my heartstrings in such a deep and real way before. Never have I known love or tiredness to this degree.
We’ve had a rough few days with our babe, and being my number 1 priority, I have given her my all; my time, energy, tears and sleep. I am highly A-typed in personality; I see responsibility not as privilege but a deeply innate duty. In saying this, responsibility is a beautiful value to hold in high esteem, but there comes a point when we are willing to sacrifice our own sanity for responsibly, our pride pretending to keep us humble. And it is at this point that we need reminding of how the world really works. You see, yesterday, I walked out of our midwife’s office (our baby Bible), knowing full well that what she said about getting others to help was never going to happen, I had this, ‘I was okay’ mentality. Well, I was okay until I got home and spent a good hour sobbing while playing with Se.
As the tears rolled down my cheeks, Jesus whispered a beautiful truth into my longing, sore and very tired heart. He said that I was a good mom. That I had handled this so well… but that now it was okay to get others to help me. He said that that was actually what He wanted. What He planned all along. He never meant for me to ‘mom’ alone. A child is raised by a village, He reminded me. And that that, was okay. I was still a good mom. The very best for Sarah. The last truth that He placed on my heart was a deep-knowing that by sacrificing my sanity, I was in fact hindering my babe, not helping her.
After this hour of conversations with my inner voice (Jesus, I call him), I eventually called my maid and asked her to work tomorrow (today). I then chatted to my mum and she offered to look after Se for the afternoon.
I’m not going to pretend that I spent the day catching up on much-needed sleep today – I didn’t. But I did what my body needed, my soul even. I went to gym and ran on the treadmill (knowing full well that my milk supply may be low this afternoon but also knowing that one formula bottle isn’t going to harm my child), I bought a yummy coffee and now I’m spending the afternoon on my blog, a place I find purpose, a space to breathe.
My darling friend, whoever you are reading this, if you are like me and carry the world on your shoulders, please know that it’s okay sometimes to take the load off & to share it, even. You are no failure, no less than the best, in fact, dear one, this shows even greater strength than you already portray.
You are deeply loved.. just as you are.