On Mothers

Mothers are strong creatures. They sustain life within their able bodies for nine months, and then after the trauma of growing a real life baby and birthing it out of them in what is commonly hours and hours of excruciating pain and exhaustion, do they get a holiday?

No, sir, they do not. They immediately launch themselves into a manic system of nurturing, which makes for very comfy times for the newborn baby (who by the way remembers nothing of the pooping and crying and burping and crying and pooping and crying), but horrific times for the mother. Staying up all nights at unheard of hours. Is she partying? Well, she has vomit on her but none of it is alcohol induced. She is rocking and patting and humming and sleepwalking and sometimes, she might be crying.

Her body has just gone through a tremendous change and she is sore and painful and completely, utterly self-less. Nothing she does is for herself. That bath? For her? Gosh no, see how she dips her elbow inside to make sure it’s the perfect temperature? She WISHES somebody would do that for her. No, folks, it’s for the precious little person that she is taking care of now, that is claiming every second of her life. She will gladly jump into a bath of cold water just to get the baby gunk off her. Hell, she is too afraid to poop in case it wakes up and screams its head off.

She is a powerful lady full of love and care and emotions. Sometimes she has other minions who are clinging to her skirts as she attempts to take care of the little creature she has birthed. These other creatures are a little older, but still as demanding.

‘Where’s my breakfast?!’ screams one.

‘Charlie is eating my toes, Mummy!’ shouts another.

‘Muuuuuuum. Tell Peter to get out of my room!’

‘Mother, I can’t wear this it’s stained.’

‘TELL LENORA TO TAKE OFF MY SHOES RIGHT NOW MAMA!!!!!’ (my sister, folks)

A mother is a therapist. She listens to everybody’s problems and helps them come to a solution. A mother is a cook, a cleaner, a nurse. She is exceptionally skilled at hearing noises in the night time, and can wake up at the slightest floorboard creak. She is used to her little ones running up to her to tell her all the gory details of their potty business.

A mother is a selfless being who gives everything she has to her children, only to have them move away from her at some point when they reach adulthood and start fending for themselves. For a lot of mothers, this is a welcome break.

Be gone, they think, and leave me finally to do what I have been wanting to do for eighteen years! To sit back and have a cup of tea without any interruptions!

But that doesn’t stop them from worrying about whether or not Peter has had dinner and why Jane is looking so pale.

Mothers are powerful because they have magical ears that can pick out exactly what their baby’s cry means, the silence that means a toddler is behind the door with his fist inside the sugar bowl, and who is in the kitchen by the way they open a fridge.

‘GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN,’ the mother roars, aware she sounds just like her own mother.

They are strong because they put everybody’s emotions before theirs, and carry their troubles along with their own. They cater to everybody’s needs, at the detriment of their own.

They are forgiving because no matter how many times you have transgressed the limits, they will still love you and make sure you have a nice hot meal when you come home late from university, shattered.

My mother lost her mother five years ago. Sometimes my mother wants a mother to get warmth and comfort from. I heard her say to her friend once, ‘It’s just hard, you know, a mother is the centre of your world.’ Sometimes I say, “I’ll be your mother, mama,” because if I didn’t have my mother I would be lost, so lost. I want to make her feel better. It’s nowhere NEAR the same, of course. She bats me away and tells me not to be so ridiculous when I try to give her a motherly hug. Sometimes my mother will get a faraway look in her eyes and when she thinks nobody is looking, a great sadness will come over her face. I know, then, that she is thinking of her mother and it breaks my heart because she is my mother, and I never want her to be sad. When my mother used to cry, I would cry too, because her pain is my pain. And I am not always the nicest daughter to her, and I am so sorry for that, so I am actually going to pause this post and go call her.

Mothers are special folks. Not everybody gets along with their mothers. Some mothers are different from other mothers. They come in all shapes and sizes. But if you have a mother, and if you love your mother, then this is a post that commemorates her along with all the other hardworking mums out there. May they be blessed and happy and healthy, and may they find peace and happiness in their children and families.

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Shriya Das

 

Something Precious

It’s not what you think.

It’s not family, love or hope.

It’s not vivid nature, nor personal exuberance.

It’s not the skies flying rapidly by, changing colour with each hour, month, season.

It’s not the sun, revolving around the earth.

It’s not the moon controlling the tides.

It’s not growth, not the blossoming of petals after stark, winter dormancy.

It’s not appreciation of the world in all its forms.

It’s not peace.

Not world connectivity, cultures drawn together, happiness spread.

It’s beans on toast when the skies are grey and the world is cold. It’s steaming beans trickling over warm toast with butter melted on top, and a fried egg, sunny side up, on the corner of the plate. Some mushrooms pile up in another corner. Maybe a little bit of feta too. It’s a mug of delicious hot earl grey with a teaspoon of sugar and a glug of milk, because it’s the weekend and I am indulging.It’s fluffy socks, crossed under the table, as the delicious breakfast is downed slowly, every bite savoured, all washed down with the sweet, flavourful tea. It’s a day stretched out, wonderfully  empty, with no assignments or chores looming ahead. A pile of exciting books by a freshly made bed, crisp sheets, a soft dressing gown. A pretty, glowing lamp in the corner of the living room after a relaxing walk in the cold evening, cheeks red, nose cold. It’s falling asleep to the gentle patter of rain on the window panes, all relaxed and ready for the hectic week ahead.

It’s the little things.

 

 

 

N.B. I can’t wait to move into my own place again so I can experience said precious thing. Living with so many people is starting to take a toll on my sanity.

Well, That Escalated Quickly.

This is what I had for breakfast:

  1. Two wholemeal pieces of toast with butter and honey.
  2. Two hard boiled eggs.
  3. One mug of black coffee.

 

It will suffice to say that I am very pleased with this meal, and grateful for my blessings, and it is the first proper filling meal I have eaten in two days.

Yesterday at the gym I spent an hour sweating out of every pore on my body, and I positively reeked. I finished 1.5 litres of water, and when I got back I was ravenous. But there were lessons to plan, clients to speak to, assignments to complete, clothes to iron, and a husband to spend time with.

I didn’t.

Spend time with him.

I got very upset because he didn’t acknowledge me when I walked in the door. Just carried on talking to his mother, and his sister, and the goddamn goldfish, and his brother, and his brother again, and upstairs and downstairs.

I was tapping furiously away, dissecting Wordsworth so harshly (I don’t understand the massive hype over the fellow. He strikes me as a selfish person. Maybe I haven’t read enough of him. Who knows.), writing about nature and the ‘inner life’, while my ‘inner life’ was boiling and sizzling away.

I was waiting for him, you see.

By the time he flopped onto the bed, I had wrapped up the first assignment, and was replying to some clients. I turned to him, finally hoping he would see me properly, but he rushed out to brush his teeth.

I went to make his sandwiches for his lunch tomorrow.

By the time I got into bed, he was in that drowsy state where all you can do is mumble.

This morning, he turned off my alarms, and snuck out before I was properly awake.

“So you can sleep,” was his whispered explanation.

Doesn’t he know that I don’t care for sleep when I know I won’t see him all day and only for a few proper seconds come the night?!

I got a kiss, though, and a tight hug that smelled of freshness and leather. Then he was gone. A puff of car exhaust, a flash of white reversing light, a rumble of an engine. He was gone to traverse the country, fight through commuting traffic, to make a living.

Tomorrow, again, his work will claim him first. Then his family will claim him. Then all I will have is a sleepy, drowsy hug and another whiff of perfume in the morning.

I miss my husband. I wish he cared more about prioritising me, as I do him.

I’m cross with him, because he needs to acknowledge me. I am his ruddy wife.

I’m sad and hurt by him, because to me, caring is showing you are happy when you see someone after a long day. I don’t need him to sit and chat with me for hours. Even looking up from what you are doing, and saying hello, and smiling at me, would suffice.

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I’m sad.

I rush home from wherever I am when I know he has returned. Should I carry on doing that, while he ignores my existence? Am I being melodramatic? Is it too much to ask, that you give your wife a hug when you return, like you used to do?

There are no excuses. None at all. Just like when I try to make excuses. If I can’t have excuses, neither can you.

Maybe he feels awkward in front of his family to display any sort of affection towards me, but I’m sorry, he does it to everybody else. His mother, his siblings.. It’s been two years. I don’t care about your embarrassment. If I can’t see you at all during the week, the least you will sodding do is give me a darn hug.

Well. That turned into a rant, didn’t it? Oops.

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