Count the Bad Mommies

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Angel's Bad Mommy Homework...

…write a post explaining when it is that you most feel like a mother. And when it is that you don’t. When did you first realise that you were somebody's mother?

Hhmmm… this took some thinking lemme tell you bunnies! And I tried not to read anyone else’s posts till I had done mine… though it was tempting when I was wracking my empty brain!

When do (or did) I NOT feel like a mother.
Well, until Damien was about 2 weeks old, I didn’t feel at all like a mother. Yes I had a natural birth and yes I was breastfeeding and getting up in the middle of the night… but it felt like I was babysitting for someone else. I kept waiting for and expecting this magical moment when Damien and I would “bond” and I would look at him adoringly and the world around me would disappear and soft music would play and everything would be in soft focus.
Didn’t happen.
Perhaps it was partly because I was so young and selfish… there was so much I had planned to do- and now I had this tiny little human who needed me ALL THE TIME! Perhaps it was partly that I was expecting something that couldn’t happen… not like it did in the movies! I remember a specific night that I started crying almost uncontrollably whilst feeding a tiny Damien. My mom came to see what was up. I blubbed all but incoherently at her about how I didn’t feel like Damien was mine and how I wasn’t really a mother and why wasn’t I bonding with him and and and… she gave me a tiny glass of sherry, sent me to bed and took Damien for a couple of hours. I forget what all she told me that night, but I felt a lot better.
And I must be honest, I feel less like a “mommy” and more like a “mother” as Damien gets older. Does that make sense?

When I most felt like a mother was when Damien used to snuggle up on the couch next to me, when we could share a two-seater comfortably. He’d put his head on the arm and squish his feet in behind my bum and we’d watch TV together until it was his bedtime.
Reading him bedtime stories and fetching him from school always made me feel like a mother.
Helping out at school fetes and selling soup and pancakes at gymnastics competitions made me feel like a mother every time.
Disciplining him also always made me feel like a mother… and all too often I could hear my own mommy darling when I spoke to Damien!

One of the many times it struck me that I was actually someone’s mother was watching Damien compete in his gymnastics competitions. He was good, and when I watched him I wanted to nudge the people around me and say things like “That’s MY boy!”
Other times it really hit home was when he would come and crawl into my bed in the early hours of a weekend morning, snuggle up to me and go back to sleep. In winter he would declare himself my hot-water-bottle and it was his job to keep me warm!
And of course, worrying about a sick Damien always brought home to me that I was wholly responsible for this little person!
And one time I remember all too clearly was in 1998 when I was admitted to hospital with asthmatic pneumonia. I had called my folks to fetch me at home late one night because I couldn’t breathe anymore and needed to go to the hospital- and of course Damien had had to go with us as he was too little to stay home. I was in the back of the emergency room with a drip and an oxygen mask and the doctor went to call my daddy darling to let him know I was staying. My dad and Damien walked into the room hand in hand and Damien and I took one look at each other and started bawling! The fear in his eyes was too dreadful!
Ooh, and fighting for Damien's rights as an ADHDer and talking about his treatments and medication ALWAYS reminds me that I am someone's mother!

So, to end off… I will be a mother for as long as I live… and I wouldn’t change anything in my life for all the tea in China!


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

For some reason I feel like saying happy Mother's Day even though it ain't Mother's Day.

Blessings to you Angel; you are a grand mother! (Note the break between the words, OK?)

The Jackson Files said...

Your posts about Damien often make me cry. This one is no exception.

Like SSN says: you are a great mum, Angel.

angel said...

sometimes saintly nick: lol! thanx nick!

the jackson files: aaawww thanx girl! you are too sweet- AND you're a great mum too, jackson is one lucky boy!

sweets said...

beautiful, stunning post! you give me hope johanna ;)

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Beautifully said, as always.

Your boy is so lucky to have you.

angel said...

sweets: lol... i try!

stephanie (bad mom): why thank you!