On Being a Mother While Also Being A Daughter


Mom, it’s a boy. The ultrasound tech said it was a boy. I don’t WANT a boy. Maybe that is immature and selfish to say so. But, how am I going to bond with a boy? I wanted a baby girl so we could do girl stuff together. A boy won’t love me the same. I don’t know enough about boy stuff. How am I going to do this?
Mom, he’s in the NICU. His cries sound like a tiny bleating lamb. I love him so much already. I want him to be home. I miss him so much. Mom he needs surgery. He’s so small. Mom, he cries so much. Mom, he won’t eat. I can’t feed him right. Everyone says “breast is best” but he just won’t and I just can’t and I’m such a failure at this. I didn’t know it was this hard.
Mom, come to the ultrasound appointment with me. Look at the tiny heart beating! Look how small and sweet! You hold my son while I see the new baby on the screen, okay? You wait here, I forgot to take the ultrasound photos with me! Hang on! I’ll be right back. I need them. Mom, can you bring us to another appointment? Mom, you can wait in the car. This should be quick. This should be fine. Mom……the baby…..they said I lost the baby. No heartbeat. Mom, those ultrasound photos are so precious now, even more. Mom, why did God take my baby? What did I do wrong? Mom…..I don’t want the D&C. I’m so scared. I feel so small. Mom….I need you. I tell the nurse I need you. She doesn’t listen. I’m so scared….
Mom, it’s the due date of my third child today and here I am in this hospital. But it’s you in the bed, me beside you, me out in the hall out on the phone relaying information. You lost my brother or sister today. I ache. I feel so damn selfish, sitting here all full of life like this. I’m so sorry Mom. I’ll go home and clean your house now, Mom. Look how spotless the bathroom is, Mom. It’s nothing. It’s a futile effort. I am helpless. I can’t soothe this pain for you. I’m so sorry Mom. Mom, I brought my newborn son to your house. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I wanted to cheer you up. I’m so sorry I was stupid. I’m not very good at this sort of thing. I want to wrap you in my arms and tell you what a good mom you are. What a good mom you were to the one you lost.
Mom, he left us. He’s living with another woman halfway across the country now. Mom, I’m pregnant again and he doesn’t even care. I can’t do this. I want to give up. You sit on my bed and tell me how strong you think I am and I cannot see it. I think about you raising me alone and I cannot fathom doing so myself. I am scared. Mom, the oldest boy hates his younger brother. He won’t stop trying to hurt him. Raising two is hard….how in the world will I ever be able to raise three???
Mom, I see you. Right there in the middle of a push I look up and see you, holding my oldest son, in the delivery room. You’ve been in this room for hours. Holding my hand, encouraging me, wiping my face with cold cloths, offering me iced red raspberry leaf tea. Thank you. Thank you. Look mom! His head! I can feel his head, his slick, wet hair! It’s another boy! I love him. Just as much as the other two. Remember when I didn’t want ONE boy, mom? How worried I was? Now I have three! God is good.
Mom, I’m trying so hard to hold my marriage together. I don’t think I can forgive the past. I think he is cheating again. What do I do? Mom, my heart hurts. Mom, I’m pregnant again. Mom it’s a boy. Mom, you are so far away this time. I’m all alone this time in this hospital room. I miss you. Mom, the bills are piling up. Mom, how do I find time to do all I need to do? Mom, this is HARD. Mom, if it wasnt for my boys I would throw in the towel today. They won’t stop making messes. They won’t stop fighting. He won’t calm down. I just need a shower. A nap. Mom, help!
Mom…you should see how sweet they can be. Look at this photo of Zane holding baby Creed. Look at how Aidan helps me cook dinner. Look at Bailey learning to ride his two wheeler without the training wheels. His big brother taught him! They make me so proud. Being a mom is this weird blend of losing your mind and having an overflowing heart. It makes me so much more grateful for all you did for me, mom. All you still do.
Mom, he won’t stop crying. This new one, the fourth boy. It’s colic. It’s exhausting. I don’t know what to do, how to help him, how to soothe him. Is he hurting, mom? Is he hungry? Is something wrong with my milk? Why won’t he stop crying, mom? I want to throw him straight out a window. But instead I lay here in bed, a screaming, red-faced tiny boy on my chest. Sometimes I cry with him. Sometimes I call you and you hear him crying. Sometimes you are here and you scoop him up off pf my chest and take him out of the room and I don’t know what you DO with him, just that I get a moment to sleep before I lose my mind and ohmygodTHANKYOUMOM! Will he ever outgrow this, mom? Will he ever be happy? Will I ever stop feeling like a failure as a mom?
Mom, it means the world to me, the bond you have with my children. Listening to you talk to them or read to them.You are such a good Grandma. My kids are so blessed. I am so grateful.
Mom….he’s dead. My fiance is dead. I need you. I need the police officer to shut up. I need my mom. Why can’t I remember your number?? Why is my mind suddenly blank? Please come, please hurry. Mom, how do I tell the boys the man they call Daddy is dead? Mom, how am I going to get on that bus and travel across the country to bury him? I’ve never even BEEN to a funeral. I’m terrified.
Mom, Im calling you from the funeral home. I just saw him. I wish you were here, Mom. I wish you were here. I touched him. He was so cold. He looked like him but not at all like him. Mom…this…this is so hard.
Mom, I started bleeding. I lost my baby. Its in my hand. I’m on the phone with you and there is this tiny little sac in the palm of my hand with this tiny little person inside of it and I am just sobbing and talking too fast and you can’t understand at first. Mommy, I need you here. Mom, WHY??? Mom…..can we bury the baby here? On your property? Under this tree? Can we wrap it in this small towel and put it in a little tupperware and dig a hole and bury it here? Can I put these flowers on top? Can I come and visit this baby mom? On days when I ache so hard I cannot breathe? On days I blame myself? On days I miss this child I never got to hold? Can I come here and sit and talk to this precious little child? Thank you , mom. Thank you for understanding. I love you.
Mom, its another boy. It’s ANOTHER boy. Can I tell you a secret, mom? I’m disappointed. Does that make me a bad mom? To be so selfish as to wish for a daughter instead? I feel outnumbered mom. All these boys….no one to do the girly stuff with. I love my sons. I do. But oh, I wish I had a daughter. I still have that bonnet you gave me “just in case”. And the dresses from Joi. And the pink blanket from Gram. I still have this stuff and don’t know what to do with it all.
Mom, this is still hard. Being a mother is always hard. Just in different ways. Ways I never seem to expect. I need your advice. I need your help. I need your hug. I need your encouragemnet. Am I messing it all up? Am I doing this right? I’m so glad you are here. To spend Christmas with us. To talk to. To eat dinner with. Here I am, pregnant with my seventh baby and raising 6 more and I am so in love with them but so overwhelmed as well. Behavior issues and discipline and schooling and trying to raise them to be men of integrity….and really, there are days I want to go hide in the bathroom and cry. There are days I DO hide in the bathroom and cry. And I am so glad you are here. I was on the verge of sinking and your presence here keeps me going. I am never alone. You are always here with me. Thank you.
Mom, this baby is being stubborn. We are transferring to the hospital now. No homebirth. I am so disappointed. Justin is calling the ambulance. I am wishing you were here right now, instead of across the country.
Mom, it’s a girl. It’sagirlit’sagirlit’sagirl! Oh I wish you were here. To see her. To hold her. She came out perfect, all pink and strong, grabbed right ahold of my finger. I bawled. I understood in that moment what you have had for 34 years. The love for a daughter. I love her so much. The boys love her. I wish I could share this with you, Mom.
Mom, I’m so happy these days. Despite the struggles. Despite the fact she has lip tie and can’t nurse well and for the first 2 weeks my nipples were bloody and raw. Despite the sleepless nights. Despite the way the boys sometimes argue and fight. Despite the housework that never ends.
I am so happy. So blessed. Life is so good. We got through a lot of storms, didn’t we. And you and I….we argued and fought and didn’t speak. And I’ll be humble enough to tell you every time we didn’t talk tore at my heart. I missed you. You are such a part of my very soul. Understanding this fact helps me to realize how silly I was to veer worry I would not bond with my sons. After all, they are as much a part of me as I am of you. This is the greatest gift a mother gives. Her soul, her dreams, her SELF. I am the mother I am because of the mother I have.
Thank you.
For everything.
I love you.
Happy Mothers Day.

3 responses »

  1. Crying. So hard. Grew up without my mama, but she came into my life shortly before I got pregnant with my first child. Who is now almost 15. I may not have a “normal” mother – daughter relationship with her, but what we do have is precious beyond words. I love her with all my heart. She is an amazing woman, with strength like you wouldn’t believe. I love my mama.

  2. Wow you and your daughter look the same..My mom was never there when i needed her.She never knew how to be a mother,I cried when I read this and I still love to read every thing you write.You remind me of myself,I wish I could write like you,My mom passed away but I still am trying to figure out how to love her and forgive her.

    • I just saw this comment. Thank you so much for your kind words. I pray you find that love and forgiveness in your heart someday. If not for any other reason but that you yourself deserve the freedom of not carrying those hurts and burdens any longer.

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