Being a mother is one of the greatest adventures I have ever been through. But sometimes it’s the hardest. And I say it’s the hardest because you have to take on multiple roles, especially as a single mom. From my experience, I’ve had to become a mind-reader, a professional smoother, a mom-chef, a personal assistant, a personal wash and folder, and so on – all to a 16-month-old little boy. The journey that I have been on since February 2019 has been exciting, fun, full of laughs and smiles, yet there were also times where I have cried myself to sleep. And that’s all okay!
Being a mom to me will always have its ups and downs- I finally understand how my parents felt during my teenage years. Sneaking out the house, breaking curfew, talking back, and doing all the other typical teenage rebellious acts. But now that I am a mother, I feel like having a toddler is the toughest part of the job. I am currently home with my son every day. It’s said for a mother to be home with their child during their infant and toddler years is crucial because this is when they are developing and creating all of those first moments and hitting their milestones. Well, it is true being home with my little boy during this stage of his life has been a dream for me. I have witnessed his first steps, him climbing the stairs for the first time (as I secretly had a heart attack while watching every second of it), spoiling him rotten with new toys every time I go shopping, and of course, witnessing his temper tantrums when he hears the word no. These are blessing in the sky moments, and I am loving every second of it!
However, as I lay down to sleep night at night, I am still wondering, worrying, curious about what’s next and questioning the what-ifs. There are nights where I end up crying myself to sleep. Last week, for instance, my son woke up in the middle of the night hysterically crying and wouldn’t stop. So, I changed his diaper- but that didn’t work. I tried to feed him a bottle of formula- but that didn’t work. I tried soothing him with a lullaby- but that didn’t work. I laid him next to me in my bed- but he was still crying. This went on for over two hours and he wouldn’t stop crying. Clearly, something was bothering him and my mind-reader skills were not helping me.
As he continued to cry, I found myself choking up and then the tears started to fall, and I was apologizing to him because I felt defeated. No matter what I did, I was not helping my crying son. Eventually, the two of us cried each other to sleep and the next morning he woke up full of smiles, as if nothing happened.
In recent nights, I’ve laid awake because my little boy should be speaking by now; he doesn’t even say, “Mom.” And I can’t help but wonder and worry why he’s not speaking yet. I have other friends and family members with kids my son’s age who are talking with full sentences. What if my son has a speech problem that I haven’t detected yet? What if he has a learning challenge that’s not discovered yet? Why can’t he say mom or dad yet? Why can he point and gesture for toys or cookies, but not actually say what he wants? I have a million questions about this and the only thing his pediatrician has advised me to do is get him evaluated with early intervention. And then I reach out to early intervention and they tell me he cannot be evaluated yet because he’s too young. So, where does that leave me? Worried.
Since I’ve been home every day these last few months, I have enjoyed spending time with my little one. I enjoy watching to see what makes him laugh. I enjoy him playing with his toys and making a mess in the house. I enjoy running around in the background. And, every night, I lay awake worrying, wondering, and curious about what’s next.
From my experience, all this worrying and fear comes with the territory of being a mother. I am going to continue to worry about my child well into my old age. I am going to continue to question everything each day and night. To me, being a mother is a blessing and a curse all wrapped up in one. The gift of being a mom is having that connection with my son – feeling that unconditional love for someone else other than yourself is incredible. It is also a feeling of destiny.
My journey of motherhood continues into its next stages. Eventually, my little boy will start to speak and won’t keep his mouth shut (just like his mama). Next, I will be worried about starting potty-training. Oh boy!