The evening worries of a mother

19.19 – Fulfilling my desire to Blog before [hopefully] some much needed sleep. I haven’t left the flat today; Freddie went on the Santa Express with his Daddy this morning, and I blitzed the housework – two loads of laundry; kitchen, hall and bathroom floors cleaned, shower screen scrubbed, vaccumed everywhere, windowlened the windows, polished everything wooden, rearranged the kitchen, had yet another sort out of Fred’s clothes, and changed bed linen. Oh, and finished wrapping Christmas presents. This literally took me over 3.5 hours, and by the time I sat down to some lunch – it was nearly time for Fred to return. Skirting boards still need attention. Fredders had a lovely time, and arrived home clutching a polar bear toy which he has chuckled at all afternoon. He’s going through a phase of crying when I leave him or he leaves me, which I find really difficult. When his daddy picked him up this morning, he cried with his arms outstretched, and I could hear him crying all the way down the stairs. I could quite easily cry with him when he does this, but I know he stops after a few minutes. The slightly neurotic/sleep deprived part of me worries he’ll be scarred for life by these little upsets, but in my more rational moments I know that it’s just a normal part of growing up. I miss him when he’s not here. I really, really miss him. We had a lovely day yesterday seeing Santa at a local garden centre. The boy smiled and smiled, and enjoyed lunch in the pub afterwards …

I’m tired today. Work was tough last week; we had a couple of really bad nights [lesson learnt; don’t change a nappy at 3am in the dark with no glasses on, as this will lead to a badly put on nappy, which explodes at 4am all over the bed.] – I had some kind of tummy bug one day, and I think having to be out of the flat by 8am four days in a row has made the tiredness even worse. Oh yes, and the whole Christmas thing, trying to remember everyone’s presents and cards and generally make it a beautiful celebration. It’s wonderful, but exhausting. Things seem so much more do-able in the summer with all that vitamin D and light nights.

I think it must go with the territory of being a Mum, that we doubt everything we do, and worry we’re messing it all up. There are so many ideals associated with motherhood [especially around Christmas] – all I want is for my baby to be happy. The only thing important to me from now until eternity, is that I can be the mother my son needs – that he always knows he’s loved and listened to. I want him to have a fun childhood with lots of laughter. Of course, we laugh a lot together already – and the past 9 months have been filled with every possible baby group. In the quiet moments, when Fred’s asleep; I do worry … worry that he will miss out, that I should’ve tried harder with his Dad so to have given him a “conventional” family set up. I worry that I’ll never ever sleep for longer than 4 hours in a row and that this might genuinely send me batty or age me beyond recognition. I worry about being able to provide for him, being able to create those memories I so desperately want to create.

Then I think back to Calcutta and the years volunteering there; to the hundreds of people who queued up on Christmas morning at Shishu Bhavan waiting to be fed. I think of the families at Sealdah station and how they live literally hand to mouth, hour to hour. I realise the two contexts aren’t comparable, but as I have lived in both – I know first hand the temporality. I know that Freddie already has so much more than so many. He is a lucky and loved little boy.

Some days I watch my ever growing boy, and am taken aback at the enormity of the responsibility before me. It is both exciting, and terrifying. I’ve never wanted to get something right more. They say motherhood changes you, but I never quite envisaged how much ….

And now, I REALLY need to sleep …..



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