7/23/07

infinite love + unrelenting guilt = a mother

Lately, I've been grappling with the guilt and questions that come with being a Momma.
A momma who is struggling to hold herself & her family up in the middle of the biggest transition.
And I know other Momma's out there are facing similar things.

That guilt that creeps in.
The guilt that is the gift that keeps on giving when you become a Momma.
As endless the love is that we have for our children
so is the guilt.
The love for them is as vast as the sky. There is no beginning. There is no end. It simply is.
And unfortunately that guilt can be just as endless. It can be the giant rain cloud that covers up the beautiful blue sky. And we have to learn to navigate around it.
Not always an easy task.

We are faced with this tremendously awe-inspiring task of caring for a totally dependent individual.
A constant vigil.
It never ends.
In fact, it happens so quickly and fiercely that you can't even see the point at which it started.
There is no definitive moment.

Some may say that this vigil, the watch guard post - and the guilt - begins upon finding out you are now carrying this new life within.
Some may say that it occurs when you've decided natural childbirth is archaic and the decision to opt out for a relatively pain-free delivery. And that is a relative term, mind you. Pain free delivery. Yeah, uh-huh, sure.
Some say that it begins the moment that new life is physically in your arms.

But it happens. And again, the process is so swift, so thorough that it really is hard to determine when it happens. But it does.

So as new mothers - or just mothers - we take on this monumental task of constant caring, nurturing, rearing, guiding, loving, empathizing, hurting, pining. You name it, we are i-n-ging it. But we're happy to do it. It's the greatest of works. The fruits of constant tending and work that cannot be compared to anything else.

The power we possess so raw, so carnal. The ability to alert or cloudy-eyed cubs of our presence by just walking in the room - because of our scent.
The power to soothe with the merest of hums in tiny, sweet ears.
The power to comfort and protect with the warmness of our breast and arms, wrapping our cubs in the thickest of fortresses.

But with that power comes awesome responsibility.
And with that responsibility comes questions, swift looks back and hoping that it went well.
We wonder quietly, if we did any damage on those days where we were weary from an all-nighter and operated on auto-pilot.
We wonder if those days where we are frazzled beyond oblivion when all we can do is bleat-bleat answers - not ever really hearing the questions. And realize as head hits pillow that they are moments that are forever lost.

But we try.
We work our hearts and fingers to nubs.
We never fully take credit for the wonders that we are responsible for.
Instead, we second-guess.
We think that it's never enough.
We think it's all wrong. We're doing it all wrong.
And certainly, it's never story-book.
But considering what we're up against, we're pretty damned good at it.

If we asked our kids who were the best mommies in the whole-wide-world, what do we think the answer would be?
And true, some day they may question our abilities, our actions, our intentions, or how well we did.
But in time, they do come around and see just how hard we tried.
How hard we did.
How much we loved
and still love.

Mistakes will be made.
Yes.
Absolutely no doubt.

But in between the mistakes, and the guilt, the brand new cub and the adult they grow up to be is the best of us. The best of us that we give to them. And that questioning and the guilt shows just how seriously we take this job. We want to do it just right.
And if we didn't question, if we didn't care - we wouldn't wear our guilt and worry like the hottest new skirt or shoes for all to see.

In that time -the in betweens - are the moments that rest on sleepy eyelashes, toddler giggles, and chubby-armed hugs, the dirty fingerprints on everything, the countless buttercups handed over to us, the campy arts and crafts, the pb&j kisses. Those moments are just for us.
And we work so hard for them. We don't ask for them. They are handed over so lovingly, so generously.

The guilt is an occupational hazard, for sure.
It's there to stay.
But.
They'll be OK.
And so will we. I think.
Yeah.
So will we.

10 ripples in the pond:

Rav said...

Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, aka Spiderman (for those who don't know), that with great power comes great responsibility. The mythology around so many super heroes involves the same principle. And almost all super heroes struggle with balancing their lives. Time spent with their loved ones is time that they aren't saving someone else (or the world), and vice versa. I think that it is very interesting to see Mothers struggling with the same problem. Because, after all, you are the true super heroes.

flutter said...

so much more than ok, Tabbagirl

liv said...

babe. we're going to make it. we really are. believe!

jen said...

its SO true. and it's SO OK. i can very much relate to this postiness.

PinkPowerSuit.com said...

I've been thinking a lot of these thoughts lately too. Big sigh.

I just passed on a Rockin' Girl Blogger award to you, my dear.

Oh, The Joys said...

Try to go easy on the guilt. xo.

Joker The Lurcher said...

yup. you said it tabba! hope all is well with you.

Kevin Charnas said...

I'm so humbled by parents...truly.

You ARE going to be okay...and somehow, you're going to be better than okay.

Tabba said...

thank you all for your comments. and really, i'm OK. i'm better with my anxiety over the changes. this is simply reflective of what i have been going through, and what i have been reading other moms going through right now.

carrie said...

"Every-ting's gonna be alright . . . no woman no cry"

Hang in there girl, with your big changes. You are going to come out of this like a buterfly. And so will your kids.

Carrie