When my mother flew from the Caribbean to care for me after labor, she would not stop giving me advice. She made a point to pass on what my grandmother taught her: “a mother’s work never ends, she eats when she’s no longer hungry, she sleeps when she’s no longer sleepy… a mother’s life is one of patience and sacrifice.” I heard as I rolled my eyes during my first week of recovery, refusing to let go of my life as I knew it and crying in the shower in confusion and fear at the daunting task before me.
Why would anyone do this? I wondered. Why give up your life? I even wrote about my struggles trying to get some sleep in the first few months after my daughter was born. Insanity! And suddenly I understood that nothing can truly prepare someone for parenting. You take what you know and figure it out as you go. I stopped needing so much sleep to function. I started forgetting to change out of my slippers when going to the market… and laughing about it. I started accepting all the help I could get because those showers are precious and I began loving every minute of motherhood.
Now, as I finish the cold dinner I started two hours ago, I think of my mother and how characteristically right she was. I sit here with a cold bite and a warm heart. I am blessed with a great mom and am thankful for the privilege of calling myself one.