Tuesday, August 05, 2008

On Being a Mother and Being a Daughter

A few posts ago I listed the blog posts I had written in my head and this was one of the titles. I realize as I look at that list that this particular post was 'written' in my head as a venting post. This will be less venting than it would have been if I had actually written it, I think...I guess we'll see.

I love my mom very much. We've had our ups and downs in recent years and have moved into a relatively healthy balance (at least for us). However, as grateful as I am for the time she spent with us after the birth of Baby Girl, I was ready for her to be gone.

We did really need her--my husband had a few days of school left along with some other important meetings that took him away. Baby Girl was quite jaundiced; I wanted to breastfeed but my milk wasn't in, so the doctor prescribed a "Supplemental Nursing System." (Baby jaundice gets better the more the baby poops--the baby poops more when they eat more, so getting something is crucial.) This system uses formula but requires at least 2 people and could probably use more. If you've never heard of this, you hang this bottle thing around your neck with a straw-like thing that goes down to the nipple, so when the baby nurses on the breast (to help stimulate milk production)--they get formula from the bottle and eventually breast milk too. But in reality, you can't just hang the bottle around your neck and go--it has to be higher than the breast and there is a second straw thing that has to be a certain way so enough air gets in the bottle in order to push the milk out. I could never have done this when hubby was at work. So Mom was able to help.

But--I realized something very important after about ten days, or at least was able to put words to what I was feeling. Two friends were over for dinner while my mom was here and one asked, "Well, what's it like seeing your daughter be a mom?" My mom's response was, "I haven't really thought about it." That's when I realized what I was feeling--she wasn't letting me be a mom, she was mothering both of us. And with the time since I first thought of this post, I am choosing to believe that it was with the best of intentions. She was mothering me--making sure my body had a chance to heal, that I got enough rest, and took care of myself. And her way of doing this was to take care of Baby Girl too--and not let me take care of her sometimes.

I'll have to have a part 2 to this post--Baby Girl is hungry!


Songbird said...

I think the day when we see what our mother is doing is the day we're feeling strong enough to take over! It's different for each of us.

more cows than people said...

this makes a lot of sense. my mom said that when her mother-in-law finally left after her fairly extended stay post my birth my mom danced in the church parking lot- or something like that. it is surely different when it is your mom not your mother-in-law, but there is something about needing to take on a role and when there is someone there who already knows that role well it is tough to do so. this is part of why i took a solo call for my first call.

my mom is planning to wait until several weeks after the baby is born to come. and i think that's a good thing. my sister will be around more immediately and that is also a good thing.

Jessica said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. I'm glad she was there to help out and now I'm glad you get to be the mom. :-)

Anonymous said...

glad you're getting to do it on your own now.

RevDrKate said...

Under the heading of mixed blessings perhaps? looking forward to to hearing more of your reflections as you have the time. Hope all is well in Baby Girl land.