I have had some reflections (in my head) since motherhood began, but time is lacking in terms of blogging. I at least want to write about this one particular one: My mom and I had never been so close in the 43 years of my life, and I hadn’t fully realized the magnitude of her love to me until these past couple of months.
I know my mom loves me. She has always had a servant’s heart and had taken very good care of me as she had been living with me every six months prior to my marriage (and continues to do so with Bob and me). But the way she takes care of me and my babies shows me a whole new dimension of her love.
Since Bob returned to work after two weeks of parental leave, my mom has been by my side to care for the babies (and for me). Her routine used to be like this: going to bed at midnight and sleeping in until 9am. Ever since her grandchildren came, she has adjusted her sleep/wake time. She would go to bed at 9pm and get up at 6am. She would come upstairs to check on the babies at that time and urge me to go take a nap with my ear plugs on. She then takes care of the babies until time to feed them again. She has been feeding the babies with me side-by-side so I don’t have to always tandem-feed them. She washes all the bottles. She does the laundry for them. You should see the way she plays with the babies, sings to the babies, talks to the babies, and rocks the babies to sleep. She won’t let the babies cry more than a few seconds, and she patiently waits for them to finish their bottles even if it takes an hour and the babies fuss in between. She praises the babies all the time. She is the gentlest grandma ever. You can see the love in her eyes and her voice for my children/her grandchildren and for me.
In the past seven weeks, she has experienced many episodes of vertigo. The first time she was feeling dizzy was in my bedroom while holding onto Okra, my son. I urged her to go lie down. The second time it happened, she burst into tears because she felt useless for not being able to help me and take care of the babies. But I told her not to feel guilty and that she needs to take care of herself so she can take good care of us. Even when she doesn’t feel dizzy, she constantly feels tired with an aching back. Well, we have to kind of blame it on baby boy because he’s probably 10 lbs by now. It is not a small feat to lift him especially when he likes to be held a certain way. She always jokes that she now has definition in her arms because of them.
Of course she knows that they have no genetic connections to her. And of course this fact makes no difference in her love for them. My mother is truly an inspiration for me to learn how to be patient with my babies when sleep is lacking and crying and whining become frequent.
We were not without conflicts. In the early days when everyone was trying to adjust to this new life with crying babies and without the night nanny’s help, my mother said some very hurtful things to me that I won’t repeat here. In her overly fatigued state, she didn’t realize how hurtful her words were. We had our fight. We shed our tears. And we reached a new understanding as mother and daughter. Although the incident was unfortunate, the outcome was unexpectedly good for our relationship.
My father was here for six weeks to help take care of the babies. He was super helpful with food delivery, watching the babies while I took a breather, and feeding/playing with the babies. Now that he is gone, I miss him tremendously. I am quite sure that I would even miss my mother more when my in-laws come next April and my mom has to go back to Asia.
Really. I don’t think I can function so well these days without my mom’s help. She is truly the best mom and grandmother. I am so blessed to have her.