Our resident night soil specialist Karen Wong dishes on all things parenting and such finer things below in our Mama Musings column!
Just a few weeks ago was Mother’s Day (for us Canadians, at least). By now, the flowers and breakfasts-in-bed are long past, but for all the crap you deal with — and I’m speaking literally here — shouldn’t every day be Mother’s Day? Not so much so that your kids make you breakfast (it’s never edible anyways), but more to remind yourself: hey, you kept your kid alive.
So congratulations to you, mamas. No matter how many awards your kid wins at school, you know how he is at home and there are days (months?) where the little devil angel tests you to your breaking point. If you’ve gone through any number of years of parenthood, you can pat yourself on the back for another year of not killing your kid, intentionally or unintentionally. I would start a #everydayismothersday hashtag revolution for us if that meant flowers every day.
Never mind the mommy wars, we all know our greatest critics are our ourselves. When it was the newborn stage, I was constantly worried about my son’s weight and my milk supply. Then I blamed myself for his poor sleeping. Now that feeling nags at me that I’m not reading to him enough or his meals aren’t free-range organic. I can only imagine what is in store when it comes to schooling, dating and religion.
I used to think I was pretty strong — a lot could happen and it wouldn’t faze me. But motherhood has really pushed me beyond what I thought I could manage. And then a million steps more after that (“steps” being those Caine Road stairs on the day you bring a stroller). I’ve been completely humbled — it’s a new low when you’re scraping poop with a butter knife — and more than once I’ve wanted to concede defeat.
If we admit it to ourselves, most of the time, we’re all just trying to survive without setting fire to the house or cat before the day’s end. That very well might mean YouTube during dinner before your kid seriously gets scurvy. Or takeaway because you’ve just worked 12 hours and just want to see your kid instead of a stovetop. Or (gasp), Cry-It-Out before you go insane with sleep deprivation because a sane mama is always better than an insane one. And hey, that’s still OK. I still applaud you for keeping your kid alive and whatever extra you manage on top of that.
Whether you use cloth diapers or disposable, let them cry or co-sleep, give them pouches or make your own, let’s remind ourselves that we’re all doing the best we can for our kids in whatever way that manifests for your situation. It’s impossible not to, since that leech of a human being has been manipulating you from birth into thinking you actually like wiping their snotty noses and poopy diapers.
So today on #everydayismothersday, stop with the guilt. Pour yourself a bottle glass of wine (that of all things doesn’t need to be limited to Mother’s Day!) and let’s celebrate the times you caught vomit with your bare hands so you wouldn’t have to put your kid down. The times you’ve sucked snot out of their noses so they could breathe. The times you circled the mall for hours so they could sleep in their stroller. And yes, just generally kept your kid alive all this time too with food.
You’re a great mama. SAHMs, working mamas, work-from-homers and everything in between: on behalf of your little precious children, we thank you.
I never really understood the value of Mother’s Day growing up until I was rocking my child for four hours every night for the first few months — then Mother’s Day became the most hallowed day of the year. So now that the day is past and no one is thanking you anymore for all the snot you’ve wiped, I say happy #everydayismothersday, Sassy Mamas.
Thank you for toilet training your progeny and raising them to be our future for Hong Kong and the ones who will take care of us when we’re old. What you’re doing day-in day-out may not seem like the glorious career you envisioned, but you are shaping a nation with each act of sacrificial love, wisdom and kindness. And that includes scraping poopy diapers.