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Mama Musings: Privilege

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Our Sassy Mama contributor, Karen shares about the true privilege motherhood really is even with the poop and eye bags in our next instalment of Mama Musings…

So I thought my baby waking every hour was bad… apparently it can get worse. Without a doubt these half-hour wakings are giving me an abundance of precious cuddle time with my now-six-week-old, but the bags under my eyes aren’t overly keen on the extra weight they’ve acquired. Clearly I’m not doing something right when that baby sleep site says that he should be sleeping five or six hours at a stretch by now…

Juggling life with two kids has been busier to say the least: I am the mother holding a poopy newborn in one arm while trying to make a somewhat edible dinner in the other all while checking on my toddler (aka my potato) to make sure he hasn’t burned anything down (that hyena-like giggle is a dead giveaway…as is any prolonged silence).

Yet last week amidst the chaos that is our family zoo, when I felt spent and then some and still everyone was demanding something, I was suddenly thunderstruck by the great privilege motherhood really is. It’s true, our children need so much from us, whether it’s a diaper change, milk, a toy, dinner or just some cuddle time and it can be tiring downright gruelling.

But at the same time, I don’t think there’s anyone who is more in love with us than our sons—even my husband gets sick of me sometimes I’m sure, but the loyal potato never stops wanting our attention, hugs and cuddles. I love the way he looks at my husband with clear adoration in his eyes, like he’s the best thing in the world. There is no one who would want to sing ABC with you more or read a book in your lap like there’s nothing he’d rather do till the cows come home. And the little one too, well his whole world is us at the moment, even if he is just using me for my milk.

What a great privilege it is to have someone who adores you and to whom you can do no wrong.  When they’re young, they never hold a grudge and they’ll always come running for hugs and kisses. Their faces light up when you return from throwing out the trash outside, as if you’ve been gone for days.  They beam at you when you acknowledge something they’ve done (“Wow, what a beautiful cat you’ve drawn! …Elephant?  Train wreck?!)

Yes, there will be moments when we’re just so over it and that’s totally fair too. I can’t count the number of times I’ve drawn Thomas the Tank Engine for the potato on his Etch-A-Sketch (making it #1 on the list of toys that I am actively trying to “lose”).  My unconditional love for our newborn too becomes somewhat less at 3 a.m., 4 a.m., 5 a.m. …

But mixed with that exhaustion now is a sense of awe that I am loved so much.  That their little hearts could hold so much esteem and affection for their imperfect mama who doesn’t always get everything right, who gets frustrated with them sometimes, and who doesn’t always understand what they need, but who loves them with the same love.  What a privilege indeed.

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