Mummy Diaries: Strength

“How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The last two weeks have completely spun me around. Literally. I have suffered with balance and vertigo issues for a few years but last week I finally reached the tip of the iceberg. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t walk, I was practically bed-ridden and reliant upon help to move around.  It was like fast forwarding fifty years to give Luis a glimpse of our future together once we are married (in March, in case you are interested). The problem when you reach the summit of anything – be it iceberg or mountain – is that you realise how small and insignificant you are (this is especially true now that I have lost my depth perception – I really could be on top of a mountain!)

A few years ago I went through a moment where I really enjoyed marijuana. One time I smoked the legal stuff that you could buy in NZ at that time – basically synthetic weed – and it sent me time travelling to a galaxy far, far away.  It blew my head wide open because I realized how fragile our reality is.  That’s exactly how I feel now – like time is fragile.

When you have a child you automatically assume that you are there to protect them, and that they exist in a role that is only protection. But I don’t believe that this is true. There is a duality between parent and child just like there is amongst all of the Earth’s living things. I know this because even in my darkest moments Emilio gives me strengh.  Before Emilio I may have wallowed in my self-pity, but now that is impossible. Not because I feel a duty but because I cannot actually look at his face and see anything other than goodness. There is a light there, an innocence – something that is so perfect that it cannot be explained or duplicated.

I have cried in front of my son. Is that terrible? I haven’t meant to, I’ve just been so genuinely scared the past few days that I’ve shared that with Luis and E has been around. I don’t believe in bottling up emotions because I don’t like how I feel when thngs are repressed (hence why I have such a prickly personality).  Rather than being confused, Emilio has just given me a hug and a kiss, or brought me his favorite toy. This warms my heart to know that he understands and is emphatic to my needs. It makes me feel proud and fuzzy all at the same time to know that I am raising a boy who gets that emotions are a part of life and not to be afraid of. This doesn’t mean that I rely on him in my moments of need, but it certainly does mean that I draw purpose from knowing that he is there, and that I am his mummy.

I am also one of those wierd people that didn’t have a painful childbirth. There was pain, obviously, but it wasn’t what I had always assocciated as pain. The sensation was unlike anything I have ever known before. There was a moment during the labour when I felt as though it was all too frightening, but I remembered my baby relying upon me and I calmed down … and then out he popped (not quite as easy as that!).  When Emilio was a newborn I had no idea what to do but I followed his cues. He guided me then, and now that he is a toddler he still guides me, albeit with some – no a lot – of telling off inbetween (especially to leave the blimmin dog alone!). What I am trying to say here is that the relationship has never been a dictatorship, it’s been a partnership, a relationship that is fluid and goes both ways.

Whereas before I lived my life, I had no reason. Now I find reasons everywhere – even in cleaning the toilet! It’s impossible to be strong or smart or brave or well-mannered all the time … and that’s ok. I do think there is so much pressure upon us to do things perfectly – or to achieve a lot – so that when you have moments of weakness you feel like a failure. Eso no se hace!! It’s important to remember to ask for help, and not to keep things caged up inside, and one of the best instant remedies is to just look at your child and really see them.  See what they are doing in that moment. How they smile. That image will cut through the pain and the anger, and burn itself right past your eyes and into your soul. It is your children that will give you a strength you never knew existed.


“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


One thought on “Mummy Diaries: Strength

  1. Nice piece, sorry to hear you’ve had a hard time but wonderful how your son has helped you through the tears. Being in Chile with a kid is so challenging, I’ve been here for almost four years. it’s especially hard if you’re direct and transparent. Those are not admired qualities in women here.


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