While all this Zurich and New York fun has been happening on the blog, things have been not been so happy offline. I was sick all of last week, the kind of sick that needs long stretches of sleep and rest—not easy to come by when your husband is traveling on business and your baby is exhibiting signs of full toddlerhood.
Just when I was starting to feel normal, Tala was swallowed up by a black hole of teething misery (why is it that every time she cuts new teeth, it feels worse than the last time?). Diaper rash, low appetite, moody clinginess, waking up screaming at night, 39.9-degree fever for four days, the works!
Four days with a miserable toddler in pain feels like an eternity; every day I would wake up and hope this was the end of it (it wasn’t, until today). And you know what? This is just normal. It’s not even like Tala’s in the hospital or seriously sick or anything. Moms everywhere do this all the time! Today the worst seems to be over, and just in time too, because I was running on empty.
I had a mini-meltdown in Marlon’s comforting arms (he’s really good with meltdowns!) and got all existential on him. Tough times like the last two weeks really make me wonder about things like:
Does it matter to Tala that I’m the one who’s taking care of her and not, say, her gastouder? Does she even know the difference?
My friends who work full time and send their babies to daycare don’t love their babies any less than I love Tala. Am I trying to prove something by staying home with her?
She can throw toys, yell and scream, and climb and cling to just about anybody. Why does it have to be me?
What makes me better equipped to take care of Tala than someone who’s had proper education and training, and does this for a living?
Does it matter that all really I have over such a person… is that I love her?
I don’t know.
Okay, maybe I do know. I have an idea, but I have no proof.
She can’t talk, it’s too early to tell. So I just have to believe that it does matter. I just have to believe.
Normally, I would feel guilty and feel like a bad mother for even thinking this way. But I’m better than that now. I’m allowing myself space to ask these questions and think these thoughts. And after I’ve asked them and thought them, I will let them go. All I need is just a little rest, a little comfort, a little time to recover… and I’ll be ready to love my girl full-on again.
Not exactly the most inspiring post leading up to Mother’s Day, huh? Well, after reading this, just think of your own mom and all the tough questions and difficult thoughts they might have had, that they let go because they love you. So love your moms a little more this weekend. And have a good one.
P.S. This photo is from our trip to The High Line in New York. That’s next up on my list of things to blog about. But first, some much-needed rest and recovery!