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It’s bringing back all kinds of memories.  That feeling you get when you realize that this baby is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you are too.  The decision to be a stay at home mom and full time student is not an easy one, especially when you are a 19 year old living at home single mom with very few mom friends, who has to re-make a life for herself.

This is my daughter.  She’s a mother.  And I’m still her mother.

I get home from work at 6 o’clock – I’ve missed my little guy for the past 8 hours, but have been busy enough to plow through the day.  I walk in the door,  look in Maggie’s eyes and I see the “I’m close to defeated” look.  That’s the moment when I know I have to scoop him up, take him in the other room and give her some time to breathe.  Inevitably she doesn’t want to be alone, having craved adult company during the day, and comes to find me.  We snuggle in bed, we coo over how perfect he is and how lucky we are – and then he begins the scream, the head bob, and the arm sucking that only means it’s time to eat again.

And once again, she’s on the every-two-hour-nursing-duty – and no closer to reading those chapters of Civil War History.  But Lil B has and will always come first.

And she comes first with me.

Did I expect to put my life on hold for her and the baby?  You know I believe everything happens for a reason. I went back to work in a real office a year ago because I was bored being at home – stir crazy by the deafening quiet all the time with Maggie off at school.  I needed that adult companionship that working from home didn’t give you.  During this infant stage, I can’t imagine if I’d continued working at home.  I’d never get anything done while the baby is on the newborn schedule of “try to figure me out if you can, I’ll change it up tomorrow”.  Do I secretly wish I worked at home to spend more time with him?  Every single day.  But it’s not right for now.

And so I’m here when I’m here.  I’m not sure how much good I can do her, but I’m here for whatever she needs.  I can hold the baby for hours when he’s fussy and inconsolable.  I can do the laundry, wash bottles, fix her dinner, listen to her.  I can be at home in the evenings so she can go to the grocery store which is code for “get out of the house”.  I can even take him for a few hours while she gets out for a manicure or enjoys some “me-time”.

Friends and family have good intentions, but relationships change when you have a new baby – it’s like a divorce situation.  Everyone thinks you are fine unless you specifically ask for help. And they assume you will ask, but that Supermom complex sets in pretty early.  And in the infant stage there is only so much one can do to help, or so much the new mom can trust them with.  It’s all on mom.

That’s why I’m here.  Because I am a mother.  Because I’m her mother.  Just like Lil B can and will count on her as the only constant in his life, she can count on me.  Unconditionally.

Maggie is my hero. I’m just the lucky one that get’s to be her mom.

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4 Comments on The Unconditional Mother

  1. Cheryl P
    January 14, 2013 at 12:18 am (6 years ago)

    Love this. Single momhood is the hardest and most rewarding job EVER. Cheers to your daughter and a big cheer for you, Grandma! :)

    I became a single Mom when my kids were 6 mos, 2, 4, 16, and 17. Eleven years later, I’m still a single mom and my oldest is now married with my first grandchild.

    She knows how lucky she is to have a doting husband who has no problem changing poopy diapers, gives her a breather when she needs a little ‘time off’, and keeps her company while she nurses their baby. She knows how lonely it can be when he’s at his office during the day and her “friends” from college are still finding their way as single gals. She tells me she’s doesn’t know how I did it/do it/will continue to do it as a single mom for so long because being a parent is so hard, yet so full of joy.

    And me? I am SO happy I will be my grandson’s daycare provider when my daughter heads back to her RN job this week. Even though her hubby will be dropping him at 7 am (yikes), those three days a week will be cherished. And she knows the alternative, daycare, would have broken her heart.

    You’re a spectacular grandma! Rock on.

  2. Lauralee Hensley
    January 12, 2013 at 1:05 am (6 years ago)

    How wonderful that she had you to rely on. Not all parents are like that.

  3. Deanna
    January 10, 2013 at 11:42 am (6 years ago)

    Aw, I love this. Maggie is fortunate to have you and lil B is lucky to have you both. Shows you did your job right Mama. Squeeze em both for me!!! xo

  4. Malia
    January 10, 2013 at 11:27 am (6 years ago)

    I’m so glad you all have each other! You’re right, we moms do what we have to do, when we have to do it. There’s just no other way. Hugs to all of you, and kiss that beautiful baby for me!


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