I’ve found that one of the hardest parts of being Mom is the pressure to always figure it out. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t the go-to for all answers. Sometimes I wish I could just hand my screaming child over to someone else to put to sleep. Why does Mom have to be the one to figure out how to put the distressed child to sleep when no one else can?
Most nights I love tucking my toddlers into bed and then feeding baby V to sleep. I love routine and cuddles. But last night I suffered. I was exhausted from a long weekend. My throat was sore and my nose congested. Yev wasn’t able to help with bedtime. And although my mom was there, the girls just get too excited, and then they have even more trouble falling asleep. I didn’t get a moment to myself until 11pm, and by that time, I just raced off the bed because I felt so ill.
It’s like our kids just know: tonight is the worst night to give mom a hard time, so I’m going to cry even louder, even longer. I was already at my limit, and baby V just wouldn’t go down. Why do these nights always line up? Why can’t I be sick on a night she goes to bed early? Why can’t I feel great when she needs extra attention? More importantly, why can’t someone just take the responsibility from me when I’m maxed out?
But as moms we don’t really get to be maxed out. We always have to find a way to pull it together. Being sick offers little reprieve from our responsibilities. My husband and family members will help where they can, but for some reason no one knows how to put the kids to sleep like Mom. And this creates a lot of pressure.
Sometimes I’d like to be able to just tap out, and say, “I’m done. You handle this.” But there is just something about being Mom that means we are the first and last resort. That’s a lot to live up to.
The best part about this responsibility though are the rewards. The bond we have with our children is formed by these sleepless nights, comforting hugs, and healing kisses that magically make the boos boos go away. The bond is formed through these moments of mutual suffering because our children know they can count on us. They know we will endure and offer comfort to any ailment, and as our children grow this will take different forms. Hugging a toddler and hugging a teenager offer different types of comfort. For a small child, it may be protection. For a teenager, acceptance.
So ladies, on your rough nights, when you’re rocking your baby to sleep with tears rolling down your cheeks, when you seem to be crying as hard as your child, and when you feel like you will never get to sleep, remember we have a lifetime to be Super Mom to our children.