Short Stories on Motherhood
When he returns from work he asks, “How was your day?”
He looks worried. He is wondering when the explosion is going to hit him.
Earlier I had called him at work, sobbing, because the baby wouldn’t stop crying. He answered,
“What do you expect me to do from here?”
Now he tells me, “I had a busy day and everyone heard you were crying. What happened? Why are you so sad?”
All day long, feelings of anger, frustration and guilt swirled around in my head. Now they are piled up like the dirty dishes in the sink.
I hand him the baby.
There’s a mess at home. My day was filled with endless little tasks. I’m exhausted and empty from it all despite the huge love for my baby.
How can I explain the “nothing” that happened?
Nomi, mother of 2
Sobbing and gulping, I pushed my week-old daughter around the circle of sidewalk in front of our first rented home. I wailed to my puzzled husband, “Is it always going to be like this?”
The new mother sleep-fog, my sore body, the flakes on my baby’s scalp – you name it – I was the designated family worrier. I staggered under the crushing burden of “what-ifs?”
Forty years later, I recognize the truth of it.
It always will be like this: the knock-me-to-my-knees overwhelming love for my child, the frustration that I can’t hand over a perfect and happy life to her, the petty and large concerns that still buzz about.
And the incomparable, heart-stopping joy of then and now and always being my daughter’s mother.
Sharyn, mother of 2, grandmother of 5
My son wet his bed this morning. While he was still half asleep, I changed his diaper, put him into fresh pajamas and changed his sheets. I did this in complete darkness so as not to wake the whole house.
Did I mention I was wearing a brand new black business suit and 3-inch heels?
All day at work I felt like saying to my co-workers, “Think that meeting was bad? Did you change cold, peed-on sheets and a wet child this morning at 4am? Did ya, huh?”
There are days in my life that are so hard I can’t even think about showering. Or days when laundry feels like the enemy. But then there are days where getting through the sheer grossness of motherhood makes me feel more powerful than any new suit alone could.
Sabrina, mother of 2