“Every day is a great day, some days are better than others” my uncle said to me last week. Becoming a mother was one of those exceptionally “great” days. Iris’s first night I could hardly sleep. My body buzzed with adrenaline. This joy carried me through the first few weeks. I was surprised at my resilience, running on no sleep and little food. I was like the energizer bunny; I just kept going and going, fueled by love for my sweet, soft, cuddly newborn.
Fast-forward 7 months and although the novelty of having a newborn has slightly dulled (we are very much into a routine at this point), I still find myself continuously amazed. So, here we are on a Sunday night in January. Iris has been sleeping since 7pm. At around 10:00, I hear her stirring and crying. When I enter her room I hear gurgling, sniffling and coughing. It occurs to me that Iris might have her first cold (her father has had a cold for a week at this point and it seemed inevitable that she caught it). I nurse her and rock her but she is still upset, which is rare (she is normally a very happy baby). So, I decide to bring her downstairs. We snuggle on the couch and I rock her back and forth on my knees for an hour or so. When I bring her back to bed, she falls right to sleep, yes!
The next morning, as I wipe dried snot from her face (chisel it off more like). I have a feeling the next few days will be challenging, especially since I am sick as well! Monday night did not disappoint. At 3:00 in the morning I found myself in the rocking chair (for the fifth time that night), rocking, nursing, soothing, rocking, nursing, soothing, repeat, my eyes half open with a pounding headache. I thought to myself “this is what makes mothers so special”. Because even with no sleep, feeling like I’d been trampled by elephants, I still had the capacity to care for and nurture Iris. In my rocking chair meditation, I could appreciate that mothers are very special people (fathers are too but this is about mom), because as soon as you become a mother (however that may be), there is a transcendence that takes place. The person who immerges is the best version of you. You are a person with boundless energy, exploding love, you are “mommy” and everyone knows there is no substitute for “mommy”.