Friday, May 1, 2009

Frustrations in Motherhood

I recently have been relieved to find out that I'm not the only mother that wants to (all-too-frequently) throw in the towel. Around 4:00 p.m., when HH could get home (if there's no traffic & he doesn't work late or stop at the store) and when I don't see his blue jeep rounding the corner, is when I call him to say, "Uhhh, HH, what's your ETA? Because I'm about to run away."

Chick's lack of naps last week really had me ready to bolt at the first opportunity, and then I remembered my Great-Great-Grandma Bertha.

Grandma Bertha had two daughters, ages 3 & 5 (One of them was my Great Grandma, of course). One day, while her husband was at work she left the girls in their apartment and ran away. When the husband got home & found out, he packed up the girls and left them at their grandma's (his MIL).
They didn't see grandma Bertha again for about 40 years. She'd run off with another man (married with 6 kids) & lived in California. She stayed with him until he died, and then breezed back into the lives of her daughters (who now were grown women, mothers themselves).
Evidently she was a very attractive woman (and of course we know it's better to not be), and was vain. After she came back she bragged about what a handsome couple she and her man had been--when they walked down the street people would turn to look at them.

I'm sure that's just what her daughters, motherless for so long, really cared about hearing. Actually, my great-grandma thought it was the greatest thing ever (to have her mom back), but my g-g-aunt Blanche was a little more disdainful (in the best possible way, because I hear Aunt Blanche was a really cool woman).
There are a lot of different perspectives in this story. The Grandma in the story--who lost her daughter & suddenly was starting all over with two young girls, the husband whose wife left him, the daughters that had their lives drastically altered, the man that she ran away with, his family...
And of course my great-great-grandma. I wonder a lot about her. Did she miss anything about her old life when she was in California? She must not have loved her husband, but what about the girls? She came back as if it was no big deal to run out on your family, but surely she realized the impact that she made on all of their lives? Did she wonder what her girls were doing & who they had become? Did she realize what she missed out on each day?

The more I think about the story the more I'm grateful that I love my husband and love my daughters so intensely that I could never leave them (though I'll probably still threaten).

As frustrated as I may get from Chick being a 2-yr-old, or Babe always wanting to be held, or HH not doing whatever it is that I want him to do... I know that those annoyances are nothing compared to the thrill of seeing these girls learning new things, hearing Chick sing as she plays, watching Babe trying to crawl, and cuddling with HH.
So, in celebration of the little joys that I get to experience because I am here being a mother, here are the highlights of yesterday's motherhood:

Chick, watching me get dressed, looked at me and said in all sincerity, "Hey! Dat's mine bra!"

Babe decided to progress from sucking her thumb to putting her whole fist into her mouth.


nikko said...

I do the same thing -- call DH "just to see when you're coming home... so I can, um, plan dinner, yeah, that's right." When really what I need to know is when he's coming home to relieve me!

What a sad story. Hopefully all of us stay at home moms can be there for each other so none of us ever feel as trapped and unhappy as your gggma did.

Annalia Romero said...

We have a similar great-grandma story in our family, but it ended with her trying to poison her son with a pie full of her meds. He was finally going to put her in a nursing home. He took care of her after she had abandoned him, but there's no gratitude in some people.