Failing at loving

There are some mothers who seem to do everything so well and are so put-together. They take care of their famillies both in the house and outside flawlessly, some even while holding a career of their own (or two). Chores are carried out and family calendars are fulfilled dutifully, even while the youngest in the household are perched on their hipbone and the older ones are hanging off their elbows. They are even good at taking care of themselves and their husbands, with regular date nights out in the town and frequent second honeymoons away from the kids.

Know any mothers like that? Luckily, neither do I, otherwise I’d probably combust in envy everytime i’m near them, or even accuse them of being aliens. Mothers like them shouldn’t exist because they’ll make moms like myself feel so bad we just wanna shrivel up and die.

Today was one of those bad mothering days for me. Everything that happened today was like something out of Murphy’s Law – anything that could go wrong, did. I accidentally gave my son food poisoning by feeding him last night’s leftover pizza that he had enjoyed so much earlier – he ended up vomiting so much throughout the day that we took him to the hospital’s emergency room.

Later, i accidentally caused some hot water to scald his knuckles because i wanted to make his cold syrup drink warmer and he snapped and pulled his hand towards the water. Finally, instead of feeding him fluids by the spoon, i gave him a cup and he downed everything in one gulp, only to throw it all up ten minutes later. So far, he has been unable to keep anything down and his stomach is now absolutely empty from any food or drink of the day. Sigh. And i only have one child – how in earth can i manage another, let alone two more?

A lot of people have been saying to me, particularly after my failed IVF recently, that Allah swt knows best and there must be a reason why he lets (or doesn’t let) something happen. I think it’s so true, especially on days like this when i feel like such an inept mother from the edges of my (thinning) hair to the ends of my toes. It’s like, why doesn’t my brain think sufficiently before embarking on a particular path of action? Why do my hands and legs betray me and continues to do something which my gut, or brain, has already started signaling an opposite intent?

How do i expect to even try to be that domestic goddess who’s in control of every aspect of her life and her family’s? How do i come out of all this a better person, mother, wife, daughter and sister? How do i make things right?

When everything else fails, all I can try is pray and try to think more positively. To the leftover pizza, i think No more leftovers, especially those that have been sitting out at room temperature. To the scalded fingers, i think Get him away from hot water. Again. And again. And always check. To the negative voice in my head that makes me think i will screw up all over again, i think I will keep learning how to be a better mother until it kills me (if my husband doesn’t kill me first). And go away. Amiiiiin.

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