Mother’s day 2016: This is the second one since I had my little girl. I am sitting in a taxi heading home from church and by now I have learnt to celebrate myself. I have bought my favourite take out (Chicken Slice) and I have a chilled bottle of Le Fleurette JC LeRoux in the fridge at home. Baby has just fallen asleep and I am desperately hoping that she does not wake up until I have had a time to put my feet up and enjoy my lunch. They have a Mother’s day tribute on the radio and Babyface comes on to serenade us, saying that he gives a standing ovation to all the men and the women because he does not know how we do it.
I started thinking back to the journey I have walked so far as a mum. My eyes welled up with tears as my mind took me on the scenic route that reminded me of how my fiance and I broke up when I was 20 weeks pregnant. Even though I had taken the time to get used to my situation and stabilise myself mentally and socially as I was going to be a single mum and couldn’t afford to keep the crazy, nothing prepared me for this calling. I remembered how friends rallied to pack my hospital bag, hold my hand in labour and cut the umbilical cord and bless us with baby essentials.
Dad had promised to be there through burping, night feeding, sucking mucus from a blocked nose (had to do this more than once)… but all this had fallen on me now. I had held my head high for most days but struggled when baby fell ill and had to be hospitalised. I had wanted to call him to tell him about the situation for selfish reasons so I could breathe for a minute knowing another parent is carrying the burden. This would however drain me emotionally since he does not even call or text to ask how she is. I made it to the first Mother’s day and that was gut wrenching because I knew after everything I had been through, I would not be celebrated as much as I felt I deserved.
How I rush home everyday at 5 to hold my baby, read with her, play with her so she never feels like she was ever without a loving parent. Weekends are mother-daughter days! How I have enjoyed the autonomy of naming her, choosing her activities, dressing her, whether or not I pierce her ears… but sometimes I wonder what those decisions would have been if I had support. My mother has been very supportive with her views on how I should never dress my daughter in dresses but rather leggings because they are trendier, or the debate regarding college investment fund for baby vs putting the savings in a bank account. Much as I dislike being second guessed, the love, care and devotion she has shown us has helped carry us through.
Back to reality: I realise that I have grown from this experience and discovered a version of myself I never knew existed. The taxi stops at the traffic light at which I alight, I weave through the seats in excitement for my long awaited special lunch when baby wakes up as soon I set foot on the ground so we hold hands and chat as I walk home and she enjoys the ride on my back. We sit down at the table to share my lunch but I manage to enjoy the champagne alone because she settled for grape juice. I did not have my quiet moments to reflect on life but we danced well into the late afternoon to a melody that my daughter decided to sing/hum. Day well spent.