Moments of Motherhood

Last night in the first four hours that my daughter was asleep, she woke up three times. At 9 and a half months old, this is pretty unusual for her. Each time I went to her room, putting the pacifier in her mouth and giving her a pat was all it took.

On the third time, I became frustrated. I can’t play this game all night, I thought. I put the pacifier back in her mouth, walked out of the room and sighed in frustration as she began crying again. I went back to her crib and I realized the reason she kept spitting the pacifier out was because she was congested.

I knew what to do.

I picked her up and calmed her. I grabbed her saline drops and her blue nose sucker-thing and carried her to the living room. I braced myself, because I knew she’d fight. I knew she’d cry.. And I was right. As I gently put the drops in her nose, she began to wail. I went after her with the blue sucker-thing, and she cried harder. It broke my heart but I knew it would help her. I cleared her nose out best I could and I went back to her room to hook up her Vick’s plug-in. We headed to the bathroom, my daughter and I, and I turned the shower on as hot as it would go. I closed the door and held her against me, her chest against mine. She watched the water falling in the shower beside us and she rested her head against me and that’s when it hit me:

I’m a mommy. I’m the one who makes things better. It’s not that I didn’t realize before that I’m a mother.. It was just one of those surreal moments where I became hyper-aware of the gravity of my title and the responsibility that comes with it. I’m the one who is supposed to know what to do. And in this situation, I did.

We sat in the bathroom like that for a while, her sleepy head on my chest and my hand rubbing up and down her back. After a few minutes we retreated back into the nursery, which was filled with the menthol scent of the plug-in. Daddy had made a small bottle and it was waiting for us. I relaxed back into her glider and handed her the snack. I  smoothed some Vick’s on her chest while she ate and after she was done, I held her the same way I did in the bathroom. I put her pacifier back in her mouth and we rocked. She curled up against me, nuzzled her head close and fell asleep. I lay my cheek down on top of her head and closed my eyes and we rocked together until she was breathing better.

In this moment together, I felt the awe of motherhood so strongly it was overwhelming. The beauty and the pain of loving a child was enveloping me and I just held her and let it swallow me whole for a few precious moments in time.

I lay my daughter back in her crib and she stayed asleep for the rest of the evening. I went back to bed, humbled and in love with the beautiful creature that came into my life 9 months ago.

These little Moments of Motherhood are what make my life. Stress from work, stress from parenting, stress from finances just doesn’t seem to matter anymore when life hands me one of these beautiful moments.

Do you have a Moment of Motherhood that sticks out in your memory?