But just when I think I’m starting to get it figured out, I experience a rough couple of days—more like a rough couple of weeks, actually. Off and on for the past two weeks, my baby has an ear infection, which we thought we’d licked with the first round of antibiotics last week. However, it has moved to his other ear, giving him a fever for the past two days. At 4:30 this morning, after getting up with him five times last night, I finally decided to give up on the hope of getting any more sleep. I held him until he fell asleep. I slept beside his crib, as I knew he’d wake again.
I spent the morning at the doctor, then the pharmacy, then back to the pharmacy again, all the while, caring for a clingy, hurting baby. Apparently, the second round of antibiotics—stronger this time—is a bit too strong for my baby’s tummy. Hence, the vomiting on me, followed by vomiting later in his crib.
My day could be told by millions of moms around the world. It’s same story I heard from my girlfriends before I had kids.
I never knew how they did it—sacrificing sleep for weeks on end, dealing with vomit, never getting a break. And sometimes I don’t know how I do it. I see myself giving up so much of what I used to hold dear—independence, clean clothes and sleep. And I’m amazed that I forget to even let it bother me—at least most of the time.
Of course, my mom has been a big help. We’re actually at my parents’ house for a visit right now. My mom was the one who did the late night load of laundry tonight, to clean all of our clothes and sheets soiled by the vomiting incidents. I see my mom in a new light now that I am one. I know now what she did for us. And really—what she still does for me.
As much as I’ve always wanted to be independent from my parents, pulling away, demanding my own freedoms, I know now how much my mom put into me. And even as I still resist too much of her involvement in my life—always wanting to learn things on my own—we now share a camaraderie as moms. She understands. She knows how tiring it can be. She knows how to help me, and is my most willing supporter and fan.
After all, some 30 years ago, she experienced many days like mine—involving babies, vomit, sleepless nights and sacrificial love.