There are many tears that are shed along the journey of motherhood, but the phrase “go away mommy, I want daddy” is one that stings profoundly. My older son, now a four-year-old, has been a bona-fide “daddy’s boy” since he turned two. I still remember the hurt in my heart when he first screamed “go away” because he wanted daddy to read his bedtime stories. Mind you, I was the one who read to him every single night since he was a baby. I was no longer allowed to comfort him when he was sick, to soothe him back to sleep when he had nightmares, or even to buckle his seatbelt. I felt helpless and empty on many occasions, as I stood outside of his door while my husband tended to his needs.
I’ve always thought that my children would naturally prefer me – if for no other reason than the fact that I carried them in my belly for nine months and nursed them for a year. Perhaps it’s mommy pride or working mom guilt, whatever it is, but it sucks when your baby rejects you all of the sudden. As a working mom, the ever-present feeling that you’re missing out on doing something with your kids lurks in the background. Still I continue to pursue my career, because I realize that doing so is just as important for me, for my children, and for my family as being there for them physically all the time. Being a working mom is mostly a role I play with gratitude.
Last night, my son had yet another one of his night terrors where he was half asleep but crying hysterically. I went to his room, expecting rejection, but to my surprise, he didn’t ask me to go away. I picked up the thirty-some pounds of him and bounced and shushed him like a baby. It felt so familiar yet so far away. When my arms got tired, I took him to our favorite chair – the chair that I used to nurse him on, the chair where he slept in my arms in the quite darkness of night, the chair where we snuggled up to read bedtime stories. He laid his slightly damp forehead on my chest, his long legs wrapped around my waist and he started to breath deeply. At that moment, I felt the deepest sense of calm and love. All I could think about was how lucky I was to have this moment with my not-so-little guy. I tried my best to memorize every sight, every smell, every touch, and every sound so that it can be forever etched in my memory.
My euphoria at that moment was tinged with sadness. I was sad because I knew that time was slipping by too quickly and moments like these are limited in number. My first-born is no longer a baby and there will be a day when I will no longer be able to comfort him in this way. Motherhood is full of bittersweet moments like these. The next morning, he did not remember any of it, but it didn’t matter because I did.
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When your child says “go away mommy, I want daddy!” appeared first on Happy Chic Mom.
Photo by Aman Bhargava