Aidan, Motherhood

To the quiet chaos

I just put an overtired baby to bed.

Ever since our trip to Sydney, his sleeping patterns have gone all crazy and he’s stopped sleeping through the night consistently. This morning, he woke up at 5am, all ready to play. And I had to nurse him back to sleep – something I hadn’t done since his last mental leap.

He also skipped a nap in the day and because we had to go to the in-laws’ for dinner, little man couldn’t go to bed early.

Which meant that his meltdown at bedtime wasn’t surprising. He didn’t want his father to put him to bed, only mama can. And I gladly took him from his father and held him in my arms as he nestled onto my chest in the fetal position: legs curled up and arms tucked beneath his chest.

I sang his favourite song – Twinkle, twinkle, little star – and cuddled him for a little while. And as I did that, big fat tears started falling from my eyes.

I felt the strongest, most intense love stirring in my heart. For this boy who came as a surprise and who has brought so much light and joy in my life.

I felt the familiar painful tug of guilt, something I battle every single day. I wish I could be there for him every day of his life. I wish that my career doesn’t mean so much to me. I wish that our caregiving situation is smoother than it currently is.

I felt the dawning realisation of how my mother must have felt all her life. For her to slog most of her life away just to bring us up on her own, all the while missing out on the important milestones of our lives.

I felt the bittersweet pang of resignation. That while I can’t wait for him to grow up and do stuff with us, I also wish I could bottle up this glorious period of babyhood and live in it forever. But I know I can’t. He’s growing up, so fast, too fast, and one day he is going to leave us behind.

I felt all these emotions churning in me in those short fleeting minutes before I gently laid him down in his cot.

He will never understand this mix of feelings that burns in my mind every day. But that’s okay.

Because as his mother, my job is to nurture him and then let him go.

6 thoughts on “To the quiet chaos”

  1. “and then let him go”
    I want to learn this early so that I have more years to get used to the idea. Beginning with the end in mind 🙂
    Love the way you write, Yann. Hope Aidan’s sleep patterns get back on track soon.

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  2. Hey Yann, I battle with those same feelings too. It’s so ironic because things can get pretty frustrating when they are cranky and all, and yet you know you’ll always miss these moments of motherhood where you still get to cuddle and hold them to sleep. Btw, I think that’s the hardest thing for parents – letting go.

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  3. Beautifully written again! You put my jumbled thoughts into words. But I do think he’ll understand how you feel – the day he’s holding his own child. One day soon after battling with an inconsolable infant I called my mother, crying helplessly: “I just want my daughter to be happy!” – to which she replied: “So do I.”

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  4. love this. have been feeling the same way too lately. thank you for putting all these into words. i always tell my little man, “one day you will be holding another woman’s hand for the rest of your life, but for now, let mummy hold on to your hand for as long as i can”

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