What is mother love?
Is it waking up to a mozzie buzzing by your ear and not swatting it away but rather patiently letting it bite you on the cheek because you realise that if it doesn’t bite you, it might pick your child instead.
Perhaps it’s feeding your child in the middle of the night, then having them spit up all over the bed and just deciding to lie in it and go back to sleep. Actually, having re-read this I’d say this is more like laziness.
Could it be wearing maternity bras. I don’t know how other ladies feel, but for me they rank as the most uncomfortable contraption second only to wetsuits. Although that could be because I’ve only ever worn one wetsuit and it was borrowed from a friend with a distinctly smaller frame than yours truly.
Maybe it’s staying in undies soaked in your child’s wee for half the day, unable to change because you’re feeding, changing, playing, cuddling and finally settling them. I defy any parent to say they made it through the nappy stage without wearing their child’s excrement at least once. I don’t care how fancy your nappy is, it’s a right of parental passage.
Mother love could be finally managing a meal at 2pm, so hungry you could eat your shoe, only to watch it go cold and stale as you feed your child for the fourth time that day instead.
It could also be defined as denial and self-sacrifice. Ie still not drinking and coming home early from parties while your husband stays and drinks beer and smokes (more) celebratory cigars. Yes, I can hear the sounds of the violin too.
Then of course there are those late night feeds, your tired eyes gritty and dry as you keep the lights off to lessen the pain and let your marsupial fossick about till it finds what it’s looking for. Just you and your peanut, her father snoring softly by your side, and you marvel at the creation feeding from your breast. You know you made her with the man you chose, that you nourished and protected her while she grew inside you. And now she’s here, thinking and dreaming, learning and smiling her happy grin, a smile that says ‘I know you, you keep me safe and I know the beating heart I hear when I lie on your chest is the same one I heard every day of my forty weeks and one day of growing.’
A heart that used to beat just for my family and friends, but has grown now, to unimaginable proportions, as it tries hold all the feelings I have for my child.
That’s mother love.