A detour from my own reflections, one of my dearest friends is caring for her first and he is sick. It brought back so many memories for me and inspired this post.
Dear Mom of a sick baby.
It’s his first cold. You are exhausted. I know. I know you are up all night just after you finally thought maybe you would start to sleep better and feel better. You thought you knew the meaning of tired. You thought you knew the meaning of laundry. And now he’s sick.
You are doing a great job.
You are the best mom in the world.
Because when he cries, you are there. When he tries to nurse but can’t breathe and pulls off and hurts you and then cries again because he’s hungry, you are there. You are loving, you are warm, you are safe.
You are teaching that sweet baby that you will always be there. That you will always calm him down. That you will always hold him when he’s scared. That no matter what the mess looks like or smells like, you will clean him up. That you are his safe place.
And when he grows, and he gets hurt, he will call for you. When he is teased, he will know you are safe. When he gets scared from a nightmare, he will know you are there and everything will be alright. You are teaching him love.
You are amazing.
I know there are washcloths and tissues and you don’t know which are yours and which are his, which are from sneezing and which are from the moment you lost your cool and just sat and sobbed with exhaustion.
I know your back hurts and your arms hurt and your legs hurt and your feet hurt because you have to carry him all day. Don’t put him down, or he will cry and be scared again. I know he won’t go to anyone else. I know he only slept for one 15 minute nap and is overtired.
You thought your house was messy but tomorrow you would tidy. You thought you could get the garbage out in the morning. But now you are holding a sick baby and there is nothing you can do. Nothing you can accomplish. Nothing but hold him. Clean him, feed him, rock him, and pray.
I know you are incredible. You are his mom. You want to call your mom and cry and beg her to come and rescue you because you think you can’t do this. That’s because that is what moms do. You are doing it. You are inspiring me.