My baby boy was a fussy one. For the first 4 months of his life, he cried constantly. He was every pediatrician’s typical “colicky baby,” a diagnosis that seemed to have no cure. I was a brand new mom who had just graduated college and had a hard time adjusting to a life within the four walls of our 800 square foot apartment.
The days were long. I would often go without a shower because the baby would wake up from his nap just as I was getting in. The dishes were always piled up, and I couldn’t wait for my husband to walk through the door so I could have a couple of minutes of solitude (And maybe even a shower!).
As hard as the days were, somehow the nights were harder. It seemed that the second my mind would fall asleep, the baby was wailing again— hungry.
It went on for several months, and I could feel the energy of my body deteriorating with every passing day.
I remember one night in particular. The baby had not slept longer than a few one hour stretches, and I was getting weaker and more tired as the night grew longer. In the hours of the early morning, I could feel my anxiety heighten and my frustration peak as I picked my baby up for what seemed like the hundredth time that night.
I was not cut out for this. My poor baby was so tired and so sad, and I felt like I couldn’t help him.
All I could do to stop myself from having a full-blown breakdown was sit on the little thrift store rocker in his nursery and sing lyrics of hymns I had learned at church.
I rocked and rocked and rocked for what seemed like hours, and I just let the tears stream down my face, praying that the baby would fall asleep soon.
In those moments of solitude and desperation, the clearest image entered my mind.
I pictured a young mother with dark hair. Perhaps she was rocking her baby on a similar rocker found from the thrift store. She was definitely humming, and definitely snuggling, and maybe she was feeling inadequate too.
She was my mom.
It was in that moment where I felt the most alone, that I somehow felt the most connected.
She must have rocked me to sleep when I was a baby. She must have cried tears of exhaustion. She must have understood exactly what I was experiencing.
As I was rocking my baby that sacred night, I discovered that motherhood isn’t isolating— it’s uniting.
And I’ve never been more grateful for my mom.
So Mom, thank you.
Briana is a stay-at-home mama to a busy one-year-old boy. When not wrangling her toddler, she’s probably eating Cafe Rio or watching The Office with her husband. Actually, she’s definitely doing both; and definitely at the same time. She can be found at @bribrooksy on instagram!
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