One of LM’s first words was “Mama” which he chanted constantly, until somewhere around 18 months, where his chanting turned to only consisting of “Daddy” and “Ball-ball.” “Mama” was reserved for the occasional outburst when I (the Mama) would stop LM from participating in such fun activities like trying to throw all of Daddy’s shoes in the bathtub or treating Mommy’s make-up like confetti at a party and stopping it from being thrown across the room. The sobbing “Mama” I hear now is just the beginning of the hundreds and hundreds of “But Mom!” I will hear down the road. I’m not particularly upset that I don’t hear “Mama” as much. I figure it makes sense for LM to yell “Daddy” around the house in search of Daddy while he is gone at work. I’m always a few feet away, so no need to call out “Mama.”
However, one morning after dealing with a particularly hurtful situation I mentioned in my last post the night before, I wasn’t much feeling up for being Mama. After a night of tossing and turning, I awoke to the chattering of LM in the other room. I dragged myself from out of the twisted covers and wandered into the kitchen to fill up a bottle of milk. I entered LM’s room with the milk offering in hand when LM perked up and with a big smile on his face and proclaimed: “Mama!”
“What did you say?” I was in disbelief.
I picked up that darling child and gave him a peck on his head. We walked into my room, I placed him on the bed and flipped on the TV. Most days I let him watch a show as I finish getting ready, but today I didn’t know how long we would lay on my bed watching Masha and The Bear, berating myself during the whole screen time process as being a bad Mom. (And here’s a great article concerning screen time for those who also feel shame when they sometimes let their kids watch a show or play with their phone or even worse for those who like to shame others for doing so.)
I closed my weary eyes, trying to block out feelings of discouragement and words that were said to make me feel small that echoed in my mind. LM dropped his bottle, climbed over the hills and valleys of blankets to me and rested his head on my shoulder and said in the most loving and sweet voice, “Mama.”
I got choked up. How did he know? I often wonder what goes on in that little boy’s brain and what he thinks about. But how did this little soul know the one word that would heal my hurting heart?
“That’s right baby boy, I’m your Mama,” I whispered through tears as I kissed his cheek. He snuggled into me and let me cuddle him for a few minutes, which is a rarity with this active boy.
I had heard from friends and even celebrities that motherhood had made them more confident. These proclamations hit my ears when I was drowning in the newness of a newborn. I was far from anything that looked like confidence in my exhausted and stressed state. However, the innocent love my little boy offers, no matter what size my jeans are, if I do my hair, no matter what my resume and accomplishments look like, I have to admit, it is empowering. I may never break more than 1000 likes on an Instagram photo or publish a book or be a CEO, but I am someone’s Mama and to me, that is something pretty amazing.