Apr 2, 2011
This is the last of the Mum’s the Word series on Oomphalos, and after reading about what it means to several different mums/moms – from around the world, including London, Chicago, Los Angeles, Lima, and Dubai – who have children ranging in age from toddlers to adults, I wanted to save these two mothers for last.
Both of these mums are very special to me for different reasons. The first mother – my sister – is the most amazing mother. She has devoted herself entirely to being there for her two teenage girls, and the girls know it. I can’t imagine anything she wouldn’t do for them.
The second mother, whom I met at a mums and babies yoga class, is one of my greatest friends and is always there for me and my son. Prior to my little prince and I taking an extended trip to the US, she asked our friends to contribute photos of themselves and their little ones so she could create a book for us to take with us. This book means the world to me, and love pours out of it every time I open it.
And when my son was in the hospital recently, she called and texted at least once every hour to check on us. She brought us toys, food, enough chocolates to last a lifetime (or at least three weeks with my addiction to the cocoa bean), an iPad and heartwarming words in cards. A few weeks later, she helped organise a surprise dinner for me to pay tribute to my strength and optimism during my son’s time in the hospital. There we were – more than a dozen girlfriends – celebrating being mothers, laughing and perhaps drinking a bit too much wine. As I sat next to her, watching her smile at her craftiness in organising this fête, I could only think of how lucky we all are to have her in our lives. Her daughter Carmen is so fortunate to have her for a mother, as is the little fella in her belly.
Being a mother means absolutely everything to me. I know that probably sounds too simple. But, it kind of is that simple to me. There isn’t one thing in this entire world that matters more to me than having the privilege of being the mother to Anessa and Cameryn. I consider it an honor to be called their mom.
I find so hard to tell you in words what being the “mami” of Carmen means to me. She is my happiness, my spirit that always fights against any small adversity that happens on a daily basis at work or outside work. Spending time with her before and after work and during weekends is the most rewarding part of my life right now, as well as spending time with my husband who is always with us and luckily he enjoys her as much as I do.
I realise now that you only know how to be a mother after your baby is born. I had to learn how to feed her in so many ways depending on her stage of growth, look after her when she got sick, put her to bed when she was tired, sing to her, play with her, laugh with her, be away from her, to comfort her when she was hurt or was feeling upset, learn how be patient in those times when tantrums were putting me at the limit, be there for her no matter that it was the middle of the night and sacrifice so many little things I always took for granted before she came to our world.
It is difficult to be a “mama” and you do not know how difficult it is until you try and find your own balance that makes everyone in the family happy. Being organised with myself and also with Carmen has been the greatest challenge. I could not do it without the help of my husband and of our greatest helpers, Nancy.
Being a good mother, a good spouse and still keeping a full-time job has been tough at times in London without our families nearby and especially when Carmen had to be admitted to hospital when she was only 18 months. I am not sure if I could go through an experience like that again but the truth is that experience as a mother makes you stronger too and that is something that our children give us without us really noticing. Carmen has made me a lot stronger. Even when she had an almost 40°C temperature and I wanted to cry, I did not because I did not want her to see me sad. Carmen has seen me crying once in almost four years. I always try to protect her but at the same time I do not want her to live in a bubble and think that I am always going to be there next to her. Life can be cruel at times and puts us in unpleasant situations. I want her to be strong and mature so she can grow with good values, and I try to be the best role model for her. Thanks Carmen for making me smile every day. Love you so much.