It has been a while since Mama wrote to you. I’m sorry.
The past few months have been a roller coaster ride of emotions. With the house renovation in full gear, Mama had little or no time for you. I only wanted to make sure our first house was perfect. It will be, in any case, a new chapter in our lives. During this period, Mama became lost in her own world. I left you with Popo on most of the weekends so that I could pop over to the new flat to check up on the renovation works. At the same time, Mama dropped by to say hi to neighbours already staying there. Soon, Mama started to love freedom, the thought of doing whatever things I want, at my own pace, at my own time. Something I haven’t done in a year, after you were born.
With this in mind, Mama became impatient. I wasn’t the “good” mother anymore, all I hope is for you to sleep so that I can start doing the things I like. The antics that once made me laugh now became a sign of your naughtiness & disobedience. I started scolding you at the slightest “mistake” – falling down while inside your playpen, tearing up magazines, spitting out your food, grinding your teeth, sucking your fingers etc. What happened to me?
And everytime after scolding you (till you cried yourself to sleep), I felt remorseful. Guilty. Then I told myself never to do it anymore. But the cycle continued after that. I was the Monster Mama I never wanted to be. I couldn’t help it. I was too stressed & you were, sad to say, a channel for me to de-stress. I specifically remembered I scolded you in the middle of the night for wanting to drink milk. I was crazy. What was wrong with a toddler wanting milk? Yes, tooth decays & cavities. And guess what, you were crying or fussing not because you wanted milk, you just needed comfort. Gosh. I am a bad mother. The next day, instead of apologizing, I scared you for grinding your teeth. You were frightened, I can see. You cried & screamed & ran around the playpen. You wanted me to stop but I continued. I didn’t know what I was doing. As usual, you sobbed in my arms after that & slept.
I hated myself. I knew I had to change. I prayed. I asked for forgiveness. I needed strength & peace.
Alhamdulillah. Little by little, I began to see the joy of looking after you again. The way you lean on Mama when I showed you how Ducky “peed” in the bathtub, the way you tilt your head & smile everytime I do the same. Even when you spit out your food, I stopped scolding. I started thinking why. Was it because it was too bland? Did you hate chicken? Was the broccoli too hard? We started singing silly songs & I can see you enjoyed yourself. Your laughter is so infectious.
Sometimes when Mama has a breakdown & started to cry, you crawled over & looked me in the eye & patted me. It was as if you were saying, “Don’t worry Mama, Sarah is here.” It just melts my heart. I became stronger, better all because of you.
Sorry Sarah, for all the things Mama did to make you cry. I pray it won’t happen again.
People always say a mother’s love is priceless, yes, I agree, but it’s priceless only because my child taught me how to love unconditionally.