I've always relied very heavily on my mother's advice and support, even though she hasn't always been spot on. Like when she insisted that I go to a very expensive college which caused me to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. Thanks mom. But she has been a tremendous help to me once Isabella was born.
She moved from New York to New Jersey to be close to us so she could watch Isabella while I worked and so that she could be part of her first grandchild's everyday life. Those first few months where I was a walking, talking zombie, well a crying zombie, she stepped up. She would come over and take shifts so I could rest, or cry some more in my bedroom. She let Isabella sleep over so Andy and I could enjoy a date night and sleep in. She'd stay over late so I could prepare dinner. She came with us to the mall, food shopping, for pictures just so I would have an extra set of hands to help out.
Then she got cancer and everything changed. Aside from dealing with that whole situation I found myself without any help. In the summer when I'm off and Andy was working it was just me and Isabella. Now I realize that many people have done this from the get go, but I didn't. I never had to; I always had help.
I was scared the first time I had to drive a long distance with her in the car and the first time we had to go grocery shopping alone, but staying in the house all day is no good for any of us. I get bored, she gets bored, no one is happy. I'm all about the day trips. So I did it. I was nervous and there may have been a meltdown or two, but I did it. I landed on my own two feet.
I blossomed as a mother. I learned to do it by myself. To wait out the tantrum while waiting in line to pay for groceries, so what if the old hag in the next aisle is giving me the stink eye, I've seen worse. To go to the pool without an extra set of hands to carry sippy cups/tubes/sunscreen/snacks/and pool toys. To load her into the car drive an hour into Brooklyn to spend the day with a friend who is expecting.
I can do it without anyone's help. I can manage the house and the baby and the day to day activities that need to be done by myself. And while I hope my mom has a speedy recovery from surgery, I am hoping that for unselfish reasons. I want her to get well but not because I need her to help me.