The curious thoughts of a mum in the night
I was lying awake the other night (as I often do) due to my ‘bat ears’ (as my husband calls them) because as a mum, I hear everything.
Every little cough, sniff and rustle. Nothing escapes the attention of my special mum senses. When we fall pregnant, our senses become super sensitive and this then follows through into motherhood.
I was thinking it’s a bit like a Spidey sense.
(My most creative thinking often occurs in the night. It wouldn’t be in an everyday moment that I would compare myself to Spiderman. I don’t even like spiders)
Alone with my thoughts in the dark, my creative brain decided to whirr around comparing how Mums are a bit like superheros with magic powers, or at least, special senses.
You hear a tiny noise and your brain, programmed like some kind of Metahuman, springs to life, alert to a possible need for action.
I remember back to a very early Superman film, with Christopher Reeves; a little boy had fallen into Niagara Falls. I vaguely remember Lois shouting “Superman, help!”.Superman, with bat ears like me, heard the cries from a long distance and rushed to the rescue.
You experience the ‘is the baby still breathing panic’. We’ve all been there.
Our Mum senses keep us awake, listening to the breathing (and grunting and snoring) of our little babes. Then God forbid, if we don’t hear the breathing, we kick into action and physically have to check.
We are awake almost 24 hours a day feeding anyway, so what’s the difference.
Then there is our impeccable sense of smell; trained to smell a ‘Stinky Poo Bum’ from a distance far greater than any other household member.
We can walk into a room, and know the act has been committed.
It’s not just our ability to hear and smell everything, either.
Our other talents include: making dinner from an almost bare fridge; a kiss that makes bumps and scratches better; and the ability to read minds.
You know every little look on your child’s face and what it really means.
Nowadays, I even have Superman style X-ray vision (with the help of my video monitor gadget).
There is no fooling this Momma. I know when you are messing around in your room instead of sleeping.
The exception to our amazing powers occurs when our babes are poorly. Somehow this messes with our Chi, and we find ourselves confused and worried about what they are actually feeling.
We wish they could tell us exactly what the matter is…
Do they need a doctor, or is it just another virus that will pass? Is it a cough or a chest infection? We have a good idea, but it’s just not as clear cut.
Unless you are a doctor, you have to give into the fact that your senses just might not figure this one out.
And then of course, the other thing sent to scupper us is Kryptonite.
By Kryptonite I mean, sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation is the equivalent of Kryptonite to Mums. The most powerful dis-abler of all.
You know what happens to Superman when Kryptonite is nearby, don’t you?
His powers fail him. He is often rendered unable to even string a sentence together. Cowering on the floor, weak to his very core; desperately trying to find the strength to get to someone’s rescue.
That’s us Mums -Desperately trying to find the strength to see to the needs of our child, despite the crippling power of the evil force.
So, as I lay awake, I figured that some of our powers are in fact, our very downfall.
Our Spidey sense, Batman ears and a nose like Scooby doo, mean that our rest is inhibited by the privilege of hearing every tiny noise, or even worse, not hearing a noise!
Thankfully, what we do have in spades is resilience. We have given birth. Therefore we have more resilience than you can throw a stick at. (Or more appropriately measured, a rainforest).
This kind of resilience lasts and lasts through all the tortures thrown your way.
Resilience, that won’t flounder in the depths of sleep deprivation.
Because for Wesley, through it all, ‘True Love’ drove him.
It powered his resilience. It kept him going.
It saved his life.
That night I concluded, that despite my inability to sleep, and delusional tiredness, ‘True Love’ will get us all through, eventually.
I can’t promise it will be without pain or an acute sense of smell. There will be core crushing tiredness and worry like no other.
But your Spidey sense will serve you well on the course of True Love, for that’s what Motherhood is all about.
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Photo credit: Superman Jtswatkins / Photobucket ; The Princess Bride - Night2wander, Photobucket