My mum thanked me last night.

She babysat, and SHE thanked ME?!

She never taught my brother or me to self soothe.

We shared her bed.

We took our naps in her arms.

She breastfed till we naturally weaned . . . 

And one day, all of that came to an end.

One day, we turned into cranky and unruly teenagers who wanted to be with our friends over her.

And then even later on, one day we both got married and had families of our own.

Last night, my husband and I went out.

Not far. And we weren’t late.

But when we got back, I went upstairs and found my children asleep in my mother’s arms in the same way they fall asleep in my arms every night.

And in the same way my brother and I had fallen asleep in her arms every night.

They all looked so calm and peaceful.

I asked if she was OK, and she smiled through faint tears.

She thanked me for giving her these moments back.

These moments that she never imagined possible to experience again . . . she thought these days had well and truly passed.

She told me that no matter how hard she tries, she can’t remember the last time she held me.

She can’t remember my last feed.

She can’t even remember the last time that I climbed into her bed in the middle of the night asking her for a cuddle . . . 

But when she held her grandchildren to sleep, it gave her an emotional reminder of what it was like. How beautiful it felt. How special it was.

Because these moments won’t last forever.

Even though sometimes they feel like they will.

She told me how lucky I am that I get to do this every single night. And how fortunate I am that I get to do so for a little while longer.

I smiled. She is right.

Even on those long nights when I don’t believe that to be the case, I am most definitely lucky.

This post originally appeared on Mrs. Mombastic

 

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Kate Thornalley

I’ve worked with children for almost the entirety of my working life, including spending many years teaching in third world countries. I thought having worked with children from all across the board that I would have motherhood sussed. But I did not. I suffered with post natal depression after both births, and I decided one day that I would share my journey with other mums so that they would not feel alone. Alone in the same way that I did! No one should feel that way. The more I opened up, the more I learned that others felt the same. The more honest I was, the more other mothers would start to share with me, and in turn, the more normal I started to feel. I have two children: one 3 and a 1/2 and one 14 months. They are my world. I am also very lucky to have a supportive husband who works very hard to keep our family afloat. I would often feel like I had failed by having a child who did not want to go down to sleep, but I soon learned that many parents are in the same boat. I wanted others to know that it is very normal for this to be the case!