I was lucky enough to share my first almost-three years of motherhood with my mom, sort of. She had been sick for about a year before we found out we were expecting, and she only got worse as I progressed through my pregnancy and after my son was born. Regardless, she was the person I called with all my questions.
When they sent me home from the hospital and told me to give him Tylenol if he seemed uncomfortable, I called her because they never told me how much. And somehow, I just knew she would know.
When I wasn’t sure how to calm him down late at night, I called my mom. She told me how to hold him to calm his tummy.
When I needed to just get out of the house during my maternity leave, I headed to her house. She held him while I napped.
We knew she was sick, but we never prepared to lose her.
When I was 19-weeks pregnant with my second, God called her home. No one prepares you for the grief of losing a parent at 25. But everyone is quick to tell you how you should be grieving.
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I looked at this way . . . I had one job in the weeks following her passing—I had to be a mom. I had to be that for my 3-year-old and my sweet baby who hadn’t yet joined our world.
So that’s what I did. I continued to be a mom.
But I quickly realized how hard it was going to be—to be a mom, without mine.
When I had my second and third children, both girls, I still found myself thinking OK, what would mom do? Would she take them to the doctor? Would she wait it out? She would know if this cough was just a regular cold. She would know if I should be worried that Ty isn’t crawling at 10 months old. She would know what to do to help Noah with that stubborn constipation. She would know exactly the trick to get Noah to say “mama.” She would just know.
But she’s not here to tell me.
But you know who is? Everyone else.
I have found that being a mom without mine means I have to ask for help from someone who isn’t my mom.
I have to ask my mother-in-law for her suggestion even when I think she won’t have the answer I want to hear.
I will ask my boss what she did with her son who was constantly struggling with his tummy.
I will ask her teachers if I should be concerned about Ty’s late crawling, and I will just call the doctor and ask if her cough is normal.
I don’t have my mom to ask all of my mom questions, but I have so many people who will help me if I’m just willing to ask for it.
I’m here to tell you, just ask someone. Find your person or your people and just ask. Being a mom is hard enough, don’t be stubborn.
Your mom would probably tell you that too. I know mine would.
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They say it gets easier with time, and sometimes I think that. But then life hits me with another what would mom do, and I am back to thinking maybe not. I’ll never not need my mom. But I am learning every day that there are people in my corner to guide me through motherhood. And she’s with us. Probably rolling her eyes at the suggestions from my mother-in-law, but regardless, she’s here.