You are assumed to be, all mother, all nurturing, all seeing, all understanding, all wise, ... all of a sudden!
The reality is, you are terrified, the first time this small being is thrust into your arms.
Or you demand to have the small being thrust into your arms. Because, often, back in the day, you were not given that little bundle of being, to hold or contemplate.
'It' was often whisked away, presumably, for your 'own good'.
'It' may have been returned, bloody still, or swaddled, tightly, or simply swept away, while you were told it had to be put into the incubator, or - even worse- intensive care.
Which would seem to indicate you were a monster of a mother, because your baby required 'extras'.
Therefore you were a failure, right from the beginning.
Luckily for me, I was never subjected to that, although, the birth of my daughter, (my last child) was a somewhat fraught affair, with no theatre available for her delivery. She was in fact, delivered in a side Labour Room, with no pain relief, & b*gger all attendants.
Almost 16 days late, & after 3 false alarms.
She began to cry, long before her body appeared. The Doctor declared, that whatever 'it' was, 'it' had a good set of lungs, when the little head appeared, & wailed loudly, in protest. When she was finally all present, she was being whisked away, being hidden from me. I demanded to hold her, & on inspecting her, I found a small 'oddity' beside an ear. Of course, I was dreadfully upset. She was my longed for daughter. I felt she was perfect. But what about???....
I was assured, it was nothing, a minor 'extra'. Easily fixed.
Of course, I felt a failure. I was so torn about the 'extra'. Which, really was nothing, a small extra easily removed when she was 11 months old, & no scar, & no damage.
But I still racked my brain, as to what I could have done to 'cause' the extra. I was assured over & over, it was nothing I had done or 'caused'.
It was around the Thalidamide scandal. I had avoided all drugs, during pregnancy. I refused all medications. I was lucky in that my only sickness, was tea (yes the drink, plain old Indian Tea) induced, & once I had eliminated drinking tea, from my diet, I never suffered again.
When I was about 13 or 14,
I decided my mother had not 'Taken Good Care Of Me'.
I had suffered a trapped & torn ankle due to it's being caught in the spokes of her bicycle. I still have the scar to this day.
My Mother had to cycle to the local village for supplies, & her bike had a wooden seat fitted to the back of the cycle. I was duly strapped into the seat & taken along. I remember most vividly the wild roses & the Honey suckle vines that grew in the banks along the country road to the village.
I don't, however, remember the actual tearing of my ankle.
Then, she left me with a neighbour, who had a son younger than I. The neighbour was a very nice & kind young woman, as near as I can remember, but once, I rode the beautiful Rocking Horse she had, & fell, & cut my lower lip, my two lower teeth piercing the flesh, beneath my lip, a scar which also remains to this day.
I was then convinced I must be a 'clumsy child'. I had reinforcements to that effect, with remarks. I do remember crying, because I could not close my mouth to eat my tea. A dim memory of my father being very kind about the cut lip.
I later, -or earlier??- had a finger shut in a car door, almost severing the top of my ring finger on my left hand. My fault, I was told, because I left my finger in the wrong place.
A following, hideous rip, to the middle finger of my right hand, which needed stitching, but was never given any treatment beyond a ratty bandage by an impatient Doctor, who was closing his surgery. Sad but true. Not my mother's fault.
But of course, in teenage bitchery, I blamed her.
I am ashamed now, to admit I accused her of "Not looking after me! Not taking care of me!"
When my own children came along, the inevitable accidents happened.
My son drank turpentine, under my nose as he climbed up, & grabbed the container. How guilty did I feel over that! Rotten mother!!
My son's finger cut off at the top joint. Being told it would be amputated. Absolute horror.
It was saved, & a skin graft avoided, but I remembered my mother, & how accusatory I had been.
My daughter landed on a glass, cutting her foot really badly. We rushed her to hospital for emergency treatment. Five years later she was having an operation to remove glass from her foot. Guilt.
My daughter broke her thumb, when a window crashed onto her hand. The sashing had rotted & she sat screaming until she managed to free herself. Guilt. We had not heard her, then the Hospital set it incorrectly! Bastards. Guilt, even though it was not my fault.
I look at my daughter today. I think the midadventures of her daughter were nowhere near as prolific. I think she has been a good mother. To both her children.
Our children have had other mishaps, accidents, in the long years since. Somehow we never stop feeling resposible. We never stop feeling, "Did we take Proper Care"??
I think at the end of the day, I can say, "I did it all to the best of my ability."
Who can do more.
We have had our aircon serviced. Yay!! we have warm air!! How good it feels after the cold days we have been having.
Who knows, tomorrow I may be sewing again!!