Taking a break away from the topic of depression, this is a tale based on a dear friend.
Have you ever seen a mother so frustrated with her child, a screaming, crying child and a frustrated mother not knowing what to do, she maybe yelling, she maybe dragging the child, and you wonder what the hell is going on. Have you ever thought, that’s not what I would do, that’s not how I’d handle the situation. It’s easy to judge a situation from the outside looking in but maybe let’s take a walk with the situation, with the mother and her shoes, with her situation.
We work together at a preschool, spending majority of our time teaching young, not always eager minds, but not just teaching them, we feed them, we take them to the loo, we change them, we watch over them when they play, we are like day time mothers. It is a tiring job, when I come home, I look forward to some quite time, some bliss, a nice drink and silence. That is a luxury I have, because I am not a mother.
But my colleagues lead a more tiresome life, they are mothers, and after an exhausting day with students they come home and resume they real job, the more important one, being a mom. Work is like a break a way for them.
One day after work I had accompanied my friend home, she wanted me to cook for her, a traditional Indian curry. I love cooking, I love curry and I love her so I was up for it. We left school together, drained from the day. She didn’t know what to expect from her little one, would he be a ball of sunshine or would he be a little demon, she took a deep breath and entered the school we had to pick him up from. He came down the stairs and gazed at us suspiciously; almost as if to say, what do they want? We had to coax and encourage him a bit before we could get him out of the school; eventually we all left the school. A tired mother and a tired drained little son, have to make a long walk home. We were in for quite a trip. He started walking tepidly at first then faster, then he was running and she was running behind him. Eventually she had to carry him across the road and that’s when it started, the little one was too frustrated and started his little tantrum. He sat on the pavement in tears, and the tired mom had to try everything from walking away hoping he would follow, to eventually having to pick him up. Now she is a petite woman and he is a chubby baby who resisted being picked up. He slapped at her, screamed and squirmed. Eventually we made it down to the subway station. Mother exhausted, child frustrated, and he sat on the floor once again, the mother too tired to carry him, eventually dragged him to walk, which he resisted, a kind stranger eventually helped out and carried him up the stairs for us. Bless the mercy of kind strangers.
Finally we were in the bus and both mother and child could breath and gather themselves. Isn’t it so easy to judge from the outside, we would do it different? But when you actually in the situation, you see the frustration, exhaustion, challenges, it’s too real to judge. My friend loves her son dearly and is a fantastic mother, after her ordeal of getting the little one home she made sure he was happy and not angry at her, she made sure he was clean and fed and relaxed. I felt a bit useful being able to cook for them, give her a little breathing space. At dinner she sacrificed all her meat for him, the child can eat like a man! She fed him first before she could eat even though she was starving! She made all the little sacrifices a mother makes for a child, even after he gave her a very difficult time she still only showed love and concern, because he was her child. I was touched by her motherly ways. I will never judge a mother and child again, because we truly don’t know from the outside what either are going through.
After the day was over, I was tired and made my way home. My dear friend still had to see to her son and make him sleep and tidy up her house. I once again had the luxury of just getting myself home and relaxing before another day at the grind. I left her apartment and for a moment I thought I had forgotten my sunglasses, I opened my handbag and saw she had put my sunglasses in my bag. Now that is a mother, I had thought with a smile. .