I meant to write a post about mother’s day last week but last week was quite a rough one for the family, with both kids and myself down with flu, culminating in a 39.7deg fever and a trip to A&E over the weekend to check out the ‘barking’ sound little man was making and his 6-day long fever.
The nurse at the registration area had diagnosed him to have stridor and I was quickly rushed to room 11 of KKH’s A&E where the emergency-emergency cases were given priority to be checked first. I had a brief moment to glance through half the list before it was taken away so that they could quickly examine Alex and I realised that his case was in the same list as those with ‘crushed finger/toes’ and we didn’t even have to pay first because the nurse explained that we could pay later should he not need to be admitted. The provisional diagnosis was acute laryngotracheobronchitis. My heart skipped a beat.
I had not slept much the night before I brought him to A&E – he was crying, writhing uncomfortably in bed from the high fever and I stayed up sponging him, trying to keep the temperature down. After the doctor checked his lungs, we were told that he was doing well (his case wasn’t considered acute after all – phew!) but he needed a blood test to check out that prolonged fever, which in the end indicated that he was fighting a virus. Strangely, his fever didn’t come back after the trip to hospital even though all he was given was paracetamol and something (which was a steroid, and hence only administered once by the hospital staff) for that strange barking sound . I was in any case, just simply relieved that he was fine, though he’s still coughing and has a slightly runny nose.
So, at the end of the whole episode, I was reminded of what it means to be a mother.
As I sponged my little boy in the stillness of the night, I recalled vividly how my mum used to do the same for me when I was a child.
And when I examine myself as a parent, I realise how my mum has influenced me in how I behave towards my children and what I do for them – whether it is to always cook their favourite food or always have a pot of nourishing soup on the dinner table, or be around to play with them and teach them.
It’s such a cliche but really, only after I became a mum, I found that I understood my mum a whole lot more. I understood how it pained her more to see me get hurt, her frustrations at times when I refused to listen and her happiness when she watched me grow into a person.
It really is so hard to be a mum – there are no off-days, you may have to work around the clock when called to duty, you are a milk dispenser and your boobs are jabbed at now and then followed by the all-too-familiar ‘I want milk milk’ refrain, you are the walking encyclopaedia and juke box, a bath (when you manage to get to bathe alone) is considered me-time, you worry about what their poo looks like, how many times they poo, or if they poo too often, too little or at all, you try to keep a straight face after being asked 23049509 questions in the day and still cook dinner and maybe make it through a bedtime story or two before you collapse in exhaustion, but on top of it all, you never ask for anything in return no matter how much you give (and you never seem to run out of love anyway).
But all that is worth it – when you see your children smile, when you see how their little bodies are nourished by your milk and the food you put on the table, when you hold their little hands and dance to a silly tune, when you hug their little bodies close to yours and watch that little angel fall asleep in your arms, when you hear that ‘I love you’, and when you get that spontaneous hug.
I know my little ones are worth it!
Have a happy Mother’s Day in advance!
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