Mystery Lane

Mystery Lane

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thankless Job

The other night I was talking on the phone with a fellow mommy, and we were discussing how amazing it is to be a parent but also what a thankless job it is.  I think we have all heard that line about being a parent is the most thankless job in the universe, but until you become a parent you just don’t realize it.  Our conversation got me thinking about why we are so happy to do this thankless job. 
I’ll never forget the moment when Jackson was a couple of weeks old and I put him down in his crib for a nap and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  LOVE.  I realized I loved that little baby so much my chest physically hurt.  It was such a different kind of love, totally raw and painful, but beautiful.  I realized then how much my parents loved me and then it hit me, GUILT.  I sent my Dad a card in the mail that day apologizing for every mean thing I ever said or did to him.  I had an all new appreciation of him and all the memories I had of growing up. 
So is it love that entices us on the journey of parenthood?  I don’t think so.  You can’t really imagine that love until the baby is born.  It’s definitely love though that keeps us going through the journey of parenthood.  Here are some mind boggling examples of my love for Jackson:
Puke:  I have been puked on more times than I can count at this point.  I’m not talking spit-up people, I’m talking chunky puke.  And I have the stained clothing to prove it!  There have been days where even I smell like puke and I just have quit caring.  There’s always the chance that I have a huge stain of puke on me that I don’t even see until I go out in public.  In fact, if I don’t have some kind of puke debris on me I start feeling naked.  I’m like “Where’s the puke?”  Jackson’s puking is thankfully getting better and I am overjoyed at the thought of new clothes (for me).
Poop:  Ahhhh the ultimate proof that you love someone is when you clean up their poop.  Jackson thinks there is some kind of tug of war option when you are changing his poopy diaper.  You go right, he goes left, you try and lift his butt up and he pushes it down, you try to hold him still, he tries to roll.  You would think he would be like “oh good, Mommy is going to get this stuff off me.”  Instead he is like “I am under attack!  I must fight for my life!”  But that in no way compares to when he is enjoying his morning naked time on the floor in front of the fireplace when he decides it’s time to go.  There’s no bigger proof of love than cleaning up a baby who has rolled in his poop and rolled and rolled and rolled! 
Obstinance:  All children are obstinate.  My little late bloomer Jackson is just now starting to show this side of his personality.  Since he can’t communicate through words he communicates through actions.  His new thing is pushing you away with his right hand/arm.  You try to wipe his face and he grabs the towel and pushes you away as hard as he can while I try to push as hard as can to get to the face.  Wiping his nose?  Forget it.  This one involves movement of the whole body – the head is going in every direction, the arm is pushing you away, the body is writhing in raging motion.  At that point a parent really has to decide how important a booger nose is.  Sometimes Jackson doesn’t want to go anywhere.  He of course only lets you know this when you are trying to put him in his car seat.  This is when you discover that Jackson is freakishly strong.  If he doesn’t want to go in his car seat, he arches his whole body and screams.  When he is really against it, it is nearly impossible to get him to bend his body.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  Obstinate or not, I love that freakishly strong kid.
I haven’t mentioned all the other reasons I must really love Jackson.  Things like months of sleepless nights, the demons possessing his body during teething, the unexplained seemingly endless crying, his piercing screams (the kid has a set of lungs), and his shoving and kicking if he doesn’t want me near him. 

Thankless job?  You betcha.  But there is also a saying "Parenting is an investment that has the biggest returns."  At Jackson's age of 2 years, 8 months Kevin and I have reaped the equivalent of $130 million dollars in our returns.  And I didn't even have to buy a lottery ticket. 


  1. Hi I've just been following your blog now for a little over a week my daughter also has unilateral polymicrogyria a diagnosis gaven to us about 10 months ago she is a beautiful little girl aged 21 months who also suffers from epilepsy and hemiplegic cerebral palsy, your blog is the first refreshing thing i've found on the net amongst all the gloom keep up the good work and your son is a little cutie as is my wee daughter.
    I hope that Jackson is still sz free Aine has been sz free now for nearly 6 months :)
    I will be following your blog with much interest and as i've said before keep up the good work.

  2. You're a good writer and very funny. I also am a fellow Guild School Mom--My son Max is two and a half. I've seen Jackson before and thought he was one of the CUTEST boys I've ever seen : ) I bet this blogging is therapeutic for you. I know that we Moms, especially Moms of special needs children, can feel lonely sometimes and it just feels good to "let it all out". I'll keep reading!