I am the Mama

I am the Mama

Who tenses her shoulders too often

Who makes Kraft mac-n-cheese for dinner when her husband works late

And, when catching her reflection in the kitchen window,

Notices her slumped posture and eye creases where sleep deprivation hides

I am the Mama

Who sleeps with a baby at my breast

And another far down the carpeted hall

In a crib, sadly away from my warmth

And who wishes that both were next to her and yet both nestled

Together sweetly in a Queen sized bed (for they will be Queens)

I am the Mama

Who refuses to be the doler of constant No’s

And yet finds herself giving silent Yes’s in surrender

Or perhaps in dejection or apathy

I am the Mama

Who catches the glance of her youngest

Staring in silent awe, or curiosity, or questioning, or love

And cannot stop the smile from curling my lips

At such purity, with gratitude as deep as the mother ocean

I am the Mama

Who is singed by the fiery instincts of her oldest

A siren leading me to mysterious depths, places yet unknown

A shape shifter; part muse, part mischief

I am the Mama

Who has to stop everything

And lay in child’s pose

Or strike a half-assed Warrior pose

Because I am crumpled like junk mail

After eighteen straight hours of this gig

With only the proteins of cheese and fiber of bagels

and antioxidants of chocolate churning in my belly

I am the Mama

Who alternates between Damn Good and a Damn Mess

Or maybe just a Damnsel in Distress

Who looks forward to bath time with my daughters

So I can slip into the arms of warm water and soak up droplets of Sweet Almond oil

And have an excuse to not move for twenty minutes

And giggle so loud it echoes on fiberglass shell of the shower

I am the Mama

Who nourishes one with divine potion from my breast and one

With my hands chopping or smearing or slicing or stirring

Who would give a kingdom for a king bed

And three days of straight sleep

And a reason to wear faux crocodile skin stilettos again

I am the Mama

Who lives this life in ETA’s

Because I cannot promise a time for arrival

Or even get within a thirty minute timeframe

Which reminds me that being a mama

Is all about minutes, must make it through one minute

I’ll be there in a minute, just wait a minute

One more minute until the food is ready

Please sit in quiet time for two minutes

I’ll be back in just a minute

Mama needs a minute, damnit

One more minute of this and I will surely explode

Please let this minute stop, frozen in time

So I can always remember how she looks

And feels as she holds on to me in this very minute

I am the Mama

Who is maniacal about naps and bedtimes

And leaves food to wilt on the counters

Who eats no meat but swears by chocolate

The darker, the richer, the better

like our true selves during the new moon, living in shadow

I am the Mama

Whose heart is noble and muscles stretched from birth

Whose mortality shifts between worlds

Who can’t tell where emotions stop and words begin

And craves alone time like a vampire craves blood

I am the Mama

Who can’t focus on one task

And would much rather do many things in mediocrity

Than accomplish one thing with the perfection of

Butter dripping from a cob of corn

I am the Mama

Who is convicted about conscious parenting, gentle learning, and abundance of hugs

But open to having my arm twisted

When more convenient options present themselves

(like blogging and shopping and stalling the laundry pile and squelching the scream)

But who refuses to rule by fear or fist

I am the Mama

Who believes I will have everything I will ever need in this moment

And who wants to cut up Patience into tiny squares

And toss her into the flames of the Phoenix

And turn my back upon her wisdom, for betraying me so many times

I am the Mama

Who, from the door of the room, stares at the infant lying in her bed atop the pillow

And remembers that child was within her womb six months ago

And she was standing in the same doorway, waiting, waiting, waiting

And can intensely feel how this child is part of her, breathing now outside of her

And who notices how strange it is to see your soul in physical form

Atop a pillow

I am the Mama I never thought I’d be

And the one I’d always hoped for

I am this Mama



16 Comments Add yours

  1. this was so cool… I loved the minutes bit. That is my life.

    Beautiful, singsongy words, as are you.

  2. Doulala says:

    My king sized bed is always available to you, Beautiful Mama!

    I loved this.

  3. janistan says:

    Beautiful, fun and true. Loved this!

  4. Chelsea says:

    Love it! As I sit and read this , I have just nursed Sam to sleep and he is sprawled in my bed as I listen over the monitor to Rosie in her crib try desperately to avoid napping. I am procrastinating cleaning the house, doing the laundry, etc in order to read my fellow mama blogs and relish in that simple connection we all share… thanks for making me smile, and making my procrastination seem worthwhile…

  5. daisybones says:

    Oh, my Goddess! I’m a hair’s breadth from tears already from whateverdailystressmomstuffwifestuff and this is threatening to FLOOD me with tears. This is beautiful. You are beautiful!

  6. Joanna says:

    Oh Leigh, this is perfect. The ‘minutes’ part is so entirely true, so poetrically so, I wish to type this whole piece out and read it every day. You remind me of it all, all that encompasses being a Mama. That part – wow – that encapsulated me. You are gifted. (Hugs)

  7. Ninotchka says:

    Food for the soul!

    My favorite part:

    I am the Mama

    Who alternates between Damn Good and a Damn Mess

    Or maybe just a Damnsel in Distress

    ha ha – I know that feeling exactly!

  8. Megan says:

    I loved this. T’is true, this “minutes” thing! Can’t wait to see you next week!

  9. marybeth says:

    You ARE the mama. That’s right. Word.


  10. that was amazing and beautiful and delicious! i loved it, especially the part about the minutes. so. very. true.

  11. Liesl says:

    You are truly one of the best Mama writers I know, Leigh. I don’t get a chance to stop by often, but when I do, I always read and think, “Wow, this is one together Mama!”

    At my son’s Waldorf school we talk about how the Angel Babies peek over the clouds and choose their parents. (Sometimes I wonder why my kids chose me, but anyway..) Your daughters knew exactly what they were doing when they chose to be born to you!

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  12. Marie says:

    Ah… SO beautiful and perfect. I love your words. They inspire me to be the mama I want to be.

  13. Camille says:

    Hi–this if my first time here and I’m so happy I stopped by when I did…this is wonderful and just exactly what I needed to read at exactly this moment. Thank you!

  14. Megan says:

    Gorgeous Leigh, just like you!

    If you don’t mind, I’m printing this and hanging it over Gabriel’s changing table, where I’ll read it often and where I most need it.

Show Some Love

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s