Amnesia of Motherhood
Being a mom, all over again, experiencing like it was the very first time here, translated…
As I was having my firstborn son, I’d often asked my mother how she had, raised us, my mother always told me, “How was I supposed to remember something that happened thirty years ago?” Back then, it’d felt inequitable to me, “You must be joking right! How can you forget it?”, and still, after my younger son was born, I’d realized, that I’d, blamed her by mistake, because, I’d forgotten about, what had happened, six years ago.
I’d forgotten how trying it was, to get up every hour in the middle of the night to feed, forgotten how my arms would get muscular from holding on to my child, forgot how my older son would often spit out his milk, of how he’d had sores on his body, how he’d slowly gained back the weight he’d lost in illness, along with endless number of problems, I’d failed to remember, the anxieties from taking care of my child, how my time was sliced in half, how I’d always had endless number of household chores I needed to complete, and my constant arguments with my husband too………….
What’s worse was, my husband had totally forgotten about what happened back then too. He’d had communication difficulties with the nurses and doctors, plus in Taiwan, it wasn’t like in Poland with the midwives coming home to help the new parents with the forms, and so, he became, even MORE anxious than I was.
As I was tired, I’d thought to myself: I probably got pregnant with my second child, because I’m selectively forgetful. But, thankful for my selective forgetfulness, I’d given birth to my second child, and enjoy the ups and downs of taking care of my child as a “false first-time mom”.
This sort of “kinda new but not entirely new” feeling is very odd, when I was having my firstborn, I felt like I got a chance, to relive the childhood I never had before, with the chance of being an observer, “Oh, so, I was raised like this too, so, mom saying how hard I was to care for, wasn’t because I’d intentionally made it hard on them, but because that, is what infants do, it is, naturally, uneasy, taking care of children.” A lot of times, I felt like I saw myself on my children, including the sides of myself that I didn’t like…and so, I’d found myself, rejecting it, and couldn’t put my whole heart into looking after them.
As I had my second child, because I’d already experienced the hardships of raising my firstborn son before, although there was that temporary amnesia that set in, but, my body quickly remembered things, so, there wasn’t that sort of “I’m almost completely beaten” (like how the immune system told the virus, “I know you, I already developed the antibodies”!) which allowed me to calmly deal with a screaming, crying infant, to look after him with the role of a mother, to console him, to empathize with him, instead of yelling at this small, helpless creature I hold in my hands. What’s wonderful was, as I was doing this, I’d taken care of, consoled, and empathized with myself, and had more energy and time, to enjoy the blessings this newborn child had brought to me.
I’d thought, that being a mom already, I wouldn’t get too excited over what my newborn child did. But, like how that sense of fear is still very new, when my child opened up his eyes to look at me, when he’d smiled in his dreams, it’d still moved me a lot, like, it was, the very first time I’d experienced being a mom.
Maybe, I’d not actually, forgotten, how it was when I was a first-time mother, but my memories had, saved the moments worthy for me to recall, something that helps me out, and, all of those, harmful things were, filtered through, and, thrown out.
So, this, is how selective memories work, and, we are, most likely, to remember something that pleases us, than those moments we were hurt by, that, is how we are able to survive, and, this woman, after she had her second child, she’d experienced taking care of her newborn son like it was her firstborn, which had its benefits, because this second born child will get the amount of attention this mom gave to her firstborn, instead of the mother, having experienced raising a child before, and became more than likely, to let things slide with this second born son of hers.