Thank God for Dirty Dishes
By Sabine Alphonse Chalhoub
January 31, 2020
As a first-time mother of an eight-month-old baby, I certainly have a long road to travel before I acquire sufficient experience to write about the secrets of motherhood. Nonetheless, there is one thing I have grasped and that is, the endless effort required. Being a mother can definitely be very tiring and draining! But I learned that nagging gets you no where, and that despite all the long days and sleepless nights, there’s no other feeling in the world that can even compare to that of being a mother.
Life was good… I was a newly wed; married to the man I love… I was definitely on cloud number nine. After two months of marital bliss, I got pregnant. I must admit, I was initially overcome with feelings of fear and anxiety, but soon after, my mind and my heart were filled with hope and anticipation. I began occupying myself with all the necessary preparations in an attempt to avoid the big questions: Am I ready? Am I fit to be a mother?
The nine months weren’t all smooth sailing; there were many bumps along the way. Where the issue of food and weight control were concerned, well, I was eating without pause! Despite my doctor’s recommended ideal and maximum weight gain of 9 and 12 kilos respectively, my increasingly scary appetite didn’t heed the advice of anyone! It was in control and I dared not argue.
Months five, six and seven passed without a glitch and by the eighth month I was pretty big. But it was consoling to know that much of this ballooning effect was attributed to swelling rather than, simply put, food. The mere sight of my feet was a fright! In a failed attempt, my dearest friends tried to tell me that I looked fine, yet, their facial expressions clearly said otherwise.
Month nine. Now I was really starting to panic. It was going to be any day now… any day! Only one week into my final month, my water broke in the middle of the night and I was rushed to hospital. Fifteen hours, fifteen agonizing hours, later, my arms were wrapped around my beautiful baby and even though this may sound like a cliché, the whole nine months were suddenly forgotten.
My baby boy is now eight months old and what are some of the things that I have learned? Olive oil is good for baby’s skin, sterilizing bottles is a must, getting used to sleepless nights comes naturally, changing diapers can smell good and that sometimes when he’s crying, I should just let him. “It will open up his lungs,” they say. But the greatest lesson of all is the importance of believing in myself! I discovered that everyone was right. I can do it. Motherhood is instinct.
Every day brings with it a new experience, a new discovery, a new hidden talent of mine. And however exhausted I might feel, however many dishes I clean or dirty laundry I wash, the joy that constantly fills my heart takes me to a new level of being and gives me a new perspective on life. Today, when I see dirty dishes, I see them as evidence that God has been very good to me; he has blessed me with the gift of motherhood…
And those little tiny feet, the small button nose, the silky skin and that innocent smile constantly remind me that it’s those little things that mean a lot.
To all the mothers out there, enjoy your well-deserved day.
Happy Mother’s Day. I’m so excited, it’s my first!