Yesterday was my mom's birthday and I realized that although I've mentioned her a few times, I have never given "Grammy" a proper spotlight. But since she just finished watching Mazzy for the entire week while we were on vacation, without even hinting at it being a hassle, I feel the need to give my mom her due.
Let me start by saying that the ability to accept my mother's help and guidance was not an easy one for me. I'm sure many mothers and daughters go through something similar when grandchildren enter the picture— it's a struggle to define your new roles and how they relate to one another.
Early on, my mom made it clear that spending time with her grandchild was more important to her than anything. So when Mike had to go away on business for a week when Mazzy was barely a month old, my mom eagerly volunteered to stay over and help me out.
Help out is putting it mildly. My mom became Responder #1 at every turn. Whenever Mazzy cried, my mother was immediately there to comfort her. Whenever there was the slightest hint of wetness, my mother rushed to change Mazzy's diaper. Whenever a sock slipped off, my mother made sure to slide it right back on to keep Mazzy's core temperature in check.
It pains me to say this but— it drove me out of my mind.
That week, instead of taking a much needed nap, I resisted my mom's help every step of the way, insisting over and over again that I could do it myself. Rolling my eyes at her diligence. Saying, "I got it" while turning a cold shoulder. Until finally, much to my horror, my mom broke down. And then because it is a sight I rarely see, I broke down too.
After many tears, we realized that our agendas were in complete conflict with one another. While I was trying to prove to my mom that I was capable of taking care of the baby on my own, my mom was trying to prove that she was indispensable so that I would feel it necessary to have her around.
It was a very intense event, that joint breakdown. Probably the biggest mother-daughter conflict we have had since I left home for college. But it taught lessons to us both. For my mom, she realized that she had to take a step back and let me be the parent. For me, I realized that even though I have always prided myself on my ability to forge my own path, when it comes to being a mom, it's pretty childish not to take advantage of the fact that I have an excellent example to follow. And I have now come to believe that only a rookie parent would turn their back on quality help.
Over the past year my mother has indeed proven herself indispensable. She has not only made herself consistently available to the baby, but she treats her in a way that I cannot replicate. She entertains, she spoils, she loves— she gives Mazzy every inch of her attention every second she is with her.
It is because of Grammy that I was able to leave Mazzy behind when we went on vacation last week. I knew I would miss the baby but I also knew that the baby would be just fine without me.
After all, she was in the hands of an amazing mother— MINE.