I am about leave Israel and travel abroad until the end of August. My eldest daughter Eden is seven months pregnant. Wow, I’m going to be a grandmother!!! She is due to give birth in September. I have planned everything so that I will be able to arrive and be present during the birth, and support her in the days after. I know from my own experience, how fun and convenient it is to have your mother around to help.
A mother who knows. Who helps give the baby the first bath. After all, it’s terrifying to bathe a baby for the first time. I remember the feelings; they are “washing” over me right at this moment as I write these words (no pun intended). I was afraid I would break the baby. I was afraid I would drop him, or God forbid, suffocate him. Or that maybe the water wouldn’t be at the right temperature.
So many thoughts pass through the mind of a young mother! And what does the baby want when he is still crying even after he has eaten and slept and been bathed?
We don’t always know, and the unknown creates insecurity and fear in most young mothers. After all – we don’t get an instruction book on how to raise our baby. We learn the role “on the job.” So I said to myself, “I’ve already learned from experience, and I’ll be here to help Eden in these first moments.”
But for some reason it doesn’t quiet my conscience. For some reason I feel that even now two months before the birth, the very fact that I am traveling abroad makes me feel sour. A feeling that I am leaving her alone.
Rationally, I know it’s not like that. I know it’s okay. She is doing great. She has her husband Ariel to give her support. She doesn’t really need me now.
But the emotions speak a different language. The feeling says what if…? And what if…..? And when I think about it like that, I realize that ever since I became a mother, my conscience has always been “talking.” There is so much “What if… and what if…” in motherhood. It never ends.
I wonder if it’s the same as a grandmother? And I’m also curious, what happens to fathers in these situations? Do they also have these two voices “singing and digging away” in their heads all the time?