Mother's column – The hardest part of being a mother


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo Unsplash

"What do you find the hardest part of being a mother?" my friend asks. I finally meet her after years of good intentions of seeing each other again. Exactly this, I could have said: it is a real challenge to maintain friendships. Especially when you live in a small village as I do, and your friend lives in a busy city, where you have to parallel park after a long trip.

In former times, you just took public transportation, talked until deep into the night, and when the last bus of that day almost left, you decided on the spot to stay the night.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (8), Abel (6), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (0).

But as a mother of five, I am glad if I can have a coherent conversation for thirty minutes, while keeping an eye on the toddler who attempts to reorganise my friend’s drawers, eats her magazines or waters the plants without asking.

But okay, asked for the biggest challenge of parenthood, I say the first thing that comes to my mind (and what is my biggest problem at that moment): "That you cannot sleep through a single night!"

But on my way home, I suddenly think of something much worse: your children's sadness. You can laugh about parents who try to divert all evil from their children and thus actually prevent them from becoming resilient. But I understand their reflex. Who does not want to save her children from all pain?

Last spring was a good practice in that sense. First, Reinout was infected with the flu. After that, we got Covid one by one, except for me, which meant I had to quarantine for weeks.

When that period is almost over, flu enters the house again. That results in even more missed treats at school, foregone parties and cancelled visits to grandpa and grandma. And for me: being locked in my home even longer. Even visiting a friend in our town is not possible.

The feverish children seek their refuge in the large bed at night. We do not get much sleep these days. But especially at those moments, when I feel a warm body pressed against me on both sides, I feel to the bottom of my heart how dear they are to me. There they are, sleeping at my side, with the fullest confidence that I will be there for them. It is not easy to sleep in a bed crammed like this. But it is fine. And fortunately, they are all better now.



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