Passionate About Boston
and the Moms Who Live Here

It’s Hard to Be the Mom

Last December, my parents took my siblings and our families to New York City, complete with tickets to the Broadway play “Something Rotten,” a funny parody on William Shakespeare. One of the show’s songs, “It’s Hard to Be the Bard,” has played in my head on repeat over the past five months, often with me inserting the word “Mom” for the word “Bard” — especially during those particularly difficult parenting moments that can last for hours, days, or sometimes even weeks.  

It’s my way of trying to make light of these situations, so I don’t completely lose my cool. So I maintain some semblance of sanity.

Last week was one of those weeks, when this song saved me several times.

My husband had a two-day business trip at the start of the week, and my kids repeatedly told me how much they missed him throughout the day. After a major bedtime struggle, all three of us ended up in my bed. This meant two out of the three of us slept pretty well. I, of course, was up every couple of hours to make sure my 2-year-old was not precariously close to the edge of the bed again. To top it off, my 3-year-old woke up bright-eyed at 5 a.m. to start the day.

All I wanted to do was crawl back into bed and take an all-morning nap.

It’s hard, so very, very hard, to be the Mom.

Then, when I picked up my 3-year-old from school, he was lethargic and clearly starting to feel sick. I wondered if it was due to his 5 a.m. wakeup. By evening he was running a fever so high the typical Tylenol wouldn’t break it, and the night brought lots of wakenings and vomiting. Meanwhile, I put in my best efforts to deflect my 2-year-old from sharing his brother’s cups and snacks, despite his best efforts to be sneaky.

It’s hard, so very, very hard, to be the Mom.

This led to both my kids catching the flu — in mid-May! — for the first time in their lives, despite having had the flu shot back in the fall. A doctor’s visit produced a positive rapid flu test, followed by prescriptions for the last four bottles of Tamiflu found at the Boston Children’s Hospital pharmacy. The Tamiflu was, fittingly, vomited up again, with no hope of ever being effective. In between all the tears (from all of us), I thought to myself, “What kind of mom has kids who catch the flu in May? What did I do wrong?”

It’s hard, so very, very hard, to be the Mom.

And the icing on the cake? Since I was 17 weeks pregnant, my kids’ doctor advised me to call my OB so that I could begin taking Tamiflu preventatively and not wind up in worse shape myself.

It’s hard, so very, very hard, to be the Mom.

With swimming lessons, music class, school, and soccer cancelled due to these illnesses, and with me as the sole source of entertainment for the week, my very active boys were bouncing off the walls of my house. There were tears, fights, whining, and tantrums. My house looked like a tornado had hit it multiple times. I could not wait for the week to be over.

It’s hard, so very, very hard, to be the Mom.

But woven in with all the difficulties of this week were several bright spots. My 2-year-old, who loves to sing but is shy in front of others, serenaded me with “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and I was able to finally capture this on video to share with family and keep forever. Even my 90-year-old grandmother got to see this and has marveled at his musical talent ever since. 

Once the weekend arrived, I found myself so lucky that my husband was back and more than ready to help me out. My 3-year-old was so excited to make me breakfast in bed and insisted on bringing me a tray with a corn muffin he baked with daddy. We took a family trip to a local farm to enjoy the fresh air after a week stuck indoors. My 2-year-old showed off his chicken impression, making us all laugh along with his silliness.  

And when they both fell asleep in the car after that long, busy weekend, I couldn’t help but hear those song lyrics again — this time with a twist: Yeah, it’s really, really hard to be the Mom sometimes, but this is the beauty of motherhood. I’m so blessed and I wouldn’t trade this for the world.

And please let next week be easier!

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