The Mother Who Doesn’t Love

February 1, 2013 | Print Print |

Rosa Martinez

RosaHAVANA TIMES — “With children, you either love’m or you hate’m.” That’s what my grandma used to say, unambiguously. “There’s no middle ground when it comes to one’s love for children. The parent that doesn’t love their children, simply hates them. And since your father doesn’t hate you,” she would add smiling, “he loves you madly.”

I heard her say that more than once. She was referring to my worry that my father didn’t love me because he was always so cold when scolding me or when trying to teach me something. I could sense his sternness even when he hugged me.

I don’t know if my grandmother was right about that, like she was about most things. I know nothing, or next to nothing, about the feelings of hatred by a mother for a child.

I loved mine before I saw them, without even feeling them in stomach. Even when I wasn’t sure they were there I already loved them and was dreaming about them.

With my first pregnancy, even without ultrasound I knew it would be a little girl with light-colored eyes. I dreamed of her eyes, her hair, her face and her voice before I was six months pregnant. I didn’t have to wait to give birth to know how the child nourishing itself within me would be.

In both cases I had nausea during my first five months of pregnancy. My feet swelled up and grew more than I wanted. My body changed so much that my friends didn’t recognize me.

I gained so many pounds that I still haven’t been able to get rid of half of them. My teeth suffered and my spine was affected.

My free time was over, weekly visits to the cinema became sporadic, and I was never able to read an entire book.

I loved mine before I saw them, without even feeling them in stomach. Even when I wasn’t sure they were there I already loved them and was dreaming about them.

Later I learned that when one child isn’t hungry, the other one is tired; and when one doesn’t want me to carry them, the other one wants me to tell them a story.

Still, despite these limitations, I love my daughters more and more. I love when they cry, when they act spoiled, when they watch television or run around and laugh.

I love them unceasingly, without breaks, no matter if I’m tired or sad. It doesn’t matter that life is hard or that I have to perform an act of magic to put dinner on the table.

This is why I don’t understand you, Agnes. I don’t understand how you want to give up your child or why you feel that he’s a burden because he was born earlier than planned.

I don’t understand why you’re mad at him because your hips are a little wider and you have a few more spots on your skin.

I’m going to repeat to you what my grandmother used to say: “Children are either loved or hated, there’s no middle ground when it comes to them.”

 

 

 


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