Whoever said Motherhood is a bliss was probably not in their senses. Well, that’s what I was told..that Motherhood was all lovey dovey and nice and that that little human being would change my life for the better. The irony is that all those things are true but they come with their share of side effects. Side effects that’ll hit you hard and probably leave you unconscious. God knows better that I’d rather be unconscious at times than go through all the mess that my kids put me through.
People torture every young couple by asking them at any chance possible, when their little being is going to arrive. Like its as easy as popping a bottle open. And we all know that given the complex nature of the whole process, things do not just happen that easily. Nevertheless when you do happen to have one they pressure you to have another for their sheer excitement; because apparently they have nothing else to do in life. The reason they give you and make you believe is that the first one needs company, a partner in crime and a buddy to play with. I’d still agree to the above but in all this nobody ever takes the time to be mature enough to actually sit you down and explain what you’re getting into. They do not actually ever let you make an informed decision.
I’m probably the worst ambassador for parenting and motherhood. After learning the hard way I’ve realized that not all of us are just born with motherly instincts. I’ve known mothers who were born with those instincts and have got it all together and excel at being mothers. No doubt overtime we do learn to get it all together but here’s what you ‘newbie mommies’ or ‘planning to be mommies’ need to know. These are things that nobody ever told me and I had to figure out the hard way. (Also, about 7 yrs ago I had no idea that there were Mommy blogs out there.)
1. As we all know bringing a baby into this world is not an easy task. Thankfully these days men are more involved, they do understand and help you get through it. Keeping that in mind remember that recovery is never going to be easy. You’re going to need a lot of rest. Most of you already know this, so be smart and arrange for support before hand. Our mothers and siblings know how to handle us so get their support, if possible. Do not shy away from getting any kind of support from anyone possible even if it is just for a few hours everyday.
2. Remember that a quick and easy recovery is going to require a lot of rest. But this ‘rest’ is going to be the biggest challenge. So, this goes back to getting the proper support. You will need your partner or any family member or friend to stay up with you to help out with the baby. Trust me on this one. Not getting this required ‘rest’ will make it harder for you to get through it all and will affect your relationship with the baby and not to forget the father of the child.
3. Remember yourself. People always tell you that you are now a ‘mommy’. What they never tell you is that you still need to be ‘you’ and not lose yourself. Like I said before thankfully men these days are more involved. Train the dad to effectively take care of the baby and take out time for yourself whenever possible. Be it once a week or once every other week. I had always thought that I would absolutely love being with my baby 24×7. Today I admit I was totally wrong. Get sometime away from the baby. Get out of home and that entire environment to go do something for yourself. Go to the spa, go out with friends or even just for a walk in the park or just to the coffee shop to read a book. Whatever it is, get out there and relax. You will feel empty without a clinging baby the first few times but you’ll learn to love it.
4. Perfection. Keep in mind that it can never be achieved. Each day will be a new challenge and you are never ever going to be a perfect mom. We learn each day about this new found job (that we love) as much as the little one learns about you and this world. You can never achieve perfection and be that perfect mother but even in all our imperfections DO NOT ever forget that you are the most perfect thing in this world for that baby. And that brings me to my next pointer.
5. People will tell you all kinds of things. How to burb the baby, how to bathe the baby, how to feed the baby, how to clothe him/her, how to put him/her to sleep, should you co-sleep or not, should you or the baby go out during the first few days?? The list can go on and on and on. Do not let these people dictate you. Remember point 4? You are the perfect person for this little one. Nevertheless listen to everyone…sometimes there is a hidden wisdom among it all. Listen and make your own choices, do not let anyone overpower you. Trust yourself and your decisions regarding your baby. That makes way to point number 6.
6. Involve your partner in your decisions. A lot of times some men do not understand why. Explain why a certain decision would be better for yourself and the baby. Involve him in this process and it’ll cut out all the nagging, misunderstanding and arguments. For example, if you have decided on co-sleeping and your partner was expecting otherwise, explain to him as to why it’d be easier for you and how you plan to proceed with this in the future.
7. Sleepless. Tired. Exhausted. Sore. These are going to be ‘The’ words of your everyday vocabulary and everyone around you including your partner will be fed up of hearing you rant about yourself. If you thought you were going to be sporting a glow after being mommy, that’s going to be hard to achieve. You are going to look like a train wreck, so embrace it and make improvements. But this does not mean that you do not take care of your appearance and health. Be sure to eat healthy and keep fit. Speak to your OB/GYN as to when is the best time to start working out. Before you start working out you could start walking.
8. Anyone who said that Motherhood was like a walk in the park probably forgot to mention that this park was more like Jurassic Park. You will be so sleep deprived through all this that you’ll probably turn into a zombie. You’re going to be crazy, sad and angry all at the same time. Needless to say all this is normal. Remember that it is OK to feel like this (another thing nobody told me). When you feel overwhelmed hand the baby over to anyone around (who is trustworthy) and take a break. Grab a hot cup of milk or hot chocolate and relax for a while. Get yourself together and go back to the little angel.
9. Last but not least if anyone ever undermines you, hand them the baby and run away. That’ll be a lesson well learnt. 😉 [Remember the running away is not to be taken seriously.]
There are going to be many hard nights and we will hurt like never before. As mothers we will tend to be distracted and lost, but as time goes by we will be more amazed (than distracted) at the fact that we created these tender lives. As they grow older we will be lost in their love. For all the sacrifices that we make each day and are going to make in the future it helps to not forget that there is truly nothing more rewarding than being a mother. It just takes that one little smile, touch, kiss or ‘I love you mama’; to make your whole existence worthwhile.