With Mother’s Day approaching, I sat down to reminisce about my last 1.5 years as a new mama to my little man and ponder on the highs and lows, the lessons I learnt and the most frequent question I get asked these days…
“Do I enjoy being a mum?”
You know everyone's journey into motherhood begins differently, but usually there are two common categories, some consciously plan it and some not so much, I fall into the later.
Ever since I was a teenager I was always fascinated by pregnant women and the strength of our bodies to give life, to this day I still think it’s the most incredible thing, so being a mama has always been in my plans BUT it probably happened a little bit sooner than I expected. Thought out my pregnancy I had some serious ups and downs. I had so much doubt and uncertainty, because it was simply not in my plans to have a babe at this point of my life. I just changed careers and things started to take shape, I thought I’ll go on the big OE and travel the world until my 30’s, my relationship was also relatively young. My mind was basically exploding when I found out, it was a mind f**K really.. but in a weird way it felt right to have him and so I gave in to the ways of the Universe, because deep down I knew it will all work out, but to really have that engraved in my mind took some deep internal work, which seems to get better as time goes by. But, here are few things I wish I could have told my scared anxious self at the beginning of my motherhood journey and if you are anything like me, I hope some of this will sooth your mind and soul.
Parenthood is like death and rebirth
I think a lot of people believe that they aren't allowed to feel anything but love and happiness towards their new life with the baby, but I think you have to let yourself grieve as well. When you have a child, you are adjusting to your new life, your new self and it takes time. When he was super tiny, I used think ‘oh my god, who is this human, where did he come from and are we going to get a long?’
I think it is very important to mourn your previous life rather than maybe long for it too much as it won’t make you feel any better. Everyone deserves a mourning period.
I know it might sound very dramatic but I mourned about my spontaneous life, taking off whenever I wanted and doing whatever I wanted, having all the time to figure out my life and next career steps, the list goes on.… After birth, your body and soul are very vulnerable, and I probably freaked out a bit too much at some point, but I took it as a way of expressing my grief for my old life and thinking that I had it all figured out. So if anyone out there, feels overwhelmed and guilty for feeling this way even though you have a beautiful babe, know that it’s Okay and you are not alone, in fact don’t be afraid to speak up about your feelings.
Expect the unexpected
As a personality, I am a creative organiser, meaning I don’t mind going with the flow and I don’t mind change, but I still like to plan for things but I can often get a bit attached to the perfect flow of life. So I’m finding motherhood to be the perfect way to learn how to surrender and give in to the unexpected. It’s like you have to plan to get out of the door on time but expect for your babe to pour a bucket of water on themselves and then have a toilet accident, and then you trip over a nappy, well maybe as the worst case scenario..But you get the point, as soon as you think it’s all going your way, someone switches the button and the shit storm begins, literally. It might be funny but it’s actually freaking frustrating, especially for those who like to be organised. At the end though,it all works out and becomes part of your adventure, you become accustomed to life being unpredictable and its actually so bloody emotionally liberating.
Those were the exact words my doctor told me last time I went for a check up…
When you are a new mum, it’s pretty easy to get taken over by routines, which by the way you need, but you also need a break from them. You give everything to your baby, physically and emotionally because they are so cute and you love them so much, but you also need to love yourself even more than ever, so that your love can stay on for your family and you don’t get into a situation where you don’t even know who you are anymore.
I treasure me time immensely these days, because in that time I realise that I am still me, I can dance, I can have a conversation not about babies, I can have a laugh plus I want my child to know me for who I am, for who I was before I became a mother
I prioritise myself by getting a facial done, even if it’s just at home with egg whites and cucumber.I love getting flowers for myself because, they calm me. I try to catch a movie and have a wine, even if it means doing it by yourself. I ditch the chores, pick up a book and embrace living in the chaos.
I love my babe don’t take me wrong but I love myself too and some might say your selfishness doesn't go away as you become a mum but in some ways it just becomes more whole, ponder on that..
My baby licks my face and I love it!
I think he learnt it from watching our family pug lick his own face and now he licks us, and it’s seriously super cute and kinda gross cos you get covered in saliva but it makes me laugh to tears. And when he folds his arms around my neck and says MAMA, everything else seems irrelevant and so minuscule. In moments like these you realise that you are their everything and they are yours, and that is the most intensifying and beautiful and terrifying thing i have ever experienced. Basically in a nutshell I think that’s how i feel about motherhood - intense, beautiful and scary; but 100% worth it.
Feminine Creative energy
I’m curious if any other new mums experience a whole new level of creativity after birth? I don’t how it works but since becoming a mum myself, I feel like something has reawakened in me. I have never felt as driven or creative, in fact sometimes I have so many ideas, they don’t all fit in my head, not a bad problem to have i guess. I also feel more feminine and not so tomboyish anymore, even grew out my hair after having it really short for a while and I enjoy wearing dresses way more these days.
If I had to do it all over again, I will remind myself of this.
When things get tough, you are sleep deprived, can’t remember the last time you’ve had a proper hot meal or a conversation that doesn't discuss the colour of your baby’s stool or how to go about sleeping at night for the rest of your life - remind yourself that nothing is permanent. Life works in cycles. The early days of motherhood is just another one of those cycles, and before you know it, your little babe is not so little anymore, they talk back and demand things you can’t always promise (pray for me when that happens) and all of a sudden you will find yourself reminiscing about that time when they were just lying around and not giving a damn what brand shoes they should wear to the next party… Although that would be a fun phase on itself but for now, remember you are stronger than you think you are, enjoy the ride and all the hard bits shall pass. It shall all pass.
So do i enjoy being a mum? The answer is yes, despite the low moments that you could find yourself in, I realise that the highs outweigh the lows and it’s all temporarily. Motherhood makes you look at things differently, makes you true to who you are, makes you stronger and resilient. It is a journey, you learn, you try, you fail, you try again. Children are reflections of you and if there is something that needs tweaking in you, I reckon the children will tell you. Motherhood is the one of the highest forms of education I have found myself in yet, and here is to many more years of studying.