So with this post, I am finally back to blogging!!!! I am so excited about this because I am back to one thing that has been on my mind since my break.
The only difference now since the last time I blogged is that I am now a mama to a lovely boy who is a daily blessing to me.
Yes, motherhood is a really special opportunity and especially when I became one I learnt to appreciate my mother more and understand her better. It’s indeed a beautiful infusion of blessings, I would say. Being a mother taught me many things that no one tells you. It is almost like being married. There are many things said and shared but you only learn from your own marriage experiences. Let me share these things I learnt in three points with you.
The three things no one told me about motherhood, 😀
The beauty of birth-pain:
Don’t smirk or frown at my title above. Before I had a child, the only imagery of childbirth was what I saw in movies. I had never had the experience of being part of a birth until mine. That visual representation of childbirth I knew was what the film industry or perhaps books had given me.
It was quite a mix of emotions during the last days of my pregnancy. I was both excited and anxious about what my birth experience would be. I kept asking, when I had the opportunity, a couple of mothers how their birth experiences were. Often those I asked gave me the impression it was just a push, a puff and nothing more. Some even went ahead to use adjectives such as easy, quick and painless [rolling my eyes] to describe their birth experiences.
One person who described birth-pain as I later experienced it was my mother-in-law. She said to me “This pain will make you think you will die soon and at this point when you think you will die that is the point your baby is coming”. The truth of the beauty of birth pain is that it cannot really be expressed in the way it is experienced. It is an individual experience and for me a pain I had never experienced in my life (There is nothing to really compare it to). It was beautiful, only beautiful in the end when my baby came out and was placed on my bosom. And as I write now, I have no memory of the pain, it seems to fade away.
2. Some mothers lie (papa¹) a lot
Until I became a mother I did not appreciate the level of societal pressure that mothers face. Mothers have much more societal pressure to be better persons than Fathers. A father often might receive praise for doing what a mother normally does. Mothers are not allowed to forget, for example if you forget your son’s summer-hat at home you could be a bad mother for doing that. I believe this societal pressure often leads to some mothers lying, often even about simple things like baby sleeping or breastfeeding patterns. It is also important for some mothers to be seen as super mothers or mothers of geniuses.
Initially, mom-stories such as how their child started walking at 7 months or slept throughout the night since they were two months or started speaking proper words at 8 months made me question myself if I did something wrong. However with time I realized it must only be two things unless these mothers are telling stories to feel good about themselves or they might really be raising very unique world-changers who will go to the moon at age 11. I have learned to sift what is helpful and move-on. Every child is different and specially unique. None should be compared.
3. Everyone is an expert but you
Forget about motherly instincts, well at least everyone forgets you have it anyway. Once you become a mother, everyone becomes an expert but you. There are the old women who want to advice you on the street on things they have seen only within 5 minutes of meeting you. People tend to think they know your baby or child’s needs more than you and you must be on a journey to NOT take good care of your offspring. Of course, all advice is well meant even when not requested for. “Why are you not doing a or b? it is what is done here.” “Why don’t you give him a pacifier?”, “Why do you dress him up so warm?” “Won’t he get cold with such clothes”? “You should talk to him more often otherwise he will not develop in speech”. An endless list.
With time I learnt to trust me, though I did read early parenting books the most useful resource of peace came from within. Listening to your baby and your instincts. Of course, everyone “needs” advice but when it comes with no empathy it is often seen as judgement. Motherly instincts as I came to realize are quite powerful and accurate when listened to and it makes one a happy mother.
Motherhood is a beautiful experience, but it comes with challenges. Challenges that cannot always be imagined. Each day has been different none like the others. I remember a stranger once told me, “the time goes so fast, learn to enjoy him because it will never come back.” That is my motherhood motto.
- Papa: An Akan word often added to express emphasis on an activity being carried often. It can also mean Father depending on the tone.