“I am a mom now and this is how the rest of my life is going to look like”
“You will know when you become a mother yourself!”
“I miss being pregnant!”
“I had so much time before I became a mother, did I make good use of it?”
If these are the thoughts that make frequent trips to your mind, then trust me you are not alone. I am a proud working mother of my 21-month old baby and I go through these emotions more frequently that one can imagine. While I was sitting on the side of my bed pondering when and where to start this article, I stumbled upon my diary which I used to pen while I was pregnant and even after delivery (my vent-it-all-out, judgement free zone). So, here I am, sharing my personal experience, straight from my diary to your hearts.
With all the literature that I had read during pregnancy, I was eagerly waiting for the moment of blissfulness and magic when my baby would eventually be in my arms. However, after almost 10 hours of being in labor with no epidural (pain reliever) and having a natural delivery, the thought of blissfulness was out of the window. When the moment finally arrived, and she was in my arms, I could barely open my eyes as I was in a lot of pain and really tired. Eventually, after a few moments, when my eyes landed on her, tears of joy trickled down my cheeks. It was truly an unbelievable rare moment of utter joy and achievement (Congratulations to me! I did it). She looked so peaceful and calm unlike my state where I was going through many mixed emotions and was hoping to be naturally poured with motherly wisdom, which obviously didn’t happen right away and honestly, I am still working on that every single day.
Seeking help and support from other parents is a great way to connect and share experiences. However, it should be taken with a grain of salt and need not end up in a comparison matrix leading to self-loathing and desolation. In my experience, I have also realized that most women prefer not to share all the challenges, the ups and downs in the details especially the hardships for the reasons best known to them. For example, the most common challenge some women face with breastfeeding is “latching”. The image that was painted in my mind was an effortlessly smiling mother breast feeding their baby with complete comfort and ease. This was certainly not the case with me at least for quite some time. I vividly remember a few hours after I gave birth, our doctor came in and when I mentioned about my challenges with feeding. He smiled and said “Giving birth is the easy part. Breastfeeding is the one of the toughest parts after delivery” and in my mind I said “Thanks for those motivating words”. He was correct, it was an uphill battle for both of us. During this process, I was advised by many people and experts to not be so hard on myself and resort to alternatives. The importance of breastfeeding for both baby and mother are known to all. However, thankfully in this time and age various equivalent options are also available. My daughter and I decided that we will not give up and were determined to cross this bridge together. After months of trials and tribulations, in the 4th month, she finally latched and all our hard work paid off. Eventually, I was fortunate to be able to breastfeed her until she was 18 months. To state blatantly, it was my personal choice that I was head-strong and passionate about breastfeeding my daughter and was willing to try all options and resources available. I also want to state that if due to any reason, this isn’t an option, it wouldn’t in any way make you less of a caring and loving mother. Just don’t be too harsh on yourself.
There is and will never be dearth of people giving “free” advice to first-time parents especially to mothers. It’s completely one’s decision to adhere to them or just listen, smile and walk away. I cannot tell you the times when I would have just finished a long feeding session and a visitor came by to meet the baby. The moment the baby would start crying, the very concerned visitor wouldn’t take a second before saying “I think the baby is hungry”. The moment, I heard this, numerous volcanoes would erupt in my head however I would remain cool (in most situations), smile and say, “I am the mother and I know her feeding schedule “(better than anyone else in this room). One should never underestimate the power of our motherly instincts.
Every single day, I consider myself blessed to be surrounded by an incredible husband (outstanding father), supporting group of family and friends as it is rightly said “it takes a village to raise a child”. Concurrently, this journey has also led me to re-discover myself, my potential and unleash my strengths, some of them, I didn’t know I possessed. Along with many inspiring women (and men), I truly appreciate the sacrifices of my mother, she has been my shining star throughout this challenging yet rewarding journey of motherhood.
On this Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate “US” for who we are, our strength, our beauty, our power, our capabilities, our desires and most importantly our individualities. Let’s cheer and support each other for embarking on this crazy, messy but unbelievably beautiful, gratifying and humbling expedition of motherhood!
Did you read? – Utterly Motherly Confessions – Part II