You think you know what motherhood is, but you have no idea until you are in the trenches and it is too late to turn back. It consumes you with love, frustration, tears, hugs and kisses, messes, hours of cooking and cleaning, and lots of bodily fluids. To put it bluntly, motherhood ain’t pretty, but we are all doing our best to make it through each day.
With my beautiful daughter approaching her 12 month milestones, I can’t help thinking “What a journey it has been for me as a mum. It is sure one of the hardest, the most challenging and at the same time rewarding and beautiful one can ever experience.”
The thing is no one tells you what’s it going to be like the moment you hold that baby in your arms. They don’t tell you how much love you are going to have for that little being. They don’t tell you about the sleep deprivation, the nipple soreness, the tiredness, the stress, the anxiety etc…
May be someone did tell me, but I was too drugged up from the love hormones while I was pregnant to pay attention; or maybe I was too ignorant at the time and thought – “This won’t happen to me, I know better”. Now I’m sitting here writing this and laughing my a** off because I should have listened and taken notes…because the picture of motherhood in my mind before having my little girl was far from my reality. I sure did learn A LOT, cry A LOT, laugh A LOT and love like I’ve never loved before.
So today I wanna share openly and honestly about my motherhood journey as my way of celebrating 12 month-milestone.
1.Birth was the easy part (and I don’t mean it in a disrespectful way), not knowing what the heck you do with this being is the challenging part.
2. Having a child means you have a time theft constantly waiting for you to not pay attention and then steal away all your time. By the end of the day, you often feel like 24 hours become like 4 and you wonder “Where the blood hell did my time go?”
3. “Tried’ &‘exhausted’ becomes a new normal and you hate it when someone asks you “How are you feeling?” because you feel like just repeating yourself over and over again. Sleeplessness is rough, but it’s the rituals of changing, feeding, soothing, and entertaining a child day in and day out — even when you’re overworked, or have a migraine, or simply can’t bear picking up one more toy one more time…Welcome to motherhood!
4. Being a mom means getting used to the idea of sharing your personal space because your child will be there with you ALL the time (Ok I lied, probably not all the time but MOST of the time).They’ll be there when you go to the toilet, have shower, eat, drink, they’ll be in your face with those messy hands and sloppy kisses. And yet, when you finally have a moment to yourself, you just miss your baby like crazy!
5. Laundry becomes an everyday task and there will always be piles of unfolded clothes around the house. There will never be a time when every room is clean at the same time. And over time you learn to prioritize the important things and not worried so much about housework (Well, at least I did!)
6. If you ever thought you figure your children out, you are wrong because they are constantly and forever changing. Being a mom also means letting go of control and completely surrendering to the world of uncertainty. It also means figuring things out as you go and trusting your own judgment and gut feeling because you know what’s best for your baby.
7. You will splurge on their clothes, toys or anything you think they need and feeling guilty to buy stuff for yourself. I wanted to buy a pair new sneakers for myself and took me 2 months to finally buy them. On the other hand, buying stuff for my little one took less than 30 second of decision making and in all honesty, she didn’t really need another piece of clothes (but I was sure to justify my buying decision)
8. You will feel like a success. You will feel like a failure. You’ll feel like running away. And you’ll feel like never letting them go. Probably all on same day. Your emotions will be like roller coasters. Someday you feel like you’re on top of the world, some days you just wanna hide and not face the world (but you still have to get out of bed because that little human being needs you)
9. Being a mom for me was getting used to the idea of having a little person attached to your boobs day and night.
10. Your brain becomes constantly foggy and if it’s not written down, you’ll soon forget. 12 months on and I still feel like my brain is not working properly. I once misplaced my husband’s keys and spent hours looking for them everywhere. Couldn’t find the damn keys!!! Then my husband looked into the nappy bag and there they were…I swore I did look in there for like a dozen times.
11. You never know your ability to be creative and improvise. My daughter once had a poonami and I forgot to bring some nappies. So I had to Improvise using a large bib as her nappy. Luckily it was a quick trip home and she didn’t do anymore poo or wee.
12. Loving your husband even more when you see him with the baby. Something about seeing him being a father just makes me love him more. Maybe I got to see that side of him that I’ve never seen before. In saying that, there were times I just wanted to strangle my husband out of frustration, especially when my husband asked “What have you been doing all day?” – “Well, I kept her alive so you can come home and have a cuddle!”. Overtime, he learnt not to ask those kind of questions and helped out more which was nice
13. Nobody tells you how lonely and isolating motherhood can be. Nobody tells you that about the identity crisis you may feel as a mother. Before having my girl, I was all about work, now my day is consumed with poos, nappies, solids, washing, cooking and cuddles. Somehow along the way, I felt like I completely lost myself. I think society has taught us that we all have to have our sh*t together because otherwise we might be seen as a failure. Being a mum teaches me that I don’t need to have my sh*t together and it’s OK for me to take time to find myself and my passion again.
14. Your body might never be or feel the same. No one can prepare you for the journey of childbirth and the recovery after. Even when you are determined to get your old body back, you might just have to accept that it might not look the same (even if you have dropped all the baby weight). Overtime, you learn to take pride in those stretch marks and scars because they signify an amazing journey you went through as a mom.
15. You spend lots of your time cooking and preparing food, but most of them ended up on the floor anyway. So having dogs is a bonus because that means less clean up and scrubbing the floor. By the way, your entire house will look like a war zone, toys and books everywhere, even sometimes in your bed.
16. Your personal style goes out of the window and you’ll probably need to throw half of your wardrobe away and replace it with just T-shirt and comfy jeans. I still have a wardrobe full of dresses before birth and I can only count a couple of occasions where I’ll be needing them. You’ll also find your old bras (the underwired ones) become very uncomfortable to wear. So I live most days in my breastfeeding bras and sometimes none at all. Heels are packed in the back of my closet for special occasions and I run around now in sneakers and comfortable flats. Somedays you don’t even bother to wash your hair so my personal style now includes: T-shirt, comfy jeans (& bras), comfy flats and messy buns (and easy to apply make-up that guarantee to hide my dark circles and tiredness from all those nights)
17. If you ever thought partying at 3am was fun, wait until you have a child and they decide that 3am is party time. By the way, drinking and having a hangover when you have a child is a no go zone. It’s just bloody murder because you still have to get up at normal time and deal with the little being. Just not worth it.
18. You will change so much as a person. Being a mom for me was like going to tons of seminars because you constantly have to change, adapt and evolve to keep up with your children. It also means that you become more aware of your patterns and behaviours and how your parents parented you. You realise that you want the very best for your child and that means you gotta start looking at the way you act, think and how you can become a better model for them
19. All your time and energy is devoted to them means that you often put yourself on the back burner. There was a period where I felt very tired and exhausted. My baby woke a lot throughout the night and I felt like I was constantly on edge. I felt resentful towards my hubby because at least he got to go to work and escape. I thought I couldn’t go on another day like this! So we had to ask for help with the sleeping and I had to promise hubby to take more time out for me. Being a mom often means you put their needs before your own, but always remember to recharge your energy and do something for you because a happy mum means a happy child.
20. Your relationship will change because you as an individual have changed in this process. You realise that this parenthood thing requires you two to operate as a team (and sometimes it’s not simple to do so). I’ve seen relationships that are better because of this process and those that go down the separation & divorce path. We’ve had moments where we fought and argued and moments where we cried together.
There were moments where we picked on each other and there also were moments where we lifted each other up. This process will test your relationship and what it made of. For us, it definitely challenged us as individuals and couples and strengthened our relationship. My hubby is not perfect, sometimes he does piss me off, but the amount of love and support he’s given me throughout this process is just incredible. I wouldn’t have been able to do this all without him. He is an amazing father and partner and I’m very grateful for our little family.
Being a mom has been an amazing journey so far, lots of tears, laughter and love – and I wouldn’t change a thing! You will love more than you knew you could. You will also develop anxieties you never knew existed. When a smile can light up your day and when you know what unconditionally love is.
I’m grateful for every moment of having my baby girl in my life and I’m grateful for all the support I’ve had from my hubby and my family. So to many more years of motherhood and the journey it’ll bring.
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