They say if you want to do something well, prepare for it. But what happens if you don't?
When I took the decision to become a mother, I literally just decided to be a mother. I didn't think too deeply about it nor did I prepare for it. Much like everything else in life, I didn't ponder on the question too much. All through my pregnancy too, I kept postponing anything that required imagining my life post childbirth. Honestly, I didn't want to worry too much before it was time. And now that 8 months have passed since that eventful day when M came into our lives, do I regret not preparing myself for it? Well, I don't know, the jury is still out on that.
But I certainly have learnt quite a number of things on the job. Practical experience does that to you. So, here I am, just another ordinary woman sharing 8 lessons she learnt in these 8 months of being a mother.
8 lessons from 8 months of motherhood
I'm a superwoman too
While every woman is a superhero, no superwoman in her own right, I didn't know I was one too. No, I'm not joking. I really am the quintessential super-duper-heroine with a host of superpowers. Well, how else do you explain the things I have done in the past few months? Because I never thought I could do them in the first place. The birthing experience, for one. I never thought I could go through so much pain, so so much pain, and live to tell the tale. I never thought I could function without getting 8 hours of sleep at a stretch or that I could juggle a baby, work and my writing, even enjoy doing the same. It's exhausting and I'm perpetually tired but I'm doing it. So, am I a super-heroine or not?
Everyone thinks they know what's best for my child
Well, as a species, humans tend to have boundary issues. So, is it really surprising that I find so many noses meddling in which is probably just my family's business? I should force feed my eight-month-old every 2 hours because the aunt of my colleague's husband's mother thinks so. Or, I should not use formula milk. The suggestions are not only countless but never ending, at times hilarious too. Well, I can't change them but I have learnt to ignore them altogether. Or, write a post to get over them.
I'm still a woman first
I'm still a woman. I still believe in the same things. I have dreams, aspirations and hobbies. I haven't given up on anything on account of becoming a mother. Yes, I'm pressed for time and need some planning but I haven't, and I won't stop being my own person. I have learnt how important it is to keep my identity alive along with this new role.
Parents make mistakes too. I remember the first mistake I made as a mother. That taught me how I need to remember that I'm learning too and sometimes I may goof up. I need to go easy on myself because it is a lifelong role and I can't afford to burn out so soon.
Being a working mother isn't a sin
I won't say it has been easy leaving M in the crèche. Quite the contrary really. I have had my doubts about my decision. I have wondered if I'm enough if this is not wrong. Tell you what, it isn't. Being a working mother is neither a sin nor a sign of neglecting my child. I'm a mother regardless of my job status. I owe no one any explanation.
It's okay to crave for some me-time
I do. And I get that when I'm in the office or when everyone is asleep. I'm not a machine on duty. So, it's perfectly alright to be happy when I get some free time even if it's when M is in the crèche. There's nothing to feel guilty about wanting to heave a sigh of relief.
Got to let go of a few fetishes
Not to long ago I was a cleanliness freak. Well, you could say I was Monica (from FRIENDS). But I had to let that go. Well, not completely of course but now I have accepted that dusting every day is a distant dream. The possibility, extremely rare. There's only so much I can stretch my body to and I really don't have the stamina to include dusting in that.
Happy me equals a happy child
It's pretty simple really. I can raise a happy child only if I'm happy myself. So, all along this journey, I need to remember this, for her and for myself.
Well, those were the introspective eights of my stint as a mother so far.
Tell me, what you think? And what lessons have you learnt on a similar journey?