It was a warm evening on November 16th 2015, I looked down into the palm of my hands and two lines looked backed at me on my pregnancy test. I was officially pregnant. The old me gone and the new me ready to start a very different journey. Some time had passed and when everything started to feel more real, many people would often tell me to enjoy life because things were about to change for good! I assumed I knew what they were referring to; long sleepless nights, crying babies and lots of diaper changers right?! But being a mother brings a different kind of change that no one really understands, and sometimes I feel, not even dads.
I am a big fan of quotes and my all time favorite about motherhood is this: “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before, the woman existed but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” This quote had an immense effect on my emotions, my way of thinking, my soul! It could have possibly been the one thing that changed me for good.
You see, no one ever places importance on motherhood when you are pregnant. Everyone gives you advice on how to take care of your baby, what to feed them, how to bathe them etc. But when a woman has a child, she becomes a mother and this is something completely new for her, probably one of the biggest transitions she will ever face. I’ve been a mother for just over one year now and whilst I have so much to learn, I would love to offer some simple advice for the new mums or mums-to-be.
Be ready for change
Start preparing yourself for the change. Your thinking, your personality and your body will most definitely change when your baby is born. That maternal instinct the movies tell you about is real but not in the way you think. Just be ready for changes, welcome it, embrace it and don’t fight it. You may not see the changes right away, but after a while, you'll notice it.
Be gentle with yourself
It is not going to be easy, but it is absolutely worth it. It doesn’t get easier either, but you will grow into someone who can handle it. Your maternal instinct kicks in at random times and it’s not about feeling an immense love for your child (even this may not happen immediately) but it’s about the desire to protect. You are doing the best you possibly can and you will know what to do.
You are your child's mother
There is no one, I repeat - no one, that will know what is best for your child other than you. Everyone will have lots of advice to offer, grab it. Advice is amazing, we need the wisdom. But your gut instinct is always the best and if you feel that rushing your child to the ER for a stubbed toe is something you need to do, then by all means do it.
If you have a specific way of wanting to raise your kid then kudos to you. Don’t ever apologize for what you feel is right. I am still co-sleeping and I absolutely love it, some people think it’s amazing and some think I should start moving her into a crib. I think they should keep their opinions to themselves!
Ask for help
It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to raise a mother as well, because the mother is also someone that is new. You need the support and you need the care, so whenever times are rough, please lean on someone for help!
I would be honoured to leave you with some parting words of wisdom which was gifted to me by another mum, Aashumi Shah, the owner of mirasa. Her words came at a very much needed time when I was struggling with finding the balance between work, running my home and being there for my child. She reminded me to think of me! “It is important to love yourself even more and do something for yourself everyday. I had to carve out a few minutes for just ME. Whether it was yoga, a run, reading a book at my favorite coffee shop during Akira's nap or working on new ideas. As new parents and mothers we're giving non stop and as you said this doesn't change. But this me time allows a pause and for me a brief visit to my old life was refreshing.” Thank you Aashumi.
I had to take back my life, even just a little part of it. Mornings are when I feel best; energetic, motivated, optimistic.
We're not perfect OR we're perfect just the way we are. My son arrived into the world with this affirmation. He's now a few hours away from being 4 years old. This day, and the hours before he glowed into our lives remains stamped- forever. But what did I know about being a mother or a parent? And has that really changed after almost 4 years?