Motherhood is a beautiful journey and experience, one filled with many new lessons you learn as you go.
4 years ago, I unexpectedly (blog about that coming soon) became a mother and it has undoubtedly been the most learning experience I have encountered in my whole 20 something years of life. Motherhood has taught and untaught me so many lessons and I would like to share 5 of them with you.
- Parenting is nothing close to what I’ve seen on social media
To be honest, most things on social media are not a realistic reflection of reality. People only show you the good stuff, what you want to see and what they want you to see. Parenting is displayed so beautifully on social media; cute pictures of moms and newborns, mom and daughter/son dates, beautiful childbirth moments, videos of smart kids reciting poems, I could go on. Those are indeed beautiful and moments one will encounter in parenting. But what about the hard parts? The parts where you cannot walk for a few weeks after childbirth because of the pain, the moments of depression (PND) when you feel like you cannot do it anymore, the nights where you go to bed in tears, the times when your kids cannot grasp schooling as expected and the days where you doubt yourself as a parent. These are some of the realities of parenting too. But you won’t find much of that being spoken about or displayed.
- Women are strong enough to handle ANYTHING
I have always been a strong girl. My childhood is full of moments where I had to be strong to get by and I maintained that strong girl character as I grew up. Seeing what my own mother has overcome (after she was almost murdered), showed me how strong women are. But after I delivered my daughter, that was confirmation that convinced me that I can handle anything. I had an unmedicated natural delivery which resulted to an extensive degree tearing. I felt every moment of my daughter exiting my body. I was first convinced I was going to die while I was having cramps. After surviving the cramps, I was convinced I would die while I was delivering. After surviving the delivery, I was convinced I would die from the pain of the afterbirth. Yet here I am 4 years later, stronger than ever.
- Finding/establishing yourself is important before you become a parent
Some people are lucky to have grown up in a loving and stable family. Graduated from high school and went to study at university. Got a job, got married and had kids. That is beautiful. However, some of us come from a childhood that leaves us lost, confused and needing healing. If you are like me and fall under the latter category, then this is for you. Because my daughter was unplanned, I certainly was not ready to be a parent when she was born. Not financially, not emotionally, not mentally. I had just started healing from depression and many other childhood traumas, I had just started discovering myself, I was in a broken and messy relationship, my life was basically still a mess. When I became a mother under these circumstances, I felt overwhelmed by motherhood. I felt like there was no room for my own goals and dreams anymore. How could I raise this child when I, myself, was not whole? I had a difficult time transitioning into motherhood during the first year but thankfully I sought counselling/ therapy and it was the best decision I had ever made for myself and my daughter. God had a huge contribution in this part of my journey. I will talk more about this in another blog post.
- Your social life will not be the same as before
Prior to being a mother, I was an avid socialite. Tell me where and I was there. Parties, get -togethers, coffee dates, social gatherings, you name it. I was usually always invited to gatherings. Things changed when I became a mother. My first heartbreak happened when I was at home on a Saturday, logging onto facebook and I saw a picture of my friends together at a park. My heart sank. Why was I not invited? Did I miss something ? Is it because I have a child now? Yes that is exactly why. I have a child now and I am no longer as convenient as I used to be. I cried my heart out at this and I am grateful because it was preparation for the many exclusions I was going to experience. Thankfully there were friends who, even knowing I would not make it to certain occasions, would still invite me just to let me know that they did consider me. As the invitations kept missing my way, I got to learn and understand that when you become a mother, some things like your social life (among other things) will change. This did not mean I no longer had a social life, it just meant that it had to take another form. So I am still very much that socialite I used to be. The difference now is that I go to child friendly places more and most of my friends are always accommodating when it comes to this.
- I am an AMAZING mother
Yes, I am blowing my own horn- I am a brilliant mother. I have made mistakes, I have failed, I have given up, I have cried, I have lost it. But I have also learnt from the mistakes, I have picked myself up, I have found hope in hopeless moments and I have risen above my challenges. My daughter tells me all the time that I am the best (and no she is not biased). Nobody said (single) motherhood would be easy, and it is not. But everyday I wake up and strive to be the best mother to my child and it is displayed in her everyday joy that I am doing a sterling job. God’s grace constantly holds me together. If you are reading this and you are a mother, just know that you are an amazing mama!