This month I completed 6 years of motherhood. It has been a beautiful rewarding journey. Having a child makes time really fly by. I share here my experiences and advice which would help new moms be oriented as to what to expect and what they need to give to make the most of this wonderful time.
A child gives birth to a mother. Till our little bundle of joy comes into our arms, we can hardly encompass what really it means to be a mommy. With the birth of the child, mother is born.
Before that it was just a woman. I cannot agree more with this. Had it not been for motherhood, I would have hardly grown up….. not literally…. but in so many ways. Being a mommy turned me into a new person. I look back at past 6 years and see how much I have learnt and matured as a person. I also feel that we are moving towards a better lifestyle. Sleep in time, wake up early, eat healthy, less TV, stay away from junk, etc. In order to teach it all to my daughter, I learnt the healthy habits too! I am a firm believer of the fact that children learn best when they see you.
I also find myself so much more apprehensive of all that is happening around me. TV is the biggest culprit for me. Next being all the unhealthy food on offer. I was a movie buff and I would try to watch each and every movie that was released. I was especially very fond of going to movie hall. But after my daughter was born I did not visit a movie hall for at least 3 years. I would watch movies on TV after she slept, that is if I could keep my eyes open.
I ate healthy but junk food was something that would every now and then make me let go of my healthy regime. But once I had conceived I was very watchful of my diet. And now I have to watch because I know I am being watched 😉
Being a mother changes your life, for most of us. To me it taught so many things and changed me so much. For better of course like I mentioned. But yes it also changes in ways that you need to sort of adjust to…. You have to be more accepting of the fact that you are not going to be your no 1 priority. The child’s needs always come before your own.
When I look back I find it hard to believe that six years have passed since my daughter was born. Being on the toes with her has made days much shorter. Weeks and months pass in a jiffy. I have no idea any longer what people mean when they say “ I am bored”. Time is always less
I so much want some more time to do so many things….
Finding time for yourself is a big struggle. And every now and then mommy guilt pops up.
So coming to what I learnt from my child.
First thing on the list Myra taught me is …. Patience. This is perhaps the greatest gift we get from our children. I am sure every mother would agree with me on this. I am a much more patient person now. It is not that you have a choice. There is no way you can parent without patience. Right from the day when the baby lands into your arms, with endless days and nights of feeding, crying which you just cannot figure out…. If there is something that will help you get through those days, it is patience. There is no other way around. A baby is such a challenge when you feel you have figured out how to take care of him or her…. They just give you another challenge. Unless you deal it all with patience, I am not sure how you can get through.
Myra also Taught me anger management. As a mother there are so many times that you loose your fuse. Especially as the child starts moving and with that takes away all your independence. You are completely tied to the child. You start feeling that the child is always pulling your plugs. Every next stage brings in more challenges.
Though it took me a while, I did learn that the control to my plugs is in my hand. The tantrums, the non stop unreasonable crying… all of it makes you go crazy. Perhaps all we want for our child is to be happy, and it feels so terrible that we cannot accomplish that! I may feel that she is the one who is the reason I so often loose my cool, but in reality it is just that I am not centered and I lack balance. It is my emotional imbalance that makes me loose my anger.
My meditation practice of over 10 years really helped me. I also have this post for beginners to start meditation.
This not only made me be more loving and compassionate towards her, but the world in general. This does not come so easily or automatically for that matter. It takes time and constant effort. But when you see the change in yourself it is very satisfactory.
Motherhood also taught me self love and importance of self care. I learnt along the way that unless I fill my cup I cannot pour into hers. Balancing my emotions meant that she was also happy. If I am not taken care of her meltdown would lead to mine or sometimes even vice versa.
Motherhood taught me how to manage time better. How much more I can fix into a day. When you have no kids you really do not have any responsibilities apart your own. Having a child makes a human dependent on you. It is a big responsibility. But that does not leave you without your own things to be done. And also the need to spend time on self love and self care…. time is always short.
There is so much to be accomplished in the day you are bound to get anxious. I learnt with time how to fit in all the things that mean the most and also how to let go and not be anxious for what got left out. For example posts like this take a couple of days from being thought of to being produced. Especially true in the year 2020 with work having increased and nowhere for kids to go and be distracted.
Motherhood taught me to love unconditionally. Only a child can teach you unconditional love. And again this is something that I learnt along the way. Unconditional love does not come naturally to us. No matter how much we love someone we have some expectations in turn, our conditions for loving them.
When the baby is really small you of course love it beyond words. But as the child grows you start having certain expectations and converse to what you may be expecting the child is a human in their own right and you cannot dictate what they do. By parenting right you might be able to influence them positively, but mind you there are really no guarantees in parenting. You cannot really control how your kids turn out to be. Do watch the video at the end of this post. You will know what I mean.
But when you take care of yourself and are balanced and in control of your emotions, you will realise you cannot but just love your child even when they are being their worst self. You will experience a love that will set your soul on fire.
Motherhood taught me to accommodate… I was not the most accommodating person. I had routines and ways of mine which I was pretty stiff over. But ta da came Myra into my life and I find myself accommodating to her. Every time I had feel I have aced the art of parenting my child, she decided to make it different. So accommodating to her routine her needs was a constant.
I also have learnt to let go…. let go of all the parenting advice that I don’t even want to listen to…. let go of my to do lists…. let go of friends (I know does not sound too good 🙁 ) with whom I could no longer have long easy conversations….. unless they had a child of their own to play with mine. Motherhood definitely means letting go of a lot of things along the way. But believe me the journey is so rewarding you would not mind it even a bit.
I was an avid reader. But I started much late in life. With my daughter I have been reading since she was 6 months old. Her reading journey has been equally enjoyed by me. I have loved buying books for her, reading to her and of late to see her read so effortlessly. I have also as a result had the chance to read all the books that I perhaps missed out in my early years. You can read more about our reading routines here.
Motherhood is an awesome journey… I have learnt that I must enjoy it. Myra is not going to be small forever. I must enjoy each and every age and stage of her growing up. It may mean sometimes that I have to let go of my own need to accommodate her, but I also know that it is more than worth it! I have also learnt that a bit of self care helps me be the best version of myself. We both are growing and learning and evolving. While I teach her a few life skills there is so much I myself learn.