The past weekend gave me a bit of (free) time to ponder on the recent changes in my life. In the past 15 months, I had not only became a wife and a home maker, but also (and more importantly), I became a mom. Now, I know that there’s essentially nothing new with a woman being a mom — women has been transitioning into this, way easily and without much word, for about a million years now. But see, the experience taught me so much, and, dare I say, made me feel more of a person, than any other experience. So here’s an attempt to document the lessons learned upon stepping into the difficult, sometimes fulfilling, but definitely wonderful world of motherhood.
- No matter how much you say that you don’t want to be like your mom when you yourself become a mother, nature will always take over. When I was a kid, out of spite because she won’t allow me to got out ’til nine at night, I vowed never to be like my mother. Not one bit. But I have proven that this feat is pretty impossible, considering that all I knew about motherhood were the things that I saw her do. And I’m glad that I turned out exactly like my mom. I wouldn’t have it any other way, because in my eyes now, my mother is a superhero. She did everything a mother should do, and more (so much more!) and I’m proud to be of her kind.
- You don’t have to abandon your dreams when your little one arrives. See, when I found out that I was pregnant, I cried to my husband. I cried, because I thought that I will never be able to fulfill anything off my bucket list. I cried, because I thought that being a mom ends all one’s dreams (this view, I partly blame on telenovelas which portray mums as these helpless beings who do nothing but the laundry and/or cooking). I cried. But my husband exalted, and said that I won’t have to abandon my dreams, because it was just the beginning of their fulfillment. I doubted him at first. But looking back now, I know what he said is true. After Sanji was born, not only was I able to do more (yes, do MORE, and I do not know until now how I even manage that), but I was also able to do things BETTER. Now, in addition to being a full-time web developer, I am also co-owner of a craft shop, Craft++, and also now, I am able to blog again.
- Pride takes the backseat when you become a parent. I don’t think I have to expound on this. It’s simply just because you have another person to think about now. The “I” that you know becomes “we”, so you can’t just take the next step for yourself.
- Your ideas on rest, the weekends, and alone time will ultimately change. Rest would mean about five minutes of laying down on the bed after a morning of bathing the baby, grocery shopping and cooking for brunch. Five minutes seem short, compared to when you were single (hello all day in bed :p), but those five minutes can make (or break) your day (and also, you). The weekends? Before, it meant waking up at four in the afternoon, and then ordering pizza for the movie marathon that would commence. But now, it means catching up with your husband over morning (and sometimes noon) coffee, spending time with your child without the nanny, going to kiddie parties and cleaning up after the mess that you made during the weekdays. My alone time became lessened, but I’m not complaining. I get to have coffee and see my best gals once a week, and that’s fine with me. It may sound disappointing/disheartening that you’d get to spend less time for yourself, but trust me, all of these are such blessings.
- Now that we’re on the topic of alone time and leaving home… You’d always feel like you’re leaving your heart whenever you wave goodbye to your little one. Yes, going to work is a necessity to give this child a better shot at life. Yes, you’re doing something that’s not play. But somehow, no matter how necessary/important your job is, you can’t quite justify leaving your child with someone who you’ve only talked to once or twice, and immediately accepted in your life because you needed them (no wonder some nannies have this kind of arrogance in them). It’s true that having a child is like having your heart on the outside of your body — you’re that vulnerable. I still haven’t figured out how to stop the tiny pangs of guilt and heartache.
- The heartache and guilt almost immediately (I’d say magically, because it’s that amazing) the moment you see your child again. Because believe it or not, you have the best role in the whole world — his world. You’re his mum, and nothing can ever change that. You and only you hold a special bond with him. I know this because every time I sing or call Sanji by his name, or just simply walk in the room, my son also knows that his mum is there. And that magic of nature, that chorus of angels in heaven moment, that redeems everything.
- As much as I’d like to tell you that being a mother is the gist of your existence, I can’t, because it is not. Beyond being a mother, you are also a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sibling. You are still you. Never let motherhood erase who you are. If you are into rock music, then that shouldn’t change. There are rock lullabies, you know! And yes, I plan on playing those to my little boy because there is no better gift to give your child the freedom and the option to explore this wonderful world. Don’t just drop out from your friends’ worlds because you think they can’t grasp your motherly duties. I assure you, they can grasp that, and if they don’t, well, maybe they shouldn’t be as close to you because they can’t accept that change in you. I’m very lucky to have found the best gals who understand who I am and who I am going to be. I am also very lucky to have found a husband who doesn’t compress me into just being a mother. He always lets me know that 1) I am free to do what I want in life and that 2) he supports me fully in every crazy endeavor that I want to jump into. So be you, be your beautiful you. Your child will appreciate you for that.