As Mother’s Day draws near, I reflect on my role as a mother to my kids and what I have learned from this experience so far. Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience that comes with joys, challenges, and surprises. While every woman's journey is unique, there are some things that I think many moms wish they had known (well, at least I do!) before they embarked on this journey. Let us explore a few key things that could help moms-to-be to better navigate motherhood from day 1.
Motherhood is not always instinctive
Many women assume that being a mother comes naturally, but the truth is that it's a learned skill. I am sure I am not the only one who felt no mother instinct whatsoever during the first few months of my baby’s life. I still remember not knowing how to hold her when the nurse put our newborn daughter in my arms after I gave birth! I felt totally overwhelmed, anxious, and unsure of what to do when we brought our baby home. The sense of helplessness was overwhelming when I held my screaming newborn baby and not knowing what was wrong or how to make her stop. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to motherhood, and it's essential to give yourself grace and time to learn and grow.
Self-care is not Selfish
We are not superhumans that can never get tired or sick and are eternally in the best shape mentally and physically. It is especially demanding when you are a mother. Too often we are putting our own needs last, but self-care is essential for your physical and mental well-being. Taking time to care for yourself is not selfish, but rather a necessary aspect of being a good mother. Whether it's taking a bubble bath, going for a walk, or reading a book, find ways to prioritize your self-care. Children are very intuitive to their parents’ moods and it is better for them to be around a more relaxed parent than a constantly super-stressed one.
Your relationship with your partner will evolve
Navigating a long-term relationship with your partner takes effort on both sides. It's important to communicate openly, set realistic expectations, and make time for each other. After becoming parents, maintaining a healthy relationship becomes even more vital because having a child can significantly impact the dynamics between you and your significant other. I think it's natural for your relationship to evolve, but it doesn't have to be for the worse. In addition to sharing a life together, you also are partners in bringing up the beautiful human being(s) you have created together!
No mother is perfect
One important thing I have learned as a mother to my kids is that I should not be afraid to apologize to them when I made a mistake. As a mother, I am learning this role on-the-job with no prior experience to lean on. So, it is normal for me to sometimes overreact, or be too quick to criticize when the little ones did something “wrong” in my eyes. I hope to set a good example for my children to own up to their mistakes and by admitting to them we are on our way to self-improvement.
Every child is different
Before our second baby was born, I thought babies are like blank pieces of paper when they were born and that it was up to us to teach or mold them into as decent a person in the best way we know how. But I was so surprised to notice how different in personality and temperament our daughters are since the moment they were born! I finally understood the true meaning of the saying, “Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another”. It's essential to understand that my child is unique and to be patient and flexible as I learn what works best for them. Though not easy at all, I try not to compare my children to one another or to other kids their age. Rather focus on each child's individual needs and strengths and support them in the way they need me to.
Becoming a mother is such a fulfilling and enriching experience that comes with its highs and lows. Each stage in our child’s life is another learning opportunity for both mother and child, so we can grow together. Bombol wishes all moms, mother figures, and moms-to-be a wonderful and relaxing Mother’s Day!