18 May 2023, by E-van and Terry
And just like that, I’m a mother of two. It’s still crazy to me that I am that. Not too long ago I was a child myself and to be honest, I don’t think I’ve steered very far from that. I still am, but with great power, comes great responsibilities… Name that movie. Jokes aside, motherhood has really changed me and dare I say, my entire being.
In the physical aspect, at face value, I won’t bore you with details of how my body has changed. Long story short, I am no longer the size I used to fit. And that’s okay! This little person here produced two even littler persons and that’s quite a feat!
When you hear the word motherhood, what other words spring to mind? For me, I don’t know why, but the first word is pain, exhaustion, firsts, joy, what is sleep, sleep is for the weak, sacrifice, more sacrifice, wonderment. I think there are actually lots more down the list and I could go on and on. But being on this side now, I realized how extensive a role a mother has. Learning to care for another entire human being is a lot of work…
My empathy for struggling mothers or parents has skyrocketed since becoming a mother. Even movies that lightly touch on parental woes or about their love for their child can so easily move me to tears now. No one tells a soon-to-be mum how tough it’s gonna be the first few months. It is like a culture shock, and it can feel very lonely because you’re the baby’s main caregiver, and in many cases we are also their source of food. It can also feel like you’re being thrown into the deep end and you’ll have to find the way out yourself. I’m here to say, it’ll get better. You’ll get better at it and you’ll find your rhythm. You are not alone! When you’re awake in the dead of the night to tend to your baby, think of it this way, there are many mothers beyond your walls who are awake too. You can do this!
2. New Normal
Being a mother means a newly configured life/lifestyle. Admittedly, many things will revolve around the child now whether you like it or not. Our holidays are now child centred and we actually really enjoy watching them being excited at new things, and the pure sense of wonderment you see in their eyes is really such a joy to witness. Being tired before kids is way different from being tired after having kids. The word exhaustion may not even come close to describing it. I think every night is a knocked out sleep 😂
3. Stop being judgemental
Before kids, it was quite easy to pin point mistakes that parents make. After kids, I sympathise when I know that parents don’t deliberately teach their kids to do the wrong things, rather it’s hard to teach if your kid just doesn’t listen, or have such a strong personality that it takes more than one time to remind them that what they’re doing is not right. When we’re outside, it is so easy to judge an angry parent being impatient with their child but if you’re a parent yourself, you’ll know that kids can really push you to your limits. And that angry parent may have been pushed to their limit that day, so I won’t be quick to judge.
Entering and living the motherhood life is kinda strange because it is like a whole different realm that coexisted with the rest of us, but we will never ever get the goings-on of that realm until we enter it and experience it ourselves first hand. Until then, maybe don’t be so quick to cast the first stone. We are all trying to be good parents and trying our best to manage the expectations of our little ones with creative and sometimes demanding requests. You know, toddler logic.
Thanks for reading my entry and Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and/or caregivers! I Love Children Singapore is running a Mother’s Day contest, click here to find out more! Good luck!