Before I became a mother, I had my own perceptions of what I thought motherhood involved. I never really understood the decisions and choices that mothers around me were making and therefore made judgments that when I look back I had no basis for making. Hey I am only human…
I remember visiting my sister during one of my college semester breaks. By then she was married with a little beautiful baby girl. I expected life to go on “the way I had always known it”, like we would go shopping, go to the hair salon or get our manicures and pedicures. To my horror, when we went shopping all she wanted to do was shop for little girls clothes… can you imagine how boring that was for me a nineteen year old varsity girl who had no interest whatsoever at that time in marriage, let alone in little babies….honestly, I concluded this was not the sister I had always known and she was now boring…
Well, fast forward more than a decade later and I am the mother of not one, but three amazing little people that I would walk to the end of the universe for. My life as I knew it changed the day I became a mother six years ago. Today’s post is like my confessional of all the misconceptions I had.
- I wish I had known that my workmate was telling the truth when she did not show up at work and her reason being her nanny had not pitched. I wish I had known that emergencies like this do happen when you least expect them to and at the most inconvenient time.
- I wish I had known that when my sister had that slightly bulgy tummy six months after giving birth, it was not because she was “letting herself go” or had given up on her looks. She really was trying her best to shed the post baby weight and what she needed from me was support and understanding and not judgment.
- I wish I had known that when you are the source of food and comfort for a little person, when you are sleep deprived and trying to figure out the whole mothering thing, you prioritise differently.
- I wish I had not judged that lady whose child threw up on her in church and she just did not have another change of clothes for the baby because he had already done the same thing twice already. Oh dear…
- I wish I had known that shopping for pink dresses and cartoon character clothing is just as important and that for sure long “stick on” nails are not that practical when you are a nursing mother and you need to wash the baby clothes on a Saturday when the nanny is away. Forget washing machine coz ZESA, ESKOM, Kenya Power and ZESCOM are not reliable at all. Trust me I know.
- I wish I had known that the sleepless nights I experienced during pregnancy were probably a “rehearsal” of sorts for the sleepless nights I would have nursing my twins. Maybe just maybe, I would have been in a better psychological space.
- I wish I had known that priorities change once a baby is born.
- Despite all the preparation, all the books I read and advice I got I wish I had known that my life would never be the same again and that experience is indeed the best teacher.
Seriously though, balancing or juggling or whatever you prefer to call it being mom, a professional woman, a wife and all other roles that we have is not easy. The mothers around us need our support so please do cut them some slack. If you are already a mother whose children are older, do not forget too quickly and also remember every mother’s experience is different. Let’s be there for each other.
I know I am not the only “sinner” here. Please do confess your misjudgments and misconceptions about motherhood before you became one.
Love and blessings