Today at 6 AM, after a month of taking care of me, making sure I eat right and drink while I breastfeed … my mother flew back to her home over the Atlantic ocean. During this past month she had been away for a few days in a row, but I always knew she will be back soon – now, I will see her in July. Although sometimes annoying, I will miss having some grown up company at home – especially someone who can’t get offended if my hormones turn me into a demanding beast.
When she was at the door she hugged me and said ‘come here you mommy’ and that is when it hit me – I am a mom! My mom telling me that I am a mom obviously did the trick. The baby started crying so I had to go do my duty. As I heard the door shut, with the baby in my arms I suddenly felt so alone – so out of this world. So I sat there looking at my little girl like I saw her for the first time. Feeling my angst she started crying her lungs out and I kept looking at her like someone needed to tell me what to do. Then I pulled myself together for her sake and for mine, we both fell asleep. When I woke up, I walked into our kitchen and wrote down a catchy phrase that has been resonating in my head for a few days now: Yes we can! Quite a few times my life had faced me with difficult situations that I thought I couldn’t get through. But I did and all these moments serve as a great reference when I am once again faced with the feeling that I won’t be able to handle things.
So, on my path to realising that I am now a grown up woman who has a family of her own, I will share with you some of the beautiful things that come with becoming a new parent. Well, a new mom.
1. If you are a mother you will know that once you bring a baby into this world, you enter the club of mothers. This group manifests itself as a special feeling of empathy that you feel for every other mother you know. You can now share advice, talk about things that you never thought about before and most importantly – if you are lucky – you get a group of wise women who you are free to call at any time of the day if you feel confused, happy or if you feel like giving it all up and joining the circus. Even more importantly, you feel like you can be one of those people too. You are ready to share all your newly acquired wisdom and you offer your help to others, you feel the need to let your MBFFS’s (mommy best friends forever) know that you are there for them as well. It is a beautiful feeling of symbiosis.
2. Your body makes you to incredible things. Sure, you have a floppy belly, stretch marks and a behind that would make J-Lo jealous (well, not really) but you have also gained some incredible strength. I remember being at the hospital for the third day and thinking that I couldn’t possibly get up once again to hold Eliza and soothe her the best way that I can. I was so tired that I couldn’t even talk or hum anymore – but I managed to get up at least half a dozen more times. And I thought…so this is motherhood. Even when you think you can’t possibly do any more – you do. And you keep on doing it. Every morning, no matter how rough the night was and how tired I am, I am there to greet my toothless little sucker with a smile and a happy voice. That is just what mothers do. No matter what life brings you, you are a mother for life. And even after 31 years I could still see the pride in my moms eyes because she felt that I needed her and that she was able to be there for me.
On top of it all, I am still amazed that I can feed my baby and feel an incredible sense of pride when I realise that I have the nutrition that my baby needs always on me.
3. Your partner also becomes the father of your child. At some point you realise that you and your man have managed to create a whole new person that connects you for life. Out of thin air (and out of a sperm cell and an egg) a new life was born. A little being that has your mouth and his eyes. Someone you can both poke fun at and not be offensive. Someone that shows you a different side of your loved one. A little person that has the best parents in the world.
4. You discover online shopping. Let’s face it, these things can happen. Because I am not really able to go out and spend time in a mall I spend hours (especially at night when I fail to fall back asleep) looking at waterproof parka’s that I will wear in April while strolling in the park with my baby. I now have two apps on my phone which allow me to order stuff with just one click. I must warn you that this is extremely dangerous behaviour that needs to be monitored by a rational adult.
5. You eventually overeat on doughnuts and now the mere thought of them makes you slightly nauseous. You do, however, discover some new craving. In my case it’s muffins from a bakery around the corner. The other day I gave them such praises for them that I got a free one. Yay for me! Yay for muffins!
I would like to dedicate this post to my mom who is the best mom I could ever hope for. She went through all of this with my brother and I. Also, she was the one who discovered the yummy muffins.