Since becoming a mother don’t you see your mother in a different light? Like how did she raise four children with very little money and husband working away, family far away, and without any type of textbook and Google that could have helped? And now, you just get it, you understand the drive that comes with being a mother, the strength you somehow gather to just push through any scenario life throws at you. Whether it be sickness, fights, financial problems or just the everyday things that life can throw at you. You even realize that your mom does not look too bad for her age. And for being through all of this, she is not negative or bitter about the hard times. That’s why self care is just so important; because of the example it gives your children.
“Mom Flu is exactly like normal flu, except nobody cares.”
This rings so true once you become a mother, you read this on memes and all over social media and it’s hilarious, until it’s you!
Take me for example: I have had toothache for about a week now, and I just don’t get the time (or the babysitter) to go and get it fixed. And the pain is excruciating, but I still have to get up at 6 AM and feed my baby girl. She still has to have her nap time routine, and the dishes still need to get done, dinner still needs to get made, and the list goes on and on – time waits for no mom!
Being a mom really is a 24/7 job, and I say job because it’s hard work, although incredibly rewarding, it still takes up most of your time, especially for the first few months. And, you rarely get time for yourself, your marriage, or any other relationships in your life. People can be so hard on stay at home moms, the stereotype of getting to stay home all day and do yoga, is unfortunately very real, and we just do not get enough credit.
Whether you are sick, tired, cranky, emotional, or just having a rough day, you somehow always gather the strength to look after your baby and tend to them as if nothing is wrong, still giving them the attention they deserve and need.
Since becoming a mother I could feel myself change. Looking back on those first few weeks, I can’t imagine how I used to get up every two hours to feed while still recovering from my c-section, the hormones that came flooding in the first few days, struggling with breastfeeding, the paranoia of whether your baby is still breathing, is she comfortable, is she lying right, and lets not forget the sleepless nights Googling about whether her amount of spit up is normal.
I know that this is just the beginning, we haven’t even started teething, solids, potty training, sleep training, tantrums, and all the rest, and somehow I just know that I will cope with all of it because that is what being a mom is all about. You are not allowed to give up, and that to me is so powerful, and it just makes you stronger every day. You just see the world differently when you become a parent.
Being a mom is like having seven balls in the air while holding your baby and trying to catch them all, whether it be trying to juggle having a personal life of some sort, friendships, marriage, a career, and the moment you pay attention to one of these, you immediately feel some sort of “mom guilt” over not being with your child, not spending all your time tending to them, or just simply worrying about them.
I strongly believe that having children humbles you, although I have never seen myself as a selfish person. I did put myself first in many scenarios, and since my baby girl was born, putting her first comes so natural. I don’t need to think it over or decide whether I really need to go play with her or go to the hair appointment my hair desperately needs, it’s a no brainer.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” and you are no good to your baby if you are stressed out and unhappy. Our basic needs still need to be met and we deserve to be happy in all aspects of life in order to be a good example to your children as they grow up.
It is exactly like the safety demonstration before a flight; “place your own oxygen mask before tending to others.”
It is just that some of the things that used to give me sleepless nights before I became a mom seems like minor issues to me now, and I feel more capable handling outside stresses in my life. I feel mentally and emotionally stronger even.
Mom flu is not just actually being sick, it’s a constant state we find ourselves in where we put our families and relationships above our own wellbeing sometimes. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t have it any other way! The rewards of being a mom far outweigh the sacrifices, and I cannot imagine my life without my precious sweet baby girl.
To all the moms out there who are juggling life and motherhood and feel like you are dropping balls left and right, hang in there, you are not alone, and you are doing an AMAZING job!
Life happens FOR YOU and not TO YOU. Once you realize that, a whole lot of things come into perspective: you stop seeing everything as a chore and realize what a blessing it is to be able to have children, and friends and a marriage or relationship. Although being a mom is such hard work, you stop looking for validation in other people and start finding it in the little face smiling up at you and within yourself.
And who is a better critic of whether you are doing a good job other than your baby? No one!
Related Post: Struggles With Becoming A First Time Mom
About the guest author:
I am a new mom of 27 years old, living in South Africa with my sweet little baby girl Paige and my amazing husband.
I love to write and share my experiences of being a first time mom, and all the obstacles that we all face as mothers whilst juggling other parts of our lives.