I rarely share motherhood advice on the blog, but in the spirit of Mother’s Day I thought I’d write down a few of many things I have learned and experienced as now a mother of two.
1. No matter what your educational background is, no matter if you’re a surgeon, an engineer or a rocket scientist, nothing comes close to the difficulty of the job that is being a mother. All the knowledge in the world and all the mathematical formulas won’t prepare you for the task that is shaping minds for the future generation, nor will it help you make a split second decision which will psychologically impact your children in their later years.
2. You have a new found value for your mother and her mother and so on so forth, for all the sacrifices they made and how you didn’t make it any easier because you were busy rebelling. You will also have a new found respect for your mother in law who raised her son to be the man he is, who will in turn be a good father.
3. You start to think about your surroundings in terms hazard levels, and if a threat occurs, your protective instinct will take over in a way that can only be described as heavenly, because you will be controlled by a power much stronger than you to save your child from any impending danger.
4. Whenever I watched the news and saw people suffering, I hate to admit it but I was always detached, I never felt any empathy, I was never moved. From the moment I got pregnant, I could relate to the moms and children, to all the wars, I would choke up at any mention of anything gruesome, and if I could, I’d avoid watching or hearing such news at all.
5. Before having kids, you put yourself first, you buy everything you desire, you do whatever you want. When you become a mom, your children’s needs become the priority; its not that you forget yourself, but you think of their activities, education and how to provide for them. Instead of buying for yourself while shopping, you know that you will survive if you don’t get the designer bag you are coveting, and you buy for your kids cute little outfits and those expensive orthopedic shoes .
6. You will feel empowered, and you will know the true meaning of being blessed. No material possessions, power, or social status can equate to the accomplishment of motherhood. You will finally realize that everything else is worth nothing.
7. The sleepless nights won’t last forever, and as they say, the days are long but the years are short. You will manage to survive the early months, but you do need a support system so don’t be shy to ask for help. You will need the presence of your parents, in laws, and any extended family who may help. Your husband will also play an essential role in maintaining your sanity, and hopefully he will understand the emotional roller coaster that is post partum, sometimes you will hate him and much worse hate your baby, and its all part of the initiation to motherhood and it won’t last long.
8. You will learn patience because your nerves will be tested in ways you have never imagined. I am a very impatient person and being a parent has taught me how to control my neurotic tendencies and find creative solutions around toddler dilemmas. I am now unofficially the parenting guru among many of my friends, not because I am better than anyone, but because I always think up of fun ways to solve daily problems. It helps if you have a sense of humor about things, like when your child throws a tantrum in public and lays on the floor, keep calm. Or when they refuse to try on shoes and their screams bring the employees running to the rescue, laugh it off. I usually burst into tears from all the laughter because really, the things they will get upset about is beyond any reason.
9. Get rid of the myth of the perfect mom, and be a hands on mom. I am imperfect, I am messy, I am not always tidy around the house, but I know that I’m doing my best balancing a demanding career as an architect which translates into a full time job, a blog, a couple of hobbies mainly painting, drawing and reading which are my passion, being a wife, and a mom. When I get home from a long day of work all my time is dedicated to my kids, we play, read, paint, dance, sing and go crazy. Remember that making memories with your kids is more important than being picture perfect, and that we lead by example because children imitate what we do and not what we say.
10. Don’t ever judge other moms. You are not better, you are not worse, stop comparing. Each of us is trying our best even when we have no idea what we’re doing. Before becoming a mom I was guilty of eyeing the moms who feed their kids junk food, saying to myself ‘There is no way I would allow my kids to eat that!’ But reality strikes and sometimes you need to do whatever it takes to keep your kids quiet and happy which in turn keeps you sane, and if a piece of chocolate does the trick, so be it. Some moms give their babies a pacifier, so what. Some moms don’t breastfeed, so what. Some moms check their social media while their kid is having a breakdown, so what. And the list goes on. I practice attachment and gentle parenting but I don’t judge moms who prefer a more traditional method. Let us become a community of moms who empower each other instead of break one another down, so when you see a mom with a child in tears screaming, please be sympathetic and don’t be annoyed, she is most likely on the verge of losing it!
Finally I would like to wish all moms a Happy Mother’s Day, you are all doing a great job!