parenting · serious stuff

Reality check on what motherhood means

scared-monkeySome women are just made for motherhood. All their inner system exist for the moment when they will become mothers and life will revolute around the offspring.

But we, as a specie, are changing. This motherhood genetically settings are fading for some of us. Or maybe is the social autism that makes it fade away. But the truth is that some of us just don’t feel like being mothers.

And this seems more likely to happen when the woman has a very active life before having the child – social life, career… Finding yourself alone in a house with a crying baby can be overwhelming. On one side you may have no idea why he is crying and what to do to stop him, and on the other side you would just like to run away. But you can’t because you are a responsible adult.

Why do we even have kids? Except for the biological impulse that most women feel. For some of us having kids is a very rational decision. And for some of us the decision comes from the wrong reasons : boredom, society pressure, family pressure, to save a dysfunctional marriage, because this is what we “should” do…

And many times those that don’t have kids due to their inner call, get to regret having them after all. OK, sometimes the first ones too. Because many times people have the impression that having a kid means that your life changes a little bit for few months and then everything goes back to normal. Which is an unfortunate way of thinking.

Because in few months after the birth the mom gets the horrible feeling that she doesn’t exist anymore and the struggle with the baby begins. Parents struggle to tech “lessons” to infants so they can get their lives back. Or at least a part of them. We force our kids to achieve developmental milestones when they are not ready for them just to get more time for us.

No, the horrible part of parenting, the one that will turn you mad, is not changing the dirty dippers! I’ll give you the worst case scenario…

In the first few months your baby will entirely depend on you. Not only for feeding and changing, but also for emotional needs. So your baby will need to be held. Imagine a life where the only moments when you are apart from him are the 5 minutes in the shower. Imagine that you even go to the toilet with your baby. Imagine that he is glued to you always!

And the worst part is that the only way your baby can express all his needs is by crying. No, sorry! Screaming bloody murder! Even in your arms. Sometimes just to release some psychological pressure. You will feel helpless and desperate.

If you breastfeed, brace yourself for pain, bleeding from your nipples and the urge of stopping 10 times per day. And the fight for continuing and the struggle that comes with it.

See the kids of your friends? The ones that sleep through the night from beginning?! Well, that is a sweet dream. You will probably have the worst sleeper ever that will wake you up 10 times per night. You’ll have to learn to sleep seated, to enjoy 10 minutes of snoozing, to wake up and be available for your baby as soon as he wakes up in the morning.

If you think this monkey carrying thing and sleep craziness will get better over the months, don’t full yourself. As they grow, they will follow you all over the place, including the toilet. And some may never sleep better until they are ready too. And even if you feel like you can’t continue like that and try some harsh sleep training, it may or may not work. And chances are you would feel horrible for even trying it.

Brace yourself for mash food into your hair, for being always in (stained) pyjamas, for not going out of the house without your baby. For months! And being tired all the time for years!

As your baby will grow and turn into a toddler, he will need other types of attention. Don’t full yourself that he will get independent.

When you will get out of the house without the baby, you’ll feel guilty. And many times your kid will throw a tantrum just because you are not there, so you will feel even worst upon your return.

The worst case scenario is that, from many reasons, your life will be on hold for a while. It depends on the kid and parent how long “a while” means.

But you must understand that your life as it was before will never come back. Never ever!

Pay attention to your friends that have kids. Check how they organise themselves and ask them to honestly tell you how their social and professional lives changed after the kid. Think to the worst case scenario and decide if this is for you or not. Read about parenting styles and see what would you do (of course plans will change after the birth!). See if you could bear doing all that and try to imagine how you would feel.

Maternity is still considered like “The Miracle” and saying otherwise can get you a lot of blame! So brace yourself for criticism over your complains too. Dare to say you do not enjoy pregnancy or that you find parenting tiring and you will have at least 10 perfect moms telling you how all this is the best part of your life. (I remember how while being pregnant with my first one I was almost always admonished because I used to say I do not enjoy pregnancy. Some even got to the conclusion that I had never wished to have kids.)

Maybe some reality check parenting classes before getting pregnant would help women on long term.

We live in an era of getting info over the Internet, so maybe more stories about how one’s life changes after having kids would help prevent the desperation of this women.

Consider the worst case scenario and then decide if you are really into it.

No, don’t get scared! Just get real expectations!

 

Please don’t understand this post as my complains and hate towards maternity. I love my toddler and I am amazed by her every single day. The way they develop it turned into a passion for me. I read neuropsychology just to understand it better.

But for me having my life on hold was a rational decision. I do have one kid and I am pregnant with a second one because I want to raise better people. So I am ready to fulfil their emotional needs in the first years of life even if this mean putting aside other parts of my life. It will come a time when I will get back tiny parts of being something else except a mom. I look forward for that moment!

And one of my best decisions was to go back to work when Bubble was 4.5mo. That kept me sane. After 5 pm and during the weekend I am mainly her mom (a small part of me is still a wife :)))) ). My adult life is from 8.30 am till 5 pm during workdays and except holidays.

*Photo: www.toonvectors.com

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3 thoughts on “Reality check on what motherhood means

  1. hey! I didn’t know you were pregnant again!! Congrats!!! How far along are you? 🙂
    Back to your post: I think it depends on whether the future mom realizes and, most importantly, accepts that her life will change for good or not. Many, many women don’t accept that before having the babies. Of course it depends on the personality too, but I think the struggle would be less if they really accepted that everything will change. I never felt as if I never existed anymore in the beginning, in the first few months. I guess it’s all about perspective. 🙂 You went back to work when your baby was 5 months, I couldn’t have done it. Because I do feel I am something else besides a mom. The fact that I’m staying home with them ( and you know my case, I’ll be staying many more years from now) doesn’t mean I am just a mom and a cleaning lady 😛 I do plenty of other stuff – adult stuff, I mean, that don;t involve the kids. Again, it’s just a matter of perspective. Ultimately all that matters is that both mom and baby are happy.

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    1. Thanks! 13 weeks and counting. 🙂 We don’t know yet if it’s a she or a he. 😀 So just Kohlrabi for the moment. :)))
      And you are right – most of us don’t accept that our lives would never be the same again. We just think in few months we will go back to old habits.
      (I knew it won’t be the same. And never expected to be the same. 🙂 )

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