There are plenty of things people don’t say about being pregnant or becoming a Mother, but I do wonder whether they are things that are left out intentionally. People tend to want to give you advice, whether you ask for it or not, whether it is positive or not.
To me, the things that are not told to you, are things that cannot be told.
They are things that can only be felt.
Okay. I think they can be told, but not fully understood.
Since I was in Thailand I didn’t have all the outside sources explaining to me how it was for them, or how wonderful it would be to hold my baby for the first time.
It’s interesting how people seem to come together easier when there are difficult times. People are more likely to talk about the earthquake in China that killed 300 people over the man that saved a plane from going down off the coast of Ireland.
I say interesting because it doesn’t seem to be that way when it comes to becoming a Mother.
Here’s my take on why:
People try and convey the beauty that surrounds giving birth to life because that is what they remember the most. That is what the brain and heart work together on, to keep alive.
Without it, we are left with an uncomfortablilty that doesn’t make us want to have more children.You may have heard that the pain while in labour and when giving birth, is something we women, tend to forget. Whether it’s a brain thing or the overwhelming feel of love and goodness that envelopes you, there are triggers that slowly take the actual feeling of hurting so much, away.
And so of course, it is rather important to the human race, for us to want to have more children!
I think that people don’t want to scare or add stress to an already unknown and fearful time in a pregnant womans life. And if it’s before your pregnant, well.. they don’t wanna miss out on a chance of cuddling a newborn.
Maybe there is no overall way to view why people don’t tell you the negatives.
If I was to develope one, it would be that it is an experience that is so incredible, reguardless of the unknown and pain, that words fail.
Not knowing the episotomy would take so long to heal, feeling disorganized in a chaotic ball that continues spinning, work that is unpredictable even when you think you have the hang of it.
It may not feel that you have grasped anything of the experience because you really are swimming in a sea of all kinds of emotions.
Which is where I’ll bring in some voice on my own experience.
I remember feeling unable to still my mind or my heart.
I knew I was going through something for the first time, and it would never be the first time again.
I remember feeling that I could not grasp everything I wanted to.
That even if I had minutes where I could just lay, I would not be able to reel in, what was happening to me.
And in that way, I felt alittle lost. That I could not put labels or names to feelings or things happening. That I could not understand fully, what I was going through.
At the same time it was scary, I had my arms flung open in acceptance.
I accepted that not being able to put my feelings down on paper or into peoples ears in a way that made sense or did justice for what I truly felt, was part of this experience. The experience I would never have again for the first time.
I suppose this was my main struggle. And that the little sleep and not knowing what was the most right thing to do, was less of one.
Like I mentioned above- in Thailand I had little outside sources to offer me advice or give me ideas about what was to come. I was really okay with that and it was actually, what I preferred.
All of what I did to prepare, was strictly done online and in books.
I chose to skip alot of parts that were other people telling there experience. I chose to focus on things that would enhance mine. I wanted my experience to have very little influence.
I wanted to prepare in the way I felt best. Not what others had discovered as best.
I wouldn’t push away any advice if i was offered, but I stayed clear from asking questions that involved peoples opinions.
I remember near the end of my pregnancy, I started getting more scared and nervous. I watched part of a labour and delivery video. And was sorry I had. Not because of how much pain I saw unfolding, but because I felt it had taken away from what I was going to be going through.
This was my attitude even towards once baby was here.
I knew I wasn’t going to know it all. I knew there would be things I would miss or do ‘wrong’.
Sure, I had read a lot about things to expect but they were facts that I took quite casually.
My baby afterall, was not a textbook theory.
A few weeks after Zeek was born, he had gas. It was so weird, it was like he went into this completely differenet baby overnight, who wouldn’t sleep and cried a lot more.
I remember that was a point of feeling helpless and clueless. My mom was still here at the time while we tried a few different methods. That’s probably the first time I realized that I could really feel I had the hang of it, but then be completely overrided with a gigantic change.Because that certainly was not the last time things changed fast.
There are so many different styles of parenting. Zeek turns two in October and looking back now I can see how I approached it. ( Whereas, while it was happening, I didn’t think much about it )
I focused on the things I felt were priority-like being able to get himself to sleep.If I had to get up at 4am for two weeks straight, I was okay with that, knowing he was learning how to get himself to sleep.
Which brings me to another point.I think it took me awhile to do things in steps and not tackle it all at once. I was eager to put my instincts and knowledge into practise. But, I found it didn’t work like that. He’s another human being after all with his own needs and wants and time.
There have been plenty of times I have tried something and ended up feeling simply that it didn’t feel right. And I knew if it didn’t feel right to me,I wouldn’t be consistent with it. That was the reasoning in my head. And it transcended into my gut and my heart. Which is what I stuck with.
I wanted to be convicted in the choices I made as a parent and let me tell you, there are still times I am confused and unsure of what I feel is right. But I accept that as part of parenting-specially with the first child. Sometimes not knowing which way works best for my child and I, is more difficult to embrace than other times. I’m his Mother, I should just KNOW, shouldn’t I?
But over time I see that trying out different options and not feeling guilty for not getting it right the first time, has been a relieving and comfortable way of handling parenthood.
Zeek goes through spurts of change. Three months ago he would do what we asked whenever we asked him. Now he is a bit more defiant and asserting his independency. Testing the waters, and my patience.
I am more patient than Morgan so my time with Zeek has been a lot more frequent in the past month.
For me, there has been a lot of joy in knowing I am creating a bond, stronger than any one I’ve ever had. The way he hugs me. They are my absolute favourite hugs I have ever recieved.
Also, the things I have learned about myself.
Just because my confidence as a Mother has been growing from the start, doesn’t mean there aren’t times where I falter and feel like I’m gonna lose it. I think one of the biggest things one can do as a Mother, is accept all the emotions that come with the title. If you are fighting against feelings that are natural and ‘home’grown, baby or child could sense that. They are afteralll, new to this whole world thing and need that security in order to grow.
At times it is scary knowing I am shaping this human. That he is learning and taking in everything I am surrounding himself with. He is learning how to live life, based on how he sees me live mine. He see’s me interact with others, he watches how I express my anger or sadness, he even imitates putting a key to the door, when it is something I have never actually taught him.
In the first year what came as a surprise to me is something that seems silly for seeming like a surprise now..but that’s maybe becuase I have more of a connection with Zeek.
I think about him EVERYWHERE I GO.
If I have a few hours apart from him, if he’s sleeping.. it seems I am always thinking about what he’ll be like when he gets up or when I get home, and whether he’s eaten or not or whether he has enough wipes or if I need to get more baby dish soap or did I brush his teeth today or when was the last time he had a bath!
I was CONSTANTLY planning around Zeeks schedule. Even if he didn’t have a strict one, I knew when he would be in a good mood and able to sit for an hour or two at a time.
Even writing it now it seems like, well YEAH, why WOULDNT you do it that way. Who wants to take a baby out grocery shopping when you KNOW they haven’t slept yet and are going to scream bloody murder throughout every aisle.
But it got pretty disruptive when I refused to go anywhere or with anyone who dropped by on short notice That is one of the ways I didn’t think I would be like. I thought I would be more lax and okay to go anywhere at anytime. Afterall, that’s how my social life worked.
am I the parent I thought I was going to be?
I had a general idea, knowing myself and alittle bit about the psychology behind parenting.But something as grande and new as being a parent, is totally gonna come with surprises about self and about it.
There still are times when I get overwhelmed. I doubt that will actually stop until Zeek is living on his ow.! And even then….
I think it’s important to recognize that you do get overhwhelmed and that it is a stressful and selfless job that will wear any person down. I don’t try to be supermom, I just try and be the best mom that I can be. And sometimes I feel I fall short of that. Some days I’m like, ‘man, i wasn’t that good today. I could be better, I’ll focus on having more patience tomorrow.’ Or, ” I’ll make sure I really am in tune with Zeeks emotions and do my best to prevent a tantrum.”
Because they do happen. To every Mom.
I used to get angry at Zeek for them. And I quickly came to the conclusion that helps me to be more calm during them. It is part of growing. It is expressing. He doesn’t have words and he isn’t trying to embarress me in public. He is feeling a lot of different emotions and doesn’t understand all of them. He doesn’t fully understand the connection between it being okay to throw a ball outdoors, and not indoors. All of these lines of toddlers, that will have me refusing to call it ‘terrible two’s.’ He is developing, just as he should and I need to be there for him through it all.
I’ve been in Thailand the majority of the time I have been a Mother.
I will be coming back to Canada in October, for an uncertain amount of time.
I am scared.
I am scared of the judgement I will create and make and feel.
Judgement I excused here becuase of the different culture.
I will be harder on myself there I know,because there are ‘higher standards’.
But would I go about Parenting any other way?
No, because this way is the way I feel the most right, the most confident doing.
And conviction is very very powerful.