Lessons From Motherhood
Motherhood has been an incredible experience, with ups and downs to manage an immense love that surpasses us. Some days it's wonderful, some days it's so scary that it paralyzes us.
Nothing prepares us for our children but the trend is to improve and learn a lot.
Priorities change, which is not bad, because, more than ever, it is clear what our priority is, our children. But if on a Saturday night it was synonymous with party all night long, now, when they stay with the grandparents the priority is to sleep and with a second child, the priority becomes having quality time for us, as a couple.
“A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years, and in your heart until the day you die.”
Every day I want to be better
There was never anything - a job, a hobby, or other people - that inspired and motivated me as much as my children to try every day to get closer to the best version of myself. In fact, there was never anything that changed my life so much and that challenged me so much to question myself and learn about myself, every day.
Don't make comparisons
As with everything, having expectations and comparing with the neighbor's chicken does not help at all. It is difficult (especially with this culture of putting everything out on instagram or Facebook), but it is really necessary. For our sanity, and theirs.
We often compare our children directly with other cases, based on our experience and our expectations. A mother can say "my son has been sleeping all night since he was 3 months old". That said, it can be interpreted in different ways. For me, sleeping all night is from 8 pm to 8 am, but for someone else, it can be sleeping 5 hours straight (as, in fact, it is considered in the literature on the subject). All about expectations.
Every kid is a kid, and ours are unique!
"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."
But the days are long and, at times, hard to pass. Those first few weeks sometimes seem like months. On sleepless nights, in inconsolable and unexplained crying, in the frustration of accumulated tiredness and not knowing what to do. I don't love the newborn stage. For me, I was doing a fast forward for the three months, knowing that afterward there is always some nostalgia for those days when they sleep a lot when they are so small that they can fit on our lap in only one arm, and that we can simply look at them to sleep. But, having the other side too, now that I know how funny they can be at 1 and 2 years old, I feel like watching them grow - but not too much!
Looking for help is a sign of intelligence
There is no need to reach the limit to seek help. On the contrary. Often, the sooner, the better. We are new to this, we are not born taught, but there is still some stigma, sometimes, in “asking for help”. But if there are resources, they are to be used. If when the baby is sick, we turn to doctors and hospitals or other help, why not go when we can prevent and improve some aspects, without reaching a threshold of despair?
We don't have to accept that one day things change, not least because in many cases they just don't change, if we do nothing.
It is not just the first child that we need help and we are not necessarily pro at all.
Last but not least, we may also need help ourselves - Mothers. To rest, to get back in shape or simply to let off steam and feel accompanied and understood. Delegate, ask for support from family or friends, hire someone who can help at home or with the baby, return to exercise, or do psychotherapy.
I think this is the best advice I can give to my friends and all future Mothers - use and abuse your resources and ask for help. For your health, for your sanity, for your babies, for your family.