Indeed, motherhood is a process you need to love and care and be passionate about in order to learn.
Being a second time mom does not excuse me from learning the process all over again but I can definitely say that I am more in love and passionate now with motherhood. The process of motherhood has the same basics and established foundation which is mainly, LOVE. However, the process turns dynamic due to factors like time and children’s unique personalities.
I’d like to share with you the process/ess which I experienced and still experiencing since the birth of my firstborn in 2012. I’d like to believe that motherhood starts with pregnancy ‘coz basically that’s when I started caring, loving and talking and singing for my children.
There is this joy and disbelief of how wonderful a miracle of life is building inside you. Then worries set in. Emotional and physical roller coaster next and the practical choices. Once you’re near your due date, the more you will think about your LO’s future. You want it of course to be as bright as possible.
I was sent back to the land of euphoria the moment I first laid my eyes on my children. More worries and fears set in as they are now in the real world, outside of my protective womb, their whole world for 9 months. Separaton anxiety, yes. As they say, these are worries and fears you never thought existed.
Then I realized that sometimes (and maybe more often than sometimes) joy is overpowered by frustrations, sleeplessness, restlessness, tiredness and busyness especially during my first year as a mommy. Everything changed, from priorities, schedules to routines and relationships. No question asked, the baby is now the top priority. I got to be home early. No more late night meet-ups with friends. Less to nil social life. Time for reading and crafting became a luxury. Travel stopped. Concept of weekend me-time was dumped outright. I could cry if someone would ask me about the latest movies. The used to be 4 movies a day became a 10-15 minute movie-time per week (if we’re lucky). Bath time is my new solo time except when I needed to hurry which was pretty much the case most of the times. The mister and I almost became strangers to each other co-habiting for the sole purpose of taking good care of our LO. Sounds horrible? 🙂
To be honest, I wondered not just once, twice or thrice but many times if motherhood is really for me. Because no matter how innate maternal instincts are to me, no matter how natural mothering is for me, I still struggled, got tired in the process but LOVE made me work and try harder. As my heart aches each second of the day I spent apart with my children and as I find indescribable bliss whenever I stop or slow down a bit to take a good look at them, I know motherhood is for me. I will have it all in no other way.
Soon after, we were able to adjust. We worked on our marriage and personal growth. We were able to manage time more efficiently and properly as the LO gets older. We had dates, social life and an overnight escapade. Slowly, life got better only to be…. BEST when we learned that baby no. 2 is on the way.
I am starting the process all over again with some improvements and variances as I try breastfeeding this time. (Deserves a separate post.) The first few weeks were very challenging that I almost gave up. Thank goodness I did not because now my baby girl and I enjoy breastfeeding with all its nutritional and emotional benefits for both of us. It is now my favorite part of the day aside from a kiss from a tiny mouth and hug from little arms c/o my adorable son and of course a sweet (malicious) kiss and tight embrace from my husband.
I super enjoy motherhood nowadays and I cannot tell exactly why or how it reached this point. Even if it means less and carefully chosen social events, movies and hobbies. Occasionally, the mister and I go out on dates. We MAKE time, no matter what. These days, I am always excited to go home early even if it means immediately tending or breastfeeding my 6-month old and feeding my toddler and watching Harry Potter for the nth time. Putting them to bed at 8PM just in time before the mister arrives so that I could attend to him as well. And weekends, well they are family time.
Motherhood has taught me to be patient and innovative. It has taught me to be faithful to the Big Man now more than ever. It made me love my husband all the more, and my parents and sisters too. It has taught me that TIME is important and is almost similar to the word LOVE. In fact, I think it’s one of the best love language available. It has taught me to cherish every moment with my children because they will eventually grow up. They won’t stay the same for so long. It has taught me of weaknesses and strengths, of limitations and endless possibilities. It taught me that just like any process, it will take time. Lastly, it taught me that LEARNING is infinite especially in my remaining 50+ years of being a mommy.
No matter where you are in this special journey “motherhood”, always remember that it is a process. It may be the only process without much logic (insert: unconditional love of mommies). A process to enjoy, to love and to submit to God.