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Monday, 2 November 2015

Motherhood has taught me: Humility


Motherhood has been one of those life changing moments in my life. In the short span of 9 months I've learnt so much about myself some pleasant and some unpleasant. Motherhood has certainly forced me to look and evaluate myself with so much honesty. I've learnt new things and I also found myself being forced to relearn others. 

So, I am starting this new series called "Motherhood Has Taught Me" to document this journey of my life of being a mother. I'm going to start with what I feel is probably one of the most important lessons I had to relearn - Humility. 

Humility
Motherhood made me realise I am clueless. 

I pride myself at being a planner and have pretty decent research skills. When I was pregnant I read up on what to expect, breastfeeding, babies and all that so that I could prepare myself. I thought I had it in the bag watching videos of breastfeeding, swaddling, how to bathe a baby to the point of feeling like if my baby cries I know what to do. I had lists of things I wanted to do and I would get upset at anyone who tried to suggest me something else. I felt like my way was the best way and only way! I would get even more irritated when the oldies came up to me with their traditional methods and all that. I honestly and truly felt that I was ready for motherhood.... until I became a mother.

The first time BabyLim was placed in my arms I felt awkward! I didn't know how to carry her. Then breastfeeding came and everything I read went out the window. It was uncomfortable and unpleasant - nothing beautiful about my first experience. 

The first night we brought BabyLim home, she cried the whole night through. Nothing I did soothed her. I was left in tears and frustration. I was upset at her, at hubbycat and at myself. It turns out BabyLim was hungry because breastfeeding wasn't feeding my baby. I felt like a failure for not being able to provide my baby with food and worst of all, not even knowing she was hungry!

Before I became a mother I had this list of things I would not do to BabyLim. Getting frustrated at her was one. I broke that 2 days in when I was so exhausted and she wouldn't stop crying and couldn't be put to sleep. I snapped at her and at hubbycat and at anyone who in my mind wasn't helping. I also had this grand plan of letting BabyLim sleep in her cot and out of our room when she's 6 months and thinking what parent would allow their child to sleep on the same bed. She's 9 months and she has yet to sleep in her own cot let alone in her own room. I became that parent. I also said I would read to her everyday, every moment I had the chance to because why let technology do it when I can. While I still haven't used technology, I haven't been consistently reading to her either because babies are so distracted and she's at that stage where eating the book is more fun than listening to the story.

As you can tell my grand plan has gone up in flames even before I had a chance to fix it. If there's one thing I learnt is that to never judge another mom whose shoes I have not walked in yet. It's so easy to say "I won't allow myself to do...." or "If it was me I would...." but unless I've been in their shoes I will never know how I will react if I were in their situation. I've learnt that most moms are doing what is best given their current situation and god knows how babies are so different from each other! What works for me might not work for them and vice versa. Except for a few matters, there is really no right or wrong when it comes to motherhood.

I learnt that I was pretty much clueless when it came to raising a baby. I am so thankful for the experiences of other moms who were so willing to share. I learnt to sit down and shut up - listen first. I know at the end of the day I have to decide what works for me and BabyLim but there's no harm in getting as much information as you can. I learnt that sometimes the best thing you can do is accept that you don't know anything. I'm glad I was zapped back down to earth and kicked off my high pedestal. It has certainly taught me to be more open minded and more accepting of other views especially those that differs from mine.

I am humbled and I am so sorry to all the moms whom I may have pushed my views on or offended with my words knowingly and unknowingly. I believe that we're all here trying our best and if anything, you don't deserve to be judged. You deserve to be listened to, supported and encouraged. I salute you mommy who is doing everything she can for her child. Soldier on!

-Ally

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