To accurately describe the still very young journey of motherhood that I’m on is to fail, and do so miserably. What I can say, is that although I remember life before my nugget, it strangely seems she has always been here. Maybe it’s her energy that was here, helping us to love her even when she was but a figment of our imaginations with a name.
Guys, my baby is three years old. Three. She is a firecracker of a little human who talks to me now (and back to me, too). Full conversations about her wants, needs, feelings, likes and dislikes. She is nothing if not me, but in miniature. One of my favorite Jamaican bloggers Adventures from Elle commented that I made motherhood attractive. I felt that, at the same time I cringed.
Boy! If y’all could see the frustrations, her daring stubbornness, the meltdowns when she’s super tired and refuses to simply let her drooping eyelids close. The maddening repetition of asking her to put away her toys, to get down from the chest of drawers, the chasing, the arguing. The way she wraps us around her little finger. The devlish grin when she gets her way. All of it is incredibly frustrating and makes me think I can only do this once. And then she asks to cuddle, or hug, or apologises, or tells me how much she loves me and my heart betrays my head and baby fever starts to walk my skin.
And all this while I feel like I continuously struggle to be everything she needs. I’m constantly unsure of whether I’m doing this right, even as she accepts my stumbling efforts without judgement. I have learnt and grown so much, I never would have been able to imagine it all. But one thing is for sure. She is the kid I prayed for. Everything I would have special ordered and soo much more. She’s She’s given me the chance to give her the mother-daughter experience to her I wish I knew as well as brought me perspective. Let me share three these things motherhood taught me.
Three Things Motherhood Has Taught Me
Patience. Oh, what a painful lesson. I am not the most patient person overall, so I went into this committing myself to learning a great deal. Still, this phase toddlerhood are a test of sanity. But someone gave some advice (a new mom too). She said we should be mindful as millennials, always wanting to be on the go, that we do not dim our children’s light by always being in a rush. Rushing them just to rush, and dimming their joy.
This bit of information has played into my consciousness whenever I start rushing her. I ask myself whether, I really need to be rushing, or whether a few more seconds or minutes to indulge her innocence and play would make much difference.
Although, my own temperament is hers. I go from being one calm call to being hollered at real quick!
“Mommy! MOMMY! Mommeee!!” to “SHAN! SHAN! SHANDEEAANN!!”
I will never sleep again
Not the way I want to anyway. It is, of course possible I’m wrong, and I’ll one day realize I’ve actually truly, restfully slept, but after three years of waiting and feeling like I’m chasing a rolling ball downhill, I’ve given up.
Let me explain. They tell you to sleep a lot before the baby comes. I didn’t realize this was the dumbest piece of advice to administer after one has already fallen pregnant. I’ve not slept since I was three weeks along. Why? My breasts were so painfully inflated, I couldn’t lay down comfortably. By the time I found out I was pregnant a few weeks later, the sore boobs were the least of my worries. Never ending nausea and perpetual exhaustion gnawed at my every waking hour. No matter how much I slept, sometimes for 12, 13 and 14 hour stretches, it just wasn’t ever enough.
By the time I made it through that, my sleep was again hampered by something else. A precarious bulge in front of me that kept me sleeping on my sides. You see, I’m not a natural ‘side-sleeper’ so being on my side meant that my sleep was always so light, if you whispered I could hear you. Sort of like that one week of your cycle when you go through the motions of sleeping but really don’t. As if that wasn’t bad enough, as my stomach grew and got heavier, my situation worsened. Not only was it uncomfortable to sleep on my side, it became a painful endeavour. My pelvis rioted. The ache of my growing weight bore down mercilessly. And even though it hurt so much, on my back wasn’t encouraged, plus, I couldn’t breathe in that position and my preferred position (on my stomach) was an option for obvious reasons.
Tired yet? There’s more. Silly me thought, ‘Well, when I have this baby I can at least go back sleeping on my tummy.’ Let’s all laugh at that one! Have you ever tried laying on painfully engorged lactating breasts or on a scar after a few people rummaged through your stomach to pull a human out. Skkttt! No, Sis. That ain’t it. That ain’t it at all.
As if that weren’t enough, the kid feeds every two hours… for like an hour. And then dozes. And that ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ advice? It’s a mess. When else would I eat or shower? Make sure she’s still breathing? What if I look away and she just stops? You don’t know, it could happen, right? So to make sure, I’m startled awake and need to check.
The first night Sio slept 4 hours straight, my sub-conscious literally roasted me in my sleep.
Don’t you have a baby? WHY ARE YOU GETTING SO MUCH SLEEP??
So I prayed for her to get a little older. Well, my kid decided sleep wasn’t her thing. She flat out refused. And if anything insane happened to her like, i dunno, tiredness, she would rage war on us both. Fast forward to her being a toddler. Now, it’s a 6th sense. Still ranging wars on sleep, and refusing to stay asleep.
Mommy’s up? I gotta be up too. After all, who’s gonna stress her out, eh?
Take my advice ladies, the time to sleep is before getting pregnant.
There is always room for more..
More joy. More pride. And most of all, more love. No matter how much it seems as if I’m maxed-out, I always find ways to love her more. Harder. More fiercely. I’m soaking it all in as my heart swells with more love and pride than any one person should have. I’ve learned so much on this journey and continue to learn.
It’s been the ride of a lifetime these last three years. And the best part is I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, I ain’t seen nothing yet!