“And she loved a little boy very much even more than she loved herself.”
– Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree
I’m a new mom. A mom. Mom. I’ve been saying that word for days, I still quite can’t believe I am one now. It’s like I’m dazed, still trapped in twilight zone, trying to fathom this whole new chapter, this new responsibility, this new life we have created. I am in awe.
I thought motherhood was easy. I thought I would be a natural. I mean, why not? I was created for this. So I was kinda expecting that mom-hood will be a walk in the park, easy breezy, cotton candy clouds, a piece of cake adventure for me. But no, it was not. Motherhood is hard work.
I tried to remember all the mommy talks I had with other moms, the blogs I’ve read online — did I really miss the warning signs that motherhood is hard? No, I don’t think so. All I remember were the talks about cutesy onesies and littlest PJs, the little baby thingamajings they say I should start buying, and their endless gushing on how babies are perfect, adorable little bundles of joy. All the talks made me believe that motherhood is nirvana, a perfect haven where everything went smooth sailing.
Oh boy, I was wrong.
Nobody warned me that newborns feed every 2 hours, so any semblance of sleep is well, more like a dream come true for new moms.
Nobody talked about how they would cry inches from your face when your breast milk is not enough, and that you would end up frustrated with yourself for not being able to provide enough. That nipples would be sore, cracked — heaven forbid, even bleeding — because your little angel couldn’t get the correct latch (and geez! Nobody even taught you about the “correct latch”!).
Nobody talked about postpartum depressions, as if they are only figments of imagination and do not exist in real life, so you end up feeling more bad for yourself because you ended up suffering from one. That there will be nights that you will cry out of nothing, for no reason. That small things will agitate you, and the fact that you can’t just leave the house whenever will drive you real, real mad.
Nobody warned me of these things. And for a time, because I experienced and felt these things, I thought, am I a bad mother? Am I doing it all wrong?
Motherhood is hard work. But every time I look at my son, and see his bubbly, chubby cheeks, his cute darling dimple on his right cheek that appears every time he smiles, every time I watch the rhythmic heaves on his dainty chest as he breathes, and every time he looks at me with his sharp, steady eyes, I feel peace.
Motherhood maybe hard work but he is my reward. This perfect, adorable little bundle of joy has stolen my heart the moment he cried his first cry, had me captivated the moment he breathe his first breath in this world, and had me enamored the first time he looked at me when I called on him, “Hi baby! Hi Benedict!”. I have never felt this tremendous amount of love for anyone but him. And yes, I love him more than myself.
I may be far from being the epitome of an ideal mother, but everyday, I try to be the best mother for him.
Everyday I try a little harder. Everyday I try to give more. Everyday I try to be better.