Becoming a mother is one of life’s greatest gifts, but it’s also one of the strangest times in a parent’s life. As women, we aren’t really well-versed in the job description of a mother.
I think that I was most shocked at how much time I needed to devote to an infant, day and night. Whether it was the long, sleepless nights of nursing and caressing a baby back to sleep. It seemed that the day was spent doing all the necessary work for the baby, and the nights spent awake taking care of the baby. I don’t think anyone explained to me that I would spend all hours of the day doing things for the baby.
The other thing I didn’t know was the amount of attention that a baby/toddler/child needs from one person- me. So many days were spent cooking while entertaining my baby who sat in the high chair right next to me in the kitchen. Mornings were spent sitting on the rug, reading books and playing with toys for at least two hours. Nights were spent rocking my baby to sleep in the glider, and then just as I put her down she’d be whining and in my arms again. I think that TV does a huge injustice to us, because while growing up, I watched TV shows that always depicted babies happily busy by themselves in their playpen [eg. Full House]. When in reality, it is nothing like that. Children don’t play independently until they’re older, and not for very long either.
Anyways, that isn’t what this post is about. While reflecting on how I got through the first months of motherhood, I couldn’t help but think of those that got me through it all. And that is my family, who have been a huge support every step of the way. And each member contributed and did something to make me feel better, in their own way.
In the early months of motherhood, a mother’s state of mind is difficult to describe in words, because we experience so many feelings. We are hormonal, and extremely sensitive to comments and advice that is not given with any hurtful intentions. We are protective mama bears, who may become defensive when criticized. And it’s in these early months that we require the most care ourselves, which we neglect to give ourselves. So it’s always a very treasured gesture when someone does anything to make a mother’s life just a little easier.
Here are some things that I appreciated SO much in my early days of motherhood:
- Meals, meals, meals. It is always suggested to cook meals for a new mother, so that she and her family don’t need to worry about preparing dinners. And it truly is such a big help. I could never have gotten through the first month of nursing and the deep hunger that comes with it, without the help of family who would bring me breakfast in bed, in the early mornings.
- Doing the laundry. With every child comes a whole new level of laundry to be done. So I was so, so pleasantly surprised when one day, the pile of laundry was done and folded for me. It was the sweetest gesture, and I can’t describe how happy it made me. It’s as simple as that.
- Taking care of my first child. When I had my second baby, I was consumed by guilt for my first child. I was constantly worried for her sake, knowing that I couldn’t do all the things I used to do for her. So it was a huge relief that she was taken care of by family members, especially my husband. Ridha’s bond with her father just instantly took flight when we welcomed Rabab.
Now when I see new mothers, I just want to tell them that everything will be okay and everything falls into place with time. You can’t rush things along, you can’t learn everything overnight, and you can’t instantly become great at being a mother. None of us have mastered that part. We just learn along the way, and we get through each day the best we can.
The early days of motherhood are the toughest on new parents, and I believe the biggest gift we can give them is love and support. Being supportive with our words, and our actions. It’s a gift that I still appreciate to this day.
What are some ways that you were taken care of in early days of parenthood? Share them in the comments!