My life changed in August of this year when after a beautiful pregnancy, twenty eight hours of labour and twenty three minutes of pushing, our beautiful baby girl made her way into the world, filling our hearts so much they’re bursting at the seams. Looking back on the last few days of just hubby and I, knowing what was to come, I now know that nothing could have prepared us for the huge life change that comes with having a baby. Life as we knew it was never to be the same.
Motherhood so far, three months in, has been a mixture of emotions. It’s equal parts beautiful and infuriating. From the moment the Clear Blue test I took in December last year read positive, I became filled with this emotion I could only identify as dread. I was terrified. Terrified of being a bad mother and failing my baby, my child. Though I’m a phenomenal aunty, a role I take just as seriously as mothering, I have never felt confident in my role as a mother. Being an aunty felt easier, it’s a supporting role in the lives of my nieces and nephew. My own child however, that’s a different story.
Due to my ever contentious relationship with my mother, I was afraid of the kind of mother I would become. I was afraid I would be too strict, too critical, too cold. When we found out we were expecting a baby girl, my fears intensified. I thought I could wing being a boy mum. But being a girl mum, it terrified me. The only example of girl mum hood was that of my mother and her seven daughters and my cousins/friends and their mothers. Those relationships were almost all contentious.
It took a lot of prayer and therapy to finally get to a place where I felt confident enough to be a mum. Truth be told, I still don’t feel confident, but I am confident in the God in me and his ability to equip me daily to be the best mum my daughter needs. I’m also confident in my husband. I’ve known from the beginning that he would make such a great dad. He’s the most nurturing and caring person I know, watching him take on this caretaker role for both baby girl and I has been such a privilege.
Three months into motherhood and I haven’t drowned in the tears of my many meltdowns just yet. It’s not an easy journey at all, but I’m figuring it out. I’m figuring out all these new emotions and navigating mood swings, exhaustion and the feelings of jealousy when I see my husband working – he gets to have a part of the day that doesn’t involve baby whereas she and I are like mummy and baby koala until the end of my maternity leave. Whenever I get the chance to just be me, I miss my baby so much I spend that time talking about her, looking at her photos or stalking her on the CuboAI. When she’s glued to me, as much as I adore her, I miss me, individual me.
Our baby girl fills me with so much joy, she truly lights up our lives. As long as the days are sometimes with her, especially when she insists on taking all her daytime naps on my person, leaving me little free time during business hours to do anything for myself, when I look at her, my heart swells with joy – though I look forward to hiring a nanny to start in the new year with bated breath. I’m excited and scared to see how hubby and I will navigate my return to work. Though we don’t have a village of grandparents close by to rely on for childcare, we are privileged to have the capacity to hire a village to help us in this new journey.
Motherhood means learning new skills – cooking with one hand while breastfeeding baby. It means forcing myself to enjoy early mornings because once baby girl wakes up at 9 am, the day belongs to her. Motherhood is obsessing over every detail of her day and making sure it’s logged meticulously on the Huckleberry app. It’s making sure baby girl is dressed to the nines every morning while I look like a bum until hubby takes a break from work to watch her so I can make myself look and feel human. It’s questioning everything. Is she warm, is she cold, why is she breathing like this? It’s learning, being a student all over again.
I’m excited to see this new chapter of my life unfold and I’m keen to share bits and pieces with you on my little corner of the internet.