I feel like, people don’t talk about how tumultuous motherhood can be…
I also feel like, people feel afraid to talk about the many times that the words “If only I didn’t have a baby!” hung at the tip of their tongues, but were never articulated because, others are doing it so well, and what a monster you would be to actually say it out, and worse when it sounds believable to you when you say it out.
But that is what motherhood is. I call it a crazy roller coaster ride.
There are good days and there are bad. In the beginning, it could get really bad. The hormones play games with your sanity. And at every stage there are different challenging.
- Dropping hair post-partum made me panic.
- Not producing enough milk made me stressed.
- Baby suffering from colic drove me up the wall.
- Introducing solids made my bubs a constipated (and therefore very grumpy) baby.
- Fending off your kid from your laptop when you attempt to telecommute is a nightmare.
- The first fever, the first fall, they broke my heart.
The list is never ending.
And then I fell ill. My health went downhill over the past 4 years, and hit a “milestone” last April when I started burping like dinosaur, and sometimes throwing up. Think indigestion and morning sickness with no end date in sight. Till today, I’m still sorting this out. There are bad days when I eat a pack of fried rice for lunch that by bed time, I’m still trying to digest it.
Some days I ask myself if my health wouldn’t have gone to the dumps if my body didn’t have to go through pregnancy and delivery. I think it is okay to ask that question and honestly think I may not be inaccurate in that assessment. Some people said “maybe you didn’t do your confinement properly”. Some elders blamed it on my prolonged breastfeeding.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned to not get bothered by their words, but trust me, at the beginning those words stabbed right through me and drove me mad. It’s always about “maybe you could have done better” implying that they know better and it’s all my fault for being a noob.
I just want to tell new mothers out there, that along the way, you will feel all sorts of emotions, INCLUDING resentment and regret. It is okay and it is human to do so. Don’t believe Instagram and your Facebook wall. There is no bed of roses out there. And it will still be challenging even when your child is married and have their own kids, I suppose.
And one of the things I like to muse about when I conclude why we only post nice photos is because, actually, when there is a meltdown from the kiddo of the house got trashed, or there is a mad rush to the hospital, the last thing we have a free hand to take photos of the situation; the last thing on our mind is posting on social media. Sometimes we do, because we are trying to just stay sane while waiting seemed inevitably long, but there is just not much of THAT photo of us while the world is crumbling around us.
And so I say, soldier on mamas, and since Chinese New Year is just a few months away, remember to ignore the relatives who has to ask loudly when you are having the next kid, or remark why your child is so fat/skinny/short/etc. Smile and soldier on, because it is our life and our choice, and we face the consequences of our decisions, not them.
And to answer that question – since I’m perpetually still like the walking dead, there is no way I am having another kid until I fix it. Not when the oven is wonky and my life would be on that operating table while my immunity is low.
And in the meantime, my Little Foot IS enough for me (the good and the bad). I would give my life up for her, so despite the days where there are short term outbursts of frustrations from me about my health and on bad days when she’s being difficult, in the end, those are just what they are outbursts – Let them out, and move on. And on good days, enjoy motherhood. Immerse myself in it, set aside the work for awhile and just soak it all up.
Because the special bond we share with our children, is something that cannot be replicated elsewhere. And that’s why we continue – a little footprint at a time, in this parenting journey. No one is an expert, we just stumble along and get there somehow.
Motherhood is always a work-in-progress.
P.S. Find me on Instagram @alittlefootprint