parenting

Day 496: What Nobody Told Me About Motherhood

Sometimes motherhood feels like,

As I mentioned before, the only things I took care of before were a tomato plant and a dog. I have no idea what to expect when it comes to raising a human being and that uncertainty can be very stressful.

Other times, I swear motherhood is like,

A lot has been said about motherhood being a balancing act. You have to find time to take care of the baby, be a wife, run the household, maintain a career. Plus there are so many articles about how you can look good while doing all of these things.

All I can say is that there is no balance, especially during the first couple of weeks. I’ve learned from experience (I accepted a writing assignment that was due two days after I gave birth. Duh.) that if you try to have it all, you just end up doing a shoddy job at all of them.

Motherhood entails sacrifice. In my case, it means giving up work assignments and time alone. As far as looking good? Lies. I consider it a lucky day if I get to completely rinse the shampoo off my hair before having to run out of the bathroom.

Another lie? That parenting is a private affair.

Nobody told me that there’s parenting pressure. It’s like peer pressure, only 10 million times worse. Other people will inevitably have a say in how you are dealing with your kid. It can range from the subtle — “Oh, you just let your baby go through the hiccups. Some parents give their babies milk.” — to swatting your hand away as you’re cleaning up your child because they think you’re doing it wrong (yes, this has happened to me).

There’s also a self-imposed kind of pressure. I find myself eyeing other parents, gauging myself against them. I think, are they doing a better job? Since I didn’t get the fancy, Scandinavian designed strollers like they did, will my kid’s development be stunted?

I even spent a morning calculating the percentage of Facebook likes a picture of my child received to make sure that others get how pretty she is. In case you’re curious, based on the ratio of responses to number of Facebook friends, we’re at 13.8%. Not bad compared to the others who were at 10.4% and even 5%. Still there’s room for improvement so I’m thinking I should be more active in social networking sites.

You say neurotic? I say, try being a parent. There’s so much love in your heart for this little one that you just want to make sure, be absolutely sure, that you’re giving her the best because she deserves it.

Finally, nobody mentioned that no matter how stressful, frustrating, or exhausting it is, there’s is no feeling greater than seeing your baby’s big belly, changing her diaper, or smelling her tiny toes. Wait, other mothers have said that?

Well, it bears repeating.

 

 

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