I would never say that we decided to have children or that we chose to have kids. We call them “happy little accidents”, as that is what it feels like. It happend to us. The fact is that there are so many men and women out there that would want to be a parent, but are not able to do so. We are one of the lucky ones.
That said, it does not mean that it’s all roses and sunshine. Like with all new experieces, there is a learning curve. And it is a steep one. Wether you are in the stage of figuring out a nap schedule or going through the morning struggles of getting the kids ready for school. It’s selfless, all consuming, but not always all full-filling. There have been so many times where I felt overwhelmed, exhausted and touched out at the end of the day. “No one told me that it would be this hard!”. They did though. It just wasn’t relatable or important enough for me to recognize at that moment.
“It takes a village to raise a child”. These words only started to make sense to me after becoming a mother myself. My mother raised me and my two siblings as a stay at home mom. My father worked 6 days a week and on his day off he was not available for us. She made it look so easy. How hard can this be? Motherhood comes as a second nature for women. But it doesn’t. When the nurse was about to leave me and our 2 hours old baby for some rest, I panicked. “What do I do when it cries?” How could she leave me to take care of him? How do I know that I’m doing it right? Eventually the haze of being a new mom will dissapear.
I learned that my cup needs to be filled, so I can give. Self-care might be the last thing on our mind, but how can you take care of your children if you don’t take care of yourself? It is a cliché, though it is only a cliché when it is true. It doesn’t have to anything big. I will honestly say that I have never enjoyed a hot shower more than after becoming a mother.
Millions of mothers have done it before us. So why do so many of us feel isolated and lonely? I have taken on the role to help out new mothers without realizing it. We should encourage each other to do so. Be the fellow passenger that will help another parent put their pram together so they can hold their baby. Go out of your way to visit the mom friend who feels like the world is on her shoulders in her solo parenting stretches while her husband is on a business trip. Rock your friend’s baby to sleep so she can have both hands free to eat her sandwhich. Accompany your friend that has a colicky baby and has not had an adult conversation in weeks. Let them know: “You’re not alone, I’ve got you”.