From the moment I laid my eyes on Paul, I knew that my life was going to transform big time. It’s true when they say once you have a baby your life will change overnight. Paul’s arrival made a huge difference at home; the silence was gone and was replaced by baby cooing and crying. Our once tidy and neat place has become messy; his things have completely taken over coz we hardly have time to clean up! I have these mixed emotions from being excited to feeling lonely and depressed. As a nurse, I have a full understanding of what we call ‘post partum blues’ or baby blues’ which is normal for women who has just given birth. The causes of baby blues range from hormonal imbalance, lack of sleep, recovery from birth, lack of knowledge in taking care of the baby, feeling of inadequacy and more… My first day at home with Paul made me cry mainly because the reality of being a mother began to sink in and the responsibility expected was way too big to handle for me. I WAS OVERWHELMED! It was followed by several more crying and this time I felt stuck up with nowhere to go to, making my every move limited. When Paul cries, I cry too because I felt that I have nowhere else to run expect here at home! I was used to doing whatever I want to do or going out anytime when I feel like it. This time, my life wasn’t any of that because someone else is now dependent on me to feed for milk. Good thing my baby blues lasted only for 2 weeks all because I have a great support system coming from my husband, family and friends.
I know babies are a blessing from the Lord! Yes they are but… BUT! A baby’s demand can put a lot of pressure on you too, it can be exhaustive! We get up in the middle of the night just to feed him or to make sure he’s comfortable when fussy and change his soiled diaper. We lack sleep and feel tired in the morning yet it’s not an excuse for us not to look after him. No parent is perfect; it is a work in progress. Thankfully, my husband and I make a very good team, sometimes he doesn’t wake me up when Paul cries to make sure I get enough rest. He makes my life easier and ensures that I’m comfortable when feeding Paul. He is my cheerleader when I’m stressed out and drained. He is there to remind me of our purpose as Paul’s parents and I’m taken back to the time when we prayed for him. God really loves me he gave me two of the most beautiful blessings one can have, a loving husband and an adorable son. Despite all the sleepless nights, nothing can beat the joy our tiny tot has given us! SO REWARDING!
First motherhood lesson learned: SELFLESSNESS
Having Paul meant less of me and more of his needs; instead of putting myself first I have to think highly of my sons need before my own. But this does not ultimately mean that he should be my world! God reminded me that even though I now have a son to take care, I also have a role to play towards my husband as his wife, a daughter and a sister to my family, a job to take on, ministry to handle and a whole lot more!
Parenthood taught me and my husband a lot of things already in just a span of three weeks, the learning doesn’t stop here; in fact it only just began! Day by day I am slowly embracing the call of God in my life as a mother. I learned too that my role as Paul’s mom is vital, we’re both together 24/7 and so I have to make sure I teach him things that is glorifying to the Lord and beneficial for him as well.
Second motherhood lesson learned: PATIENCE
Breastfeeding every 1-2 hours can be frustrating at times. When the baby cries I have to respond immediately and drop anything and everything that I do and that includes eating or even whilst taking a bath just to feed him and not to delay gratification. This too has made me extend my patience, READ AGAIN: PATIENCE… I admit I am very impatient… Yes I AM! Now, I am learning to take things in one step at a time. When I sit for 10-30 full minutes to feed, I appreciated our mom and baby bonding moments. I look at my baby closely and can’t get enough of how cute and handsome he is. It will only be just a few more months till I wean him from breastfeeding and surely it will become a thing that I will miss!
Third motherhood lesson learned: MULTITASKING
Before Paul came, I can brag being a ‘multitasker’—I do 2-3 things at once and I love it when I have a lot of things to do, but this time multitasking has become a feat from 2-3 tasks I can now do 4-5! What an accomplishment! Hahaha Here’s what I usually do (a combination of any of the tasks below):
Clean the house
Sing for Paul
Make him sleep
Wash the dishes
Read a book
As mentioned, I do those things in combination and my multitasking skills gets better and better every day! I can stretch my arms and legs as far as you can imagine just picking up things. I eat using one hand only and the other hand carrying a baby, or even holding the phone on my neck! It’s all possible when you have a kid!
Forth motherhood lesson learned: BALANCE
Once you and your baby have established a routine, it’s time to take a deep breath and be grateful you now have a firsthand idea what to do next. Our first two weeks together I was like “what in the world am I doing?” Now that I know his feed timing, it becomes easier to anticipate what will happen next. So before he cries aloud because he’s hungry, I am already offering him my breast to avoid him from becoming irritable! My BABYNURSING phone app allows me to monitor the rhythm of his feedings, how long he feeds and how frequently he feeds. In this way I can predict his next feeding schedule and make room for other important stuff and find balance even with all the adjustments I have to make.
Here’s my daily schedule:
8am – WAKEY.WAKEY
8am-8:30am-Pump for breastmilk
8:30am-9:20am-breakfast and after care
9:20am-9:30am-prepare Paul’s things for bath
9:30am-10:00am-Paul’s bath time and change
10am-11am-FEED. PLAY. SLEEP (this comes in every 1-2 hours depending on his need)
11am-11:30am-Mommy’s bath time
11:30am-5pm Quiet time, go online and do some other things like watch TV, sleep, read a book, pump milk, etc.
5pm-Paul’s half bath
6pm-Watch news and wait for Rocky to arrive from work
7:30-8pm-Dinner and after care
10pm-11pm-FEED. PLAY. SLEEP
12mn-SLEEP time for hubby and me (feed time in between 3-4 hours)
5am-mother in law gets Paul from our bed for sun bathing and bottle feed him using my expressed milk
My life now is not as easy as it used to be but I found joy and fulfillment doing these things for my hubby and my son. You’d be surprised what strength you have until you explore the possibilities when you become a parent. Most of all, God has promised strength and security to those who seek it from him.