Last Saturday I had an amazing brunch with a very good friend of mine. We two find to discuss so many interesting topics together, particularly because we both come from completely opposite cultures. This time, she asked me a lot about what it means to be a mom and how it actually is to bring into the world a child and raise it. Oh my…the memories that were brought back to me!!! I already forgot about so many things since that hospital night I gave birth to a child, but, thanks to my friend, I remembered it all! And, it elated me… You’ll understand why at the end.
So, I shared details about the pain you go through during delivery, the first weeks with a child, and all that jazz. I’ll tell you from the start that, for me, raising a child wasn’t easy at all. Many times it wasn’t beautiful at all, definitely not like they show you in the movies that you’ll be happy and glowing. I struggled with almost everything and I learned a lot of things the hard way – I like to call it “Trial & Error”. I had to learn to love my child (go on, judge me if you’d like, but I bet that nobody will admit that to anybody, because most consider it a shameful fact, when it’s only natural). I didn’t have a lot of fun during her first 12 months and I definitely had tons of moments when I said out loud that “I Can’t Do This Anymore!”
You’ll say it’s weird. I’ll tell you that this is real life and many feel the way I do (but admit so), except probably those who have somebody to help them around every single day.
|Me, still thinking I’m a Unicorn 😆|
You see, when I had my baby, I was just a new arrival in Canada. My husband just took a job at a company here in Montreal, and I was LITTERALLY ALONE all day long, with no help around and nobody to lend me help or a piece of advice when I needed it. My sister lives here too, but she’s so busy with her life, that all I did was call her and see what she had to say about one thing or another. I had straight weeks where I wouldn’t shower, brush my teeth or brush my hair. Until my baby was 10 or 11 months old I would eat only twice a day – in the morning and when my husband came home to hold the baby. I was always confused and disoriented. I had to take care of the house, the baby and the family, in general. And 90% of the time I did it ALONE. I was a mom 24/7. No breaks, no me-time, no activities. We had no car, so I was bound to stay at home or maximum go out for a stroll in the park. My baby was the kind to cling to me and wanted to be carried by me All.The.Damn.Time! Days were on me, nights were on me. My husband helped some nights too. But mostly, he came from work so tired, that he wouldn’t even hear the child crying.
During her first 11 months, I never went out anywhere without her! The first time I left her home with my hubby was when my sister called and told me: “We’re going to the movies!” Which we did. But those were the longest 2 hours of my life at that time. I was still breastfeeding and I was always worried that my child will get hungry, even if I knew she was well fed and was very comfortable eating solids.
The fact that I was with her 24/7, only made things worse. I was pushing my own limits every single day. And it was hard as F***! Let me tell you – I never knew I even had those limits! 😁 Hahahahahaaa (hysterical laughter of a hysterical mother). Even now, when she’s almost 2 years old, I don’t always enjoy the phases she’s going through, but I just suck it up and try to figure out what to do as a parent. Because, let me tell you – EACH phase of a child’s life, she goes through different things and behaviors, and EVERY TIME, you, as a parent, have to adjust your strategies and approaches to the child! And these phases change quicker than you blink! One day, you’re still adjusting to the current stage of development and you’re still figuring out what to do, and the following day – BANG – she’s in a new phase with new “tricks” to show you. It’s no fun, believe me! It’s draining and it’s difficult.
But let’s get back to my point. After almost two years of motherhood and sh**, I can tell you loud and proud that I am an extremely STRONG person! I pushed my limits so much, that I know myself better now than I ever did in my entire life. I cried so much, that I know I can do so many things right now. I discovered in me so many traits of character I never knew existed (but, apparently, they were dormant in me), that I know will help me do great in every aspect of my life. I learned to adjust strategies. I learned to be good and bad at the same time. I learned to love my life with guts and all. I don’t always have great days, not at all, but I’ve learned to navigate through them with more calm and understanding, keeping life in perspective. There are days when I lose my sh** (who doesn’t!), but I don’t regret any of it, because I do a tremendous job every single day of my life. I still dream of a vacation though…
Anyways, I wanted to tell you that, no matter the situation in your life, be it that you’re struggling at work, in school, in your relationships, or with yourself, don’t be too hard on yourself. You might be going through so much bulls*** right now, and you might not see a way out of it, but there is, I promise you. The secret to life is to never give up! Don’t dwell on what you can’t do, just accept it, say that you support yourself in this thing that you can’t do, and move on to another solution, another strategy. Give yourself some time to cry, to grieve, to be miserable if you need – the point is to accept these feelings and to let them go through you as a part of your life, not as a disease in your body. Love yourself with flaws and all, because you’re a human being and everything you’re going through is normal. Also, you are probably so much stronger than you think, you just never got the chance to test it out and let it free into the world. Don’t be ashamed of who you are and what you feel! The society and even those close to you will tell you that “this or that is not ok”, “not normal”, “don’t do this”, “don’t listen to this or that”, and they limit you from your own power. But we can’t truly understand who we are until we follow our own heart and instincts. We can’t unleash our best self if we don’t live by our own rules!
So, for a change, spend a week doing absolutely everything ONLY YOU want, and see how you feel after that! Will you discover something new and exciting about yourself? I’d say “Oh Yeahhh”. Will you have moments of weakness and despair? Probably. Will you reconnect with yourself? I think so. Will you dare to change your life for good? Only you hold the answer to this question. And if you are scared to death to take the leap – remember that good things await you on the other side of fear. Make the change even if you are afraid, embracing the feeling as an extension of who you are.
In your greatest moments of despair, when you feel like you can’t go on anymore and there’s no solution to your problem, I want you to have faith in your own strengths and powers because you always made it through thanks to those qualities that make you – YOU!
Believe in yourself and never let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. Because you can do EVEN MORE…