People rightfully say that when a woman gives birth, two lives come into being; firstly, the baby and secondly that of a mother. I’ve read so many articles and blogs where women have expressed their journey of walking into motherhood and yet I sit here completely clueless about how to pen down mine.
I may not remember what I did or felt on my birthday or my anniversary two years ago. Two years is quite some time for us to recall and relive. But I seem to remember every single minute from the 11th of July 2015. Right from walking into the delivery room holding my husband’s hand, feeling extremely scared and then after hours which seemed like years… to that priceless moment when I nervously held little ‘Z’ for the first time.
Having a baby is a rare, blessed event in your life that forever changes you. Although motherhood is not for the faint of heart for the first few months but nevertheless it is a unique experience where you get to discover a new you amidst tiny toes and giggles that will fill your heart with a kind of love that you’ve never felt before. Safe to say, a baby is a gift that simply keeps on giving.
There are countless memories that I would like to jot down about my Z. Perhaps I will never have sufficient time or even words to express the kind of life we have had together so far. Not to forget, the way I have already planned the coming years with him – full of exploration and adventure and lots of laughs (In sha Allah ya Rab). Hence, what will be easier to translate into words is what Z has made me and taught me ever since he came into my life.
He defined patience for me.
When Z was born I struggled very hard to find a balance in life. There were days when I actually broke down in tears because I forgot to brush my teeth and it was nearly noon. Yup actually happened. With Z having nearly no patience and his mom having very little herself, we needed this relationship to work. Z brought me face-to-face with the fact that compromises are mandatory in order to meet with your baby’s needs. He taught me that some days it was ok to look like a wreck because that is you trying to be a mother for your baby. Z taught me how to just hang in there, he showed me a new perspective to what patience can look like.
Z taught me not to be judgmental – for real.
Have you ever noticed little babies just blankly stare at anyone and everyone and then suddenly break into a heart-melting smile? When my Z would do that to complete strangers, in the restaurant or in a mall, at first I used to feel embarrassed about it, but eventually I realized how he had no ego or any preconceived notions about who he saw – unlike us adults. Z met every stranger with plain curiosity and cuteness – and every stranger welcomed his smile with one of their own – it was always just beautiful.
I have always loved music but Z introduced me to my love for Disney songs and nursery rhymes. Yes sir, that happens when you have a baby!
Sometimes I try to sing one of my personal favorites to him and more than often he finds it weird or boring. It’s interesting to see someone’s reaction when they listen to your all-time favorite track for the very first time. But it’s so much cuter to see them nod their tiny head sideways when you start singing ‘Old mcdonald had a farm eeee-ya eeee-yay o!’. I have mastered nursery rhymes like a pro!
He taught me how to live in today – by the hour.
I have always liked my errands well planned out – everything arranged and sorted before time. But all of that was before Z. Now I have a peripheral vision which is heavily clouded because of sleep deprivation along with white noise. I am constantly reaching out to capture each of Z’s moments. His first laugh – his first roll over – his first step – his first word! Picture – Video – Picture – Check!! With Z, every second seems to matter – making sure I haven’t missed out on any of his developments. Z taught me that every single second is precious and that it must be captured and cherished for life. He has taught me that we really have no time to waste. If I missed recording the first time he stood on his own – well then I just missed it. Every moment must be savored. Life really is too short to be spent miserably.
Z taught me to plan.
Yes as contrary as it may seem to my previous paragraphs, with Z and because of him I have learnt that one must foresee situations and plan before time. You ought to plan for an untimed poop. Must be prepared for a casual burp to turn into a spit up. Prepare for hunger pants – for naptime tantrum and the list goes on. Before if I wanted to go anywhere my prep time would be 20-30 min … shower, makeup, pick up the bag and keys and out the door! But ever since Z.. it’s something like this…
Attempts to shower can take upto 2 hours – end up only washing your face, hands and feet so that you look clean.
Pack up baby bag – should take 8 min – actually takes an hour because the baby wants to be carried or fed or changed or simply needs someone to come and play with him for a bit.
Prepare baby food – should take 10 min – actually takes 30 because of not being able to decide what to make first and then how to pack it and then change your mind because you might not be able to warm it where you’re headed or you may not have a place to sit down and feed it to your baby.
Finally have things sorted and drop them to the car. Come back inside because you forgot to keep the water. Go back to the car. Come back inside because you forgot to keep the warm water which you need for the milk. Go back to the car. Come back inside, get the baby, take one step out and you realize that it’s his feed time. Come back in, feed, baby poops, change his clothes, lift him up for a burp, but instead he decides to throw back half the milk he took – change him again – change your clothes again! Tie your hair up in a bun, pray that your baby will now get some sleep and head out. Understand what I mean?!
Finally, Z taught me that I will never be the perfect mom; but I’m just enough for him.
I will never be perfect according to someone or the other. People will always find a label which suits them best, to place on me. I will either be an over protective mother or a careless one. A sensitive one or an indifferent one. A tiger mom or a lazy mom. Obsessive, negligent, smart, nerdy, too-much make up, no make-up, too fat, too thin, Type A or Type B and the list can go on. I had my share of such labels. There were times when I felt good about myself as a mother but mostly, thanks to the surrounding pressures, I was made to feel like a complete failure at my job. Unfortunately, this is what people do best in our society. And just so we are clear – it’s not only your neighbors or distant relatives who will pass such irresponsible comments – but people from work as well – oh she’s taken extra maternity leaves, why doesn’t she just put her baby on formula and get back to work, why doesn’t she just ask google instead of going to the doctor for everything. Been there, done that.
But you know, through all this – Z was with me. And he made me see the struggle which every other mother goes through. Everyone is doing their best to be a good parent. Everyone is trying not to mess up this little creature. So with Z, I eventually learnt to just laugh at all the judgmental remarks that I got. At the end of the day, if your little one is satisfied – the world is a beautiful place to be in. So dear moms, take a sneak peek at your little one – is he/she happy? That there is a job well done!