Motherhood is a journey that should be planned. A person needs to be physically, emotionally, financially and mentally ready to embark on this life-changing journey. Sadly in most cases the above is never the case.
A lot of young women and even teenagers rush in without any proper planning. Some are going through adolescence, experimenting with sex – then boom! They are pregnant. I wish we could do more as a country, with caring adults visiting schools and having sex talks with the pupils. If I had been taught thoroughly about sex, pregnancy, and contraceptives, I would have probably have had a baby at a much later stage of my life.
When young girls go into clinics for family planning they are judged, shamed and even lectured. I witnessed this myself at our local clinic. The nurses were talking about the shame of having sex at a young age, saying how these young girls love men and sex, and repeat grades. I felt sorry for the two teenage girls in uniform who kept their heads down, trying to hide their tears. The nurses should stop the shaming and lectures and help these girls. I feel that it will go a long way in preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Pregnancy alone is stressful and expensive, and once the baby comes everything seems to escalate. Life as you know it changes – you need to rework your life and schedule to fit the baby in. Babies need love and care, they need to be nurtured by a willing parent who will give 100% in trying and giving their best. And when I say that babies are expensive I am not joking, they have their own budget on the side. Basic things such as clothes, food, medication and diapers are expensive, and will leave you broke if you have not set up a budget for them.
As a new mother it is natural to have mixed emotions about life. A lot of mothers find it difficult to deal with raising a child on their own. We all need help, especially from the ones who can relate to our struggles, and have experience. It does not necessarily need to be the father of the child. You need to know how to feed your baby properly and what to do and what not to do. Natural instincts might kick in for some mothers but there is still a lot of other information and support you can get from others.
When I realized that I was pregnant with my first born I was scared. I knew that I was not ready. I wanted to run away from it, hide out somewhere, but reality wouldn’t let me – four months into the pregnancy and I was a walking whale.
I knew almost immediately that I was going to keep the baby, despite my terrible situation. Was I being unfair subjecting the child to such a horrible faith? Yes, I was poor and still in varsity, I was barely coping with feeding myself, but I thought I was giving the little one a chance that he would come to appreciate one day. My baby has never slept on an empty stomach and I don’t want him ever to know what that feels like.
A lot of mothers let themselves go as motherhood is a 24/7 job that requires your all. They neglect to keep up with their social life, and don’t ever try to dress up nicely. This happens mostly because you hardly get any time to yourself while minding the baby. Most mothers take up the mommy mode and forget about themselves. But I believe you can still be a good mom whilst wearing your lipstick and having your tight jeans on with that fabulous t-shirt.
But when your baby is still an infant, dressing up is challenging as you don’t sleep right, the baby is fussy a lot of the time. Dressing up is not an option, especially when you breastfeeding. You need to be as comfortable as you can be in your clothes. Most new mothers will tell you that it is not worth it to wear your best clothes as you’ll just have them peed on, puked on or just decorated with the flavours of your baby’s food while feeding him or her. However I still think you can try a bit harder even if you not going anywhere to just look good, even if it’s just for you.
There are always pros and cons. It is best to focus on the pros and then find ways of dealing with the cons and making them work for you. For example, you do not always get the best of sleep at night but you can try taking your naps with your baby in the day.
Babies can be little angels and so bring out the best in you – but not always! You will receive a lot of tips, some of which will be very helpful, but you need to understand your baby and have your own developed techniques with them, and trust yourself. The role of a mother is not an easy one- I think that every mother deserves an award. No one is perfect and we all learn as we go.
As a mother you need to spend a lot of time with your baby because they grow up so fast, and even if you cannot get them all the good things that life has to offer, at least you would have given them all the love that you have to offer.
I have embraced motherhood fully now, especially with my second born. It has been easier for me the second time around. Motherhood comes with many challenges and sacrifices, and it is a continuing journey.
Tell us: what are some of the challenges – and joys – of being a parent?