January 28, 2016

we're never just mothers anymore.

Pejam celik -- it's already the 28th day of January. 

Though it's been a pretty challenging month, what with me handling Luqman on my own with my ever growing belly, I've got to say that it hasn't been all that bad. 

Because in all honesty, it's been a pretty productive month too! 

Among the things that I love about my pregnancies (so far at least) is that those 9 months are almost always the most productive time of my life -- like ever! Sure, I do have off days where all I want to do is curl up and sleep and some days, I do just give in and sleep (don't ask where or how), but most days, I'm just happy to get things done and being productive just genuinely makes me happy -- which I reckon is good for producing happy babies (in sha Allah). 

Speaking of which, with time passing by so fast, it kind of scares me a little that my EDD (16.04.2016) is getting nearer. I pretty much had a non-eventful labour the last time, Alhamdulillah and despite my early breastfeeding and motherhood hurdles, things have turned out fine with Luqman (at least for now).

But having said that, it has been 4 years since I last raised a newborn and I've kind of forgotten what I did right (and wrong HAHA)... so I guess it's true what they say about mothers making different mistakes with each child -- as if they've never been a mother before. 


Speaking of motherhood, I noticed that mothers these days like to label ourselves according to groups -- according to how we prefer to bring up and/or feed our children, for example. It seems like we're never just mothers.

There's "Natural Parenting" and "Gentle Parenting" and "Home Made Solid Food For Babies" and "Baby Wearing" and "Kumpulan Ibu Menyusu" and all kinds of other names abbreviated into fancy little labels.

While I admit that these groups are great help especially for the once "Newbie Mom" and also "I Forgot How I Did Things Second Time Mom" like myself, and that it is extremely commendable to keep increasing ourselves in knowledge -- I have to say that I find some groups to be extremely intimidating -- and please, let's not get started on how high-handed some mothers can be about their choices -- hence making them seem extremely judgmental about others' choices. And what's up with using religion as part of your argument for every little thing?
What happened to doing something/anything that just seems like the right thing to do at that point in time? What happened to intuition -- the thing that only mothers (and fathers too) have when it comes to their children? What happened to being a diversified and flexible parent which allows you to just go with the flow when the situation requires -- so that your children too will grow up to be diversified and flexible. What is up with us and our obsession with all the labels we stick to ourselves? We are not trademarked products -- we are people -- PARENTS!

I truly believe that a parent can never be just one type of parent -- I know that Gentle Parenting promotes a parent to be Authoritative, which I agree wholeheartedly with BUT having said that, some things have got to give. I believe that no parent likes to use threats but if your paramount consideration is to get out of the door in one piece during school runs early in the mornings (while getting to work on time too!) -- then use those little threats if they work. And if the only way to get your son to finish his dinner is by letting him have some TV time and probably a few pieces of OREO before dinner time, so be it! -- as long as he eats his dinner and you (more like I) don't have to wake up 10,000 times a night to make milk because he's hungry.

I guess I've been taught from my early days of motherhood that we must teach our children things that we can live with. Sure, it's noble to give our kids better things than we ever had but if it breaks our banks and causes unnecessary stress and resentment, what will we become as a parent? So, let the child sleep while we have the TV on, keep the blinds open during the day during nap time so that you don't have to keep the house dark just because your kid needs to sleep, supplement with formula if you've been pumping 6 times a day and you still can't fulfill your child's need of 21 oz at least while you're at work.

As long as you're not abusing your child, keeping them safe and not depriving them of their education, you're doing a great job as a parent -- at least in my books. After all, parenthood is not a competition -- so long as you've got your strings intact and no labels attached ;)    


Melissa said...

I love this post !

"As long as you're not abusing your child, keeping them safe and not depriving them of their education, you're doing a great job as a parent"

Mothers are supposed to support each other, not impose their opinions on others or bash others for not doing thing the 'right' way a.k.a their way.
Haha are you getting what I am trying to say ?

And I totally feel you about forgetting how to raise a newborn. I even forgot that babies needed to be burped after feedings. Tsk.

All the best Haneesa, may Allah ease ! :)

Haneesa said...

Hello there! Yes, true that! All we really need from each other is support -- not "support" right? I totally get what you're trying to say!!! And I do hope that more and more mothers will just take a chill pill when "helping out" other mothers and those on the receiving end of advice or encouragement too should accept help given with an open mind and heart.

We should welcome every mom (and dad too!) to the sisterhood or motherhood!

Hopefully I don't stumble and fall too many times with my little bub this time. I sure could do with all the prayers I can get so thank you for yours :)