What I Learned Being a Mother
What I learned being a mother? Nothing. I’m oddly enough the same person I was before giving birth. It reads like a confession in my own stupidity, lack of analytical thinking and almost inhumanity. How can you be a mother and NOT change immediately?
The following paragraph was written when the baby was three weeks old. She’s almost three months old now. It’s still the same.
“I’m not going to talk about postpartum depression. My daughter being three weeks old, I don’t feel depressed, or sad, or even extremely tired, for that matter. I feel strangely myself. Myself with a daughter. Whom I love absolutely, unconditionally. A lot has changed: in my schedule, in my priorities, in my thoughts. I am with her physically, emotionally and mentally all of the time. And I’m sure we have a lot to learn a lot from each other. But I’m just not there yet, not ready for a listicle that would systematize and number all the good things this new human being brought into my life. She’s not rushing things, and neither am I.”
The perception of time changed. When you spend time nursing or holding a baby in your arms, with nothing else to do, nowhere else to be, you slow down — feels like slowing down on a metabolic, cellular level. When you live on her schedule and your routine consists primarily of changing diapers, nursing and watching your baby, and reading books — time feels like it’s circular instead of linear; or, rather, a spiral. I meditate without meditating. No wisdom comes out of it, though.
Truth be told, I probably feel the same universal things that every mother feels. My baby is the prettiest, the best, the “most unique” baby of all. We have this special connection. Thanks, evolution, you did a nice job there. I love her with all my heart. I want to show her the whole beautiful world.
I started working from home, yet my primary emotional focus is on my daughter. She’s my strict boss, and I’m hers. The need to care for her is the best thing in terms of discipline. I have to teach her to operate in this world. She’s my responsibility. The best intense course in management of time, resources and attention. When she sleeps, you have several options, and you have to prioritize, there’s no other way. Yes, you gain skills. Yes, you can be stressed out and tired. Yes, you do want to continue. But I knew it all, even before she was born. I knew I’d have to take care of her, and I’d want to with everything I got.
In the past week, it’s been just me and her at home. I had thought it’d be terribly hard. It’s not. You settle in the new rhythm, you both adapt. She might cry a bit longer if she wakes up while I’m taking a shower. I get used to not being able to feed her and give her into her dad’s loving arms — and relax in a bath or go about my business. We adapt. We keep on. As she gets older, she’s getting more interactive, and it’s fun to spend time together. No, she’s not my teacher. I might be hers, but it’s only love and care that matter.
The main, and only important thing that babies teach us is love, unconditional and immeasurable.