As this blog is a place for me to practice the art of reflection, I though I’d start by reflecting on my journey into motherhood.
From about the age of 16 I said I didn’t want to be a mother. I was quite prepared to be a career woman and I thought I’d die an old spinster. Things never turn out exactly how you think do they.
Anyway, part of the reasons I didn’t want children is that I have no maternal instinct, or so I thought. I did not have a burning desire to have children and I couldn’t hear my biological clock ticking.
The main reason however, was I was scared. Scared of my self-confidence, or lack of it. And scared of post natal depression. This was even at least 5 years prior to any formal diagnosis I had of depression.
But I couldn’t tell people that so I used to say I didn’t think I’d be a good mother. I still remember a conversation I had with a past house mate who is a few years older than me. She asked me that question, I gave my standard reply, and she said “but you mother me”.
So what changed. Aaron, my wonderful husband.
From the first time I saw him with children I knew he’d make a great dad. He is great with his nephews, now 4 of them. He is great with his god-daughter. And every time we are in social situations where there is children, he’s always playing with them. Boy or girl, whatever age, it doesn’t matter. And they all love him back. His nephews think the world of him. So much so that for Aaron’s first fathers day this year, his oldest nephew bought him a gift from his schools fathers day stall.
Also, as I had more exposure to babies and young children, the whole thing didn’t seem quite so scary. Plus if plenty of idiots in the world could raise children then so could I.
So with my age ticking along, we finally decided we would try to have a baby. But if it didn’t happen that would be okay too.
So fast forward to July 2012, and the gorgeous babywray was born.
It was hard at first. I cried a lot. I was anxious a lot. I saw a psychiatrist and am taking medication. I didn’t want to. I had been off medication for almost year and wanted to try to survive without it. But after crying uncontrollably for over half an hour for no reason with the phrase “happy mummy equals happy baby” going round and round in my head I took the medication and I am much better for it. It wasn’t a quick fix and still isn’t but it has helped.
So six months into my motherhood journey I have surprised myself.
I am a good mother and it has come more naturally than I thought. Yes her crying gets to me sometimes, but most of the time I can handle it.
I am finding it easier than I thought to play, sing and read to her. I can’t make up stories or songs like some people I know but I have heads and shoulders and row row row your boat down pat.
I find it incredibly fascinating to watch her explore herself and her surroundings and take everything in. I try to teach to her new things every day and tell her what she is seeing and doing.
I have more patience now than before. Things take longer with a baby. Babies cry. Strangers want to talk to you. All things that have taught me patience.
Most of all though, motherhood has given me confidence. I still have ups and downs in my mood and confidence but overall I definitely have more confidence.
One of my main weaknesses is assertiveness. I have in the past lacked assertiveness to express my own opinions and ask for help. However I remember my counsellor telling me that I would be, as a parent, my child’s advocate. Having this in my head has changed things. I am now able to speak up not only on matters relating to babywray but to me as well.
Becoming a mother has changed me in so many ways, for the better. I love my daughter and am glad that I have undertaken this journey into motherhood. But I will be only having one child. I am firm on this. Although some friends don’t believe me.