Lifestyle / Family

Anastasia Klate
5 minute read
2 Mar 2020
8:30 am

PARENTING: The only constant is change

Anastasia Klate

No-one and nothing prepares you for motherhood.

Ten years ago the doctor placed my son in my arms and as I lay my eyes on him, I fell involve instantly and that love has only grown over the years. This is every woman’s feeling as she becomes a mother for the very first time. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to experience this a few times more as we grow our families.

Then we go home with our little bundles and the real journey begins. For me it started on the third day when my milk came in, and as much as I loved my baby and loved being a mom, what on earth was happening to my body and my boobs? The pain and discomfort made it very hard for me to feel that giddy love everyone tells you about. Then the exhaustion kicked in, sleepless nights, nappy changes, burping, sleeping routines, weaning, doctor visits, vaccinations, do’s and dont’s and don’t mention the influx of visitors coming to see the new edition all while you are meant to put on a brave face and smile through it all. All I wanted for the longest time was to be a mom and I was blessed enough to have my son, but the brutal honest truth is that no-one and nothing prepares you for motherhood. Everyone has a different story, a unique experience and their very own journey. In 2018 stats showed that up to 40% of mothers struggle with Postpartum depression, woman who go through the natural basket of emotional, physical and other changes childbirth puts you through then still have to deal with new, foreign feelings. And how many of us talk about it? How many of us just love through it all? I recently read this beautiful quote by Dr. Caroline Leaf “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” I could not agree more.

My first year as a mom was the most challenging and rewarding then within the blink of an eye it all changes, constantly changes. Just as you feel you’ve got the one phase down the next phase hits you like a tornado. You conquer the terrible two’s and suddenly your child is a 6 year old hostage negotiator, then they start school and next thing your debating why they cannot have a cell phone. It took me almost 6 years to realise how incredibly quickly it all goes and this put so much in perspective for me. I learnt to slow down, let go, breathe, be patient and present and let LOVE lead the way.

One thing I have learnt from my journey thus far, is that everything changes all the time. Just as I suddenly became a mom and had all these overwhelming emotions and changes happened to me, my kids are now constantly changing and evolving and I am constant questioning myself, my decisions as a parent and dealing with the mountain of feelings that comes along with it. I could spend my time and focus on how to perfect this approach of parenting or that method of discipline or I could be in the moments that matter, like actually be in the moments and experience my 8 year old successfully riding a wave for the very first time and love each and every minute of it, and just not sweat the small stuff. I challenge myself everyday to be a more peaceful parent, which involves so much thought and mental preparation but it has changed so much for me.

I have a keen interest in psychology, which probably stemmed from me thinking I’m having a breakdown about 100 times, in one of the workshops I attended instructor explained the seven types of love. Eros; love of the body, Ludus; playful love, Agape; selfless love to mention a few and my favourite Storge; the absolute and unconditional love for a child.

I have learnt that my children are different people, they have different personalities and that those personalities at times clash with each other and even with mine. And more importantly that is okay that we are all different but it doesn’t mean we all can’t get along. Let our love transcend all other reasons why we should not get along, not only in our home  but in the world too. Showing my boys how to be empathetic, accepting and kind are definitely high up on the list for me as a mother. By no means do I have perfectly well rounded children, and I am definitely not the perfect mom if that even exists. What I do know is that I AM PERFECT for my children as they are to me all because of my insane love for these treasures, and each and every mother needs to know that they are doing great, that they are exactly what their kids need and that they are perfect moms. We don’t have to always get it right or have well behaved kids, the rails do come off at times and it’s not the end of the world. In a time where the headlines read “ 10 year old boy commits suicide…” My emotional and mental state of mind and that of my children are far more important than a perfect report card or being popular. What matters most is that we love each other and ourselves through every age and stage of this crazy beautiful journey.

Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.- Martin Luther King Jr.

 

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.


I’m 35 years old and the mother of two gorgeous boys aged eight and 10. I have a background in ECD and studied early years learning in London then furthered my studies in the field of Montessori education before moving on to starting my own school in 2010. We currently live in the beautiful city of Port Elizabeth and I enjoy my days as a full-time stay-at-home mom.