Tshepiso Makhele
6 minute read
3 Sep 2018
10:27 am

Secret facts about motherhood

Tshepiso Makhele

A tough job I cherish, but motherhood is sure to change your life.

Tired mother sleeping with her baby

I will not lie, nothing puts a smile on my face more than being called mom, and knowing without a doubt that the little person I gave birth to loves me dearly.

It’s a blessing; the greatest joy I have ever experienced. Having to feel her kicks in my tummy for the first time, holding her tiny hands, seeing her taking her first steps, mastering the art of writing her name, and constructing a full sensible sentence; this is the pride of any mother.

While motherhood is definitely a blessing like no other, it is not all rosy and fun, but rather comes with a lot of preordained frustration, and I’m not talking about the mild heartache that comes with changing a nappy or being pooed and peed on.

Those are minor; besides in the black culture having a baby pee on you is regarded as a blessing.

Don’t ask me, I don’t know how true this is, however motherhood comes with those unexpected experiences that most mothers, like my mom, hide from their children, perhaps not to deter them from the thought of becoming mothers. And to protect their change to grandmothers. Not to paint her in a bad light, my mom did, however, mention that “being a mother is the toughest job I will ever cherish.”

I didn’t really get what she meant, but now I do. The statement was pretty much a friendly warning. But since becoming a mother, I have got to understand that there are a lot of facts my mother kept from me, and maybe for a good reason.

There is the anguish that comes with noticing that your little one doesn’t need you to hold their hand when they go to the shops anymore, and that they can actually take a bath without your supervision.

Little things you will miss like when your kid says: “Its fine mommy. You don’t have to come with.”

Relinquishing control is an issue for a lot of parents. However, before this stage of independence, mothers often feel like there is really nothing as overwhelming as being a mother. If you believe that you are overwhelmed now with all that you have on your plate, you will be shocked after becoming a mom, as all your work deadlines will seem like a piece of cake.

Sleepless nights, sterilising baby bottles, endless diaper changes and the ever so popular colic will be some of the things on your mommy list every single day. To prevent myself from screaming, I always hustled a few minutes each day to glance at my little girl, get a glimpse of her smile, just to let myself know that I’m not doing too bad a job, besides having not managed to make the bed and put on a pair of fresh clothes or comb my hair.

Motherhood can be exhausting, to a point where one can have an urge of wanting to cry from the unexplainable level of tiredness, especially when you are a new mom.

For instance: when you breastfeed your little one and you think they are finally asleep, and you too can catch a few hours of beauty rest, and they surprise you with a loud cry the minute you take the nipple out of their mouth. It’s really a 24-hour job.

You wake up when the little one needs to be fed; you’re readily available when they have a terrible dream. If you want to have time to enjoy a good movie, best you try your luck when the little person is napping or else you won’t win.

Tiring as it can be, being a mom is also equally terrifying. When you are handed over this person that you have been looking forward to holding, you may wonder how you will take care of them, if you will make mistakes or if you will know what they need.

The many what if ’s may make you panic a bit. Watching your child in pain and having a fever due to teething, witnessing them stumble and fall on the playground or while learning to walk, seeing them having trouble making friends, asking yourself if they are truly happy and healthy are some of the things that trouble moms.

First day at day-care is often the worst. It’s hard to let your child go. Yes it’s the ultimate thing that parents have to do, yet it’s not the easiest. Seeing them off to varsity is usually the same. Now I understand why my mom shed a tear and called me every chance she got each day. She was scared.

Guilt is inevitable when you are a mother. Nothing sends you down the guilty road than realising that you snapped at your child or didn’t read them their favourite book before they fell asleep or couldn’t make it to their first soccer match or dance competition. It’s really the little things that matter to a child.

As a working mom, I sometimes feel a great amount of guilt focusing on my laptop instead of taking my little girl to the mall or playing her favourite game with her, and wonder sometimes what goes on in her mind as this happens, but I try to remind myself that I’m doing what is best for her and our family; putting food on the table and taking her to the best school.

I guess I never grasped how much my mother loves me, until I became a mom, because as soon as I held my little girl in my arms, I was taken with her. There really isn’t any way to clarify how powerful this love is. Though the days can seem like they are never ending, there is nothing I would change about being a mom.

Five things that no one tells you happen after pregnancy

  1. You will spend most of your time in your pyjamas due to not having much time to yourself.
  2. There might be a lot of breastfeeding for you, which is not a very comfortable process.
  3. When changing your baby’s diaper, there will be times that he or she will poo or pee on you . Take it in your stride.
  4. When the baby goes through teething, it can get irritated very easily due to pain and discomfort. It is wise not to get irritated with your child in this phase of development.
  5. When your child is grown up and leaves the nest, it might seem that they don’t need you anymore but it is a step they are taking towards independence.