Time really flies! ⏰💨 My little baby David is already over 2 months old. 👶🏻
And every single day, I’m in such awe that this perfect little guy chose me to be his mom. 💖
As happy as we look, all my closest friends know that the reality. Up till about a couple of weeks ago, the past couple of months have been an absolute nightmare. 😖😭
While everyone’s situation is different, I quickly learned that I definitely wasn’t alone. COUNTLESS other moms (especially first time moms) go through what can be described as one of the most challenging times of their lives. It’s a mad cocktail of emotions, coupled with a battered and weakened physical and psychological state.
It was definitely an extremely difficult time for me, but I couldn’t have gotten out of it alone. I’m blessed with an incredible support system of loved ones that kept on giving me encouragement and generous seasoned moms that shared their wisdom. 💖
Here I’m sharing advice that were most powerful to me and stuff I learned along my journey. I really hope you’ll benefit from them too, first time mommy! Lord knows we need all the help we can get. 😘
#1 Reintroduce yourself to yourself
That woman you see in the mirror is a different woman you knew before she be gave birth. Heck, she was a different woman even before pregnancy.
Take the time to get to know yourself as a mom. 🤗
While you learn new things about your baby all the time, you’ll also learn new things about yourself at the same time. I can’t speak for every mom, but the mommy-side of me is a woman who (surprisingly) didn’t give two hoots about bad skin, messy hair and ungroomed nails. All these were priority to me before I was pregnant. 😂 I might not know much about makeup, but I had a basic level of grooming which I practically mandated for myself. That went out the window during confinement, and I didn’t care.
For some reason, that scared me a little bit. I was scared that I was losing myself and I wouldn’t like this new me.
I took some time to really look at myself to find the old me somewhere. And she wasn’t gone, she just grew. Sure, she still cared about having good skin, nice hair and gets her regular mani-pedis done – but she cares about her baby’s safety, health and comfort first.
#2 You’re his/her mommy
Might sound silly that I have to tell you this. But hey, I just told you to introduce yourself to yourself!
This was something that I constantly needed to myself of. Why?
When you’re a first time mom, it’s really easy to get thrown into this endless diabolical loop of self-doubt and second-guessing. Sure, you might have experience babysitting, attended some antenatal classes, read all the books and gotten endless advice from well-intentioned people… but nothing ever seems sufficient.
To be honest, sometimes those well-intentioned advice just makes things a lot worse… 🙈🙈 but we’ll get to that later.
For now, you need to learn to trust yourself. It’s going to take a while. You’ve just gotten to know yourself as the mother of your little one, so you’re going to need time to learn to trust that side of you. It’s totally normal.
Sure, there will definitely be moments you screw up. But you chose to do what you knew to be the best at that moment – and nothing tops that.
Sometimes it helps to say it out loud to remind yourself (and those around too) that you’re your baby’s mommy! 💪🏻
#3 Your baby doesn’t need perfection
From the moment I saw him, I thought my little David is the most perfect little sweet angel ever. 😇 (Totally biased, I know.) So thus, I wanted to be the most perfect mother to him too.
But we know that’s totally unrealistic.
I had a really painful and complicated labour that spanned over 3.5 days, then followed by an incredibly stressful, depressing and traumatising confinement and post-confinement period. 😔 There wasn’t a single day that I didn’t think about just killing myself at least 5-6 times.
I often made a conscientious effort to protect David from myself and only allowed myself to go to him and kiss him when I was confident I wouldn’t cause him any harm. Whenever I heard him cry and other people soothing him, I bawled because I missed my baby so much and I was just riddled with so much guilt and self-hate for not being stronger. 💔😭
But know this – your baby doesn’t need perfect; your baby needs a mother who’s happy, healthy and there for him/her.
Now that I sane(r), I really pat myself on the back for putting David’s well-being above my own wants. And for that, I realised I’m never going to be a perfect mom – but I am David’s mom, and that’s perfect to me. ❤️
#4 You can somehow hate becoming a mom, but still love your baby to bits
You might find it hard to love yourself. I know I did. (And I still do, to some degree)
You’ve changed a lot as a person; suddenly your priorities change, your body has certainly changed, your moods are wayyyy out of whack and what is with all those demands that society makes of mothers?? 😩
I’m not one of those moms blessed with lots of breastmilk. So, David drinks a mixture of breast and formula milk. 🍼👶🏻 And I received so much criticisms and advice from those around me during my confinement to boost my volume – which in turn, made me incredibly stressed and upset that actually lowered my volume instead. ☹️
Coupled with other things, I simply hated becoming a mom during my confinement. 😢 As I shared above, it was a horrible time for me. Especially since our little family was in a very toxic and unsafe environment, it was probably not the best introduction to motherhood right there.
But there was never a doubt that I love David more than I knew I could love anyone/anything. 🥰 And it was because of him, I found soooo much strength and resilience to plan, organise and physically move large boxes (despite my c-section wound and lack of adequate rest/recovery) to get our family out of the bad environment we were in.
Then I slowly began to see the beauty in this side of me. She’s got a lot more resilience and positivity than the old me. She’s still got my lame sense of humour and hates strawberries to the bone… but she’s incredible.
When my closest friend reminded me to look back and everything I just did (as she always has to haha), I realised this new me has literally moved mountains for baby David. Despite all the pain, very strong discouragements and insane obstacles, the mom in me made shit happen so that my baby could live in a positive, safe and happy home. 💖🏡
All this while I was still recovering from a bad confinement period and complicated labour, might I add. 😏 Yup, I’m heck proud of myself. (Special thanks to David’s godma for reminding me to be)
#5 While most (including you) are swooning over baby, don’t forget to love yourself too
And this all brings me to my next point.
It’s easy to get caught up in fussing and swooning over your family’s newest addition. Your baby relies on you and other caretakers 100%. The only things he/she can do independently is breath, pee/poop, blink and cry. Everything else requires assistance.
So, most of the time, whenever you’re not busy attending to your baby’s needs… you’ll find yourself busy obsessing over him/her. So much so, you forget to show yourself a little bit of love too.
You just spent the last 9-10 months making another human being, then another few hours to days bringing him/her into the world – and look at that little one, so cute and perfect. 🥰 How amazing are you, momma??
So, please please don’t forget to constantly thank yourself, tell yourself that you love you and try to do little things that make you happy. Sometimes I would grab a bit of chocolates, sometimes (when days are extra bad) hubby would bring home my favourite Big Mac meal for me. 😬
#6 It’s normal to feel like you don’t want to share your baby, but share anyway
If you have a confinement nanny, a helper or anyone else helping you out with your baby, sometimes you might feels tinges of jealousy when others hog your baby.
I definitely did. 😅
Thanks to my complicated labour, I really needed bedrest and couldn’t carry anything, that meant David was mostly cared for by other caretakers during his first month.
And sometimes I’ll see them carry him and swoon over him, while I was just sitting there… unable to carry my own baby. ☹️ I saw others being able to show their love to him, but I was ‘benched’. It didn’t help that I received stupid remarks like, “Your son will call that woman ‘mom’ instead!”
Like I said, crazy toxic environment.
But after I cried my usual buckets of tears, lied in bed consumed by waves of negativity, I realised how silly I was being! 😂
More people loving David doesn’t mean less of David for me, it means more love for David. And I’m grateful that those people who love David were able to help me, when I was literally unable to take care of him during my confinement.
Your child is going to have other people in his/her life. It’s just a piece of reality all moms have to accept. You have other people in your life, other than your little one too.
But isn’t it awesome that the others in his/her life are showering him/her with love? 😍😍
#7 You can (and often should) tell people to kindly f**k off
But then, there are also those people that you need to tell off.
When you’re a first time mom, everyone has advice for you. It somehow becomes an automatic obligation/right that people around you tend to exercise. Whether the person has children or not, he/she tends to have this need to share nuggets of wisdom and advice – which aren’t necessarily needed or even helpful.
The one I personally hated the most was “Now that you’re a mom, you should forgive your own mom.”
When I was hormonal, I broke out in absolute rage. 🤬🤬 Those f**ktards don’t even really understand know what I went through, and somehow have to audacity to take this happy milestone in my life and link it to my ugly past.
They just recite, “Doesn’t matter how much or in what ways your mom abused you. Your mom is still your mom.”
That, right there, is one of the most toxic piece of advice anyone can give anyone. Blood relations should never give anyone the right to do hurtful things to you without reasonable consequence. Blood relations should not give anyone immunity against cutting off relations when he/she is poison.
In fact, now that I’m a mom myself, I can say I’m even more at peace for not wanting to have my own mother in my life. Because I could never live with myself if I hurt David the way she hurt me. (And she happily left to lead her own life)
In fact, when asked, “Would you want David to cut you off too?”
I immediately responded, “If I did the things she did to me, to him – he should cut me off.” And I sneered.
Sorry, I totally digressed. 😂 But right there is an example that not everyone comes to you with things that you should just smile and accept.
We want to believe everyone has good intentions, but the fact is most people just have this selfish desire to impose their opinions on how you should lead your life. Everyone (especially the older folks) think they know better because they lived longer.
Yes, they lived longer in their own lives – not yours.
While we can be grateful for people who indeed mean well (not all of them do, be warned), your priority is to protect yourself and your baby, not their face/feelings.
That’s all I have for you, fellow momma (or whoever that is reading haha)! 🤗🤗
It’s not going to be easy (and I was even told it doesn’t get any easier…), but I assure you it’s beautiful. 💖 Every single time I hear David’s happy sounds, when I see him smile at me or when I feel his head against my chest – I would do it all over again if I have to. 😌
Preferably not lah… but if really have to, then fine loh.
For moms only: if you ever need someone to just rant/talk to, you can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 🤗 It helped me so much that I have close friends who were available 24 hours a day for me to talk to. And I’d love to have the chance to pay it forward to someone else in need. 💛
Thanks for reading! 😊 Till next time~