Very recently, I have been feeling the full thrust and pressures of motherhood through happenings in my life and around me.
Think the #bringbackourgirls movement.
The missing girls are still not found. Heaven knows their condition and the situation they are in right now. I wonder whether all of them are okay, whether they are still together even though there has been speculations of all of them being split up and sold into neighboring countries. Now who does that? I mean who is so warped in this day and age to start kidnapping, selling and buying human beings? If you ask me…
I wonder what they are being put through and the mental and physical burdens and pressures they must be bearing.
I think of the parents too, their anguish at being helpless at a time when these kids need them most.
Ain’t we all?
Our strength sometimes fail when it matters most.
But strength we need, strength I pray for. For them. For all of us.
On the pressures of motherhood, there are some feelings you think are dormant, in recession. Worries you think are long buried, fear, guilt, weaknesses. But they surprisingly remind you of their presence every now and then.
They surge threateningly like ocean waves but then they are fused and merged with the present joys and blessings and everything levels out in the end.
When the worries and fears rise, so do the joys, love and gratitude.
I read a lot of motherhood / parenting stuffs, listened to all sorts of lessons, observed a lot but in the end nothing could prepare one for the realities of it all.
Just like marriage.
Regardless of how many marriage seminars attended, books read, counseling done, nothing could beat the real thing. Nothing prepares fully for the real deal. And if you are the type that allows romance novels and movies to do the driving, you are in deep trouble.
Each man / marriage is different, unique, peculiar. There is still no generic / hard and fast rule to make every marriage work. One has to involve the Originator, very important.
One has to be patient, adapt, open up, grow up, be willing to give more than receive, compromise a lot and more importantly, be willing to keep learning ‘on the job’. Could be hard and mentally stressful sometimes.
The same applies to motherhood.
It is sometimes hard, exhausting, pushes our limits, tugs at our emotions. So I soak all of it in and draw energy from the Giver of life to keep moving and to keep learning.
Some of the things I didn’t understand earlier was that a lot goes with the mom title, a lot happens underneath like the many words which remain unspoken and unwritten.
For instance, I never realized how much of having extra hearts to love, hold and think about, tiny hands to hold, choices to reexamine, goals to realign would take place. And I never realized how much all of this would change me.
I mean I never realized the full intensity of the mum job. A job where you don’t fully have the job description and where you are appraised regardless.
Really thought it was a piece of cake, after all my sweet mum had seven of us and we all turned out well.
As my kids grow now, I understand a lot through them, I learn daily and I keep changing, they keep changing me.
I thought I would teach them all the virtues like patience, love, honesty, kindness, but they are teach me, daily.
I really don’t know when the roles were reversed but what I do know is as I train and steer them, I end up being trained and steered too.
As they grow, I grow; as they change, I change.
I have learnt that motherhood is more than what the books described. It is more than the lessons learnt from observing mothers already on the journey, more than cooking, bathing, loving, training, dishing out orders, nurturing.
Though those are still some of the ways to keep processing, coping and living the motherhood dream, it involves much more.
Nobody told me I could never get out, not that I’ld ever want to. But I admit there were times I felt like taking a break, going far away, alone. Just me. To breathe, recharge, re-strategize and come back after to pick up where I left…
Nobody told me I would ever feel like bailing out. Oh dear…
Nobody told me its a job without the luxury of leave…
Nobody told me pushing out a baby could involve serious cervical lacerations that would take months to heal and make me walk like I had a huge watermelon between my legs…
Nobody told me I would forget all the pains of the first birth so soon to ‘open up’ again for another one…
Nobody told me I would have to go it alone without a training manual…
Nobody told me I would also assume the title of teacher, laundress, cook, cleaner, errand girl, alarm clock, doctor, driver, all rolled into one.
Nobody told me it could be overwhelming so much I would crumble in tears, sometimes…and have D1 cry along with me…’mummy please dont cry’….
Nobody told me a child’s face and words could dry up tears faster than an handkerchief…
Nobody told me my personal goals and aspirations would be pushed to the backburner…
Nobody told me love would take a new meaning and dimension…
Nobody told me there would be lots of hugs…
Nobody told me there would be lots of love and laughter...
One thing I’ve come to accept is its still hard, demanding, energy-sapping, confusing at times but its a rewarding, wonderful and an awesome journey to be on.
The rainbow is always there, standing out so bright and beautiful but we just have to see through the rain, stand in a vantage position and get a good view. Look outwards instead of inwards, pick the pearls and see the beauty in it all.
You may want to know that every time I face challenges in marriage and motherhood, whether it’s exhaustion, frustration or sadness, I duck and run for cover by seeking out the only One I know could help.And He never failed, never fails.
And as I watch them chase each other around the sitting room, giggling, screaming in excitement, playing ball on the bed, fighting, I smile and mutter thanks silently.
I pull them into my arms, kiss their cheeks and foreheads, feel them breathe, draw strength from them, say I love you and savor the sweet response -I love you too.
It doesn’t lessen the pressure but it makes it bearable, makes the hard path suddenly become easier to thread.
And now to every biological / adoptive mother reading this, I say happy mothers day. May you never have cause to panic or mourn over your wards / kids.
To everyone praying, hoping and waiting to experience the joys of motherhood, may the time come soon. May the pitty patter of tiny feet fill your homes and the joy of motherhood fill your hearts.
To all the mothers living in anguish, whose daughters were callously taken away, I pray your weepings will end soon and the tyrants will get the deserved judgement for their evil deeds.
Happy Mothers Day.