The moment I was given the motherhood title, I have been a keen observer.
At first it was, burping, feeding, peeing and pooping time observations. How many bottles of milk taken and how many solid diapers?
Rashes, colic, crying , breathing...God forbid NICU admission etc. all observations.
Observe the patterns they tell us.
The excitement or anxiety of the new baby if not totally but to a good extent allows us to ignore ourselves the mother.
I am a big champion for "mom's health matters equally"
My observation is that mothers are prone to get neglected.
The important question is by whom?
The answers vary: by the better half , the family or if it's just the husband, new mom and the baby then by both the adults in the house.
The mother neglects herself because she HAS to take care of the baby ( not everyone has the luxury of nannies or grandma's or hubbies who can help).
So we, the new mom neglects her own body signals, alarms or gut feeling.
We usually think that an emergency is when I will drop dead, faint and the ambulance might be needed, If I am concious and can get to the medicine cabnet or call a sister, friend or even talk to the husband about the suffering it will all magically disappear. It is ok.
The downfall to that is "the mental health gets effected".
The baby is cranky, the mother is crankier , the baby is fussy the mother is fussier and if the baby is anxious the mother is having a full blown anxiety attack.
How can a woman, with the motherhood title, actually be a 100% present parent at that point?
The one who did not rest after the first baby and was pregnant with the second right away, her energy levels always zero and she cries herself to sleep, confused thinking what is wrong with me shaming herself for not being grateful
The one who did not take care of her iron levels and sugar levels and stress levels and thought emotional eating is ok. And then body shames herself and is constantly her own worst critic.
The one who thinks she is alone and suffering because no one ever talks about the anxiety, pitfalls, setbacks and failures of parenthood.
Your emotions are valid.
Your hurt is real.
Your confusion is justified.
Your cluelessness isn't coming from no where, it has a reason.
You became the caretaker who who forgot or never learned about self care.
So the next time the baby sleeps, please sleep and let the house be dirty.
Your sleep will help you smile more, be present more and clean the house efficiently and faster when you have your mental and emotional batteries replenished.
Make dua often to be an easy present parent. We often emphasize on having good children.
I observe we don't ask in dua to become awesome parents. We should you know. Our children deserve the best of us.. and we need to work on our duas to make that happen.
I observe we take health for granted until it's too late and then blame others for our ailments. That's unfair. No one can take care of you like you. Your body, you mind your heart are an Amanah. Protect them fiercely, be kind to them, nourish them with tayayb, physically and spiritually.
I observe we mean good but do more harm in the name of correct mothering.
Please understand there is no one correct way to parent. We are guides, shepherds to our herd. Let's learn to be firmly, gentle. We will call out the unreasonable behaviors but the standard for that should be based on empathy and love, rather than judgment and fear.
I observe that fear kills the joy in our parenting. Having too many fears and misunderstanding the boundaries between firm and lenient, fear to be too strict or too lenient fogs our better judgment and we loose the opportunity to be a good present authoritative parent.
I observe children are resilient and quick to forgive, they understand easily if given a chance.
I observe that we are asking too much of them and of ourselves all the time. We should pause and listen to ourselves, our mental and emotional needs and cater to them.
Let's observe to change for better. Let's learn to observe more deeply, the causes and not just the effects.
I observe we need to become people of more action and less words.
Have you ever seen a flower blossom with noise?
Or a rainbow appear right after thunder?
Or a caterpillar turn into butterfly with a loud bang?
Every profound, breathtaking, long-lasting effective assertive change comes with silent motion.
I believe we need to transform from a silent observer of life slipping by into a silent action taker. Writing and narrating our observations. The one where we are constantly transforming into positive actions.
What do you think?