First blog post of this spanking new blog.
2017 is almost coming to an end. Usually at this time of the year, I would be saying goodbye to the holidays by preparing for a new school year, getting ready to meet a new batch of students, new lessons, new classrooms, new level teachers to work with etc etc. And I would watch my whatsapp groups increasing and multiplying to levels unproportionate to other aspects of my life.
I’ve extended my unpaid maternity leave till December 2018 so therefore I am saying goodbye to the holidays in a different way this year. 1 year more of being a stay at home mother.
2017 was about welcoming the new addition to my family, enjoying and overcoming challenges of having a toddler and a new baby, learning , growing. Each year always teaches us something new no matter how it went.
Here are 3 takeaways from 2017
1.Every phase will pass.
The morning sickness will pass. The unhealthy amount of sleep received during the newborn stage will pass. The engorgement will pass. The following your learning to walk child everywhere so that they will not ram into anyone , will pass. The waiting for your child to learn to speak will pass. Every phase will pass and the next phase comes with a different set of challenges. So while waiting for phase to pass just enjoy it and not focus on the hardships.
One thing will not pass though.
2. You don’t have to follow other’s advice.
That. is a controversial statement. In fact, it might sound arrogant and rude. But believe it or not this is something I learnt this year. Do read the statement again. I am not saying, don’t listen to advice. In fact, I would say, listen to as many advice as you can. Read up, talk to your elders, talk to other mommies, do all that. BUT. You don’t have to follow it all.
Because I tried. I did . I really did. And it made me so unhappy and stressed.
If you know me, I can be quite stubborn if I want something my way. But with being a new mother, I was so afraid. I was so afraid to not listen to advice. I followed most of it. I kept some of my principles which I strongly believe in. But the rest, I just followed and followed. Yes maybe you can say that the previous generation are not so “fussy” like us mothers nowadays. Can’t do this cant do that. But please bear in mind that there is so much information available everywhere. I can easily find out when I should give my child his/her solid food, how long I can breastfeed him, what kind of babywearing techniques are correct and so on and so on. It’s not that I don’t believe you when you say your child survived eating porridge at 1 month old. I’m really happy that she survived, you know! But Dr is giving me advice too. And I can pick and choose to what I listen to.
There were so many advices that I took even though I did not believe in it (no , not the porridge one). And then afterwards when things go wrong, I don’t blame the person giving me advice. I blame my own naive insecure self. Why? Because who does all the comments go to when things go wrong? Me of course.
And then there were advices that I didn’t take. Which makes me the ‘stubborn’ mother. Because god forbid a mother should painstakingly do her own research. Then I got upset because I upset people.It’s all just a mess. So bottom line is you should listen to advice but for your own happiness choose which one you want to follow.
In fact this particular piece of advice that I just gave you. I understand if you disagree. So take it. Or leave it.
3. No one can save me from mommy-guilt but myself.
I was always so tired. I gave my best. I gave up a lot of things. I read up. I went to classes. I tried to improve myself. But there were still many times I felt I was not good enough. Why? Do my kids benefit from me constantly feeling I’m not good enough?
I must say in this aspect, words are very powerful. I can be very thick skinned.But somehow when it comes to my children, I was insecure. My husband , bless him constantly reminded me how important I am and what a wonderful job I’m doing. That helped but still, I indulged myself in what others think of me and how true they must be. So that’s not very healthy for the mind. At all.
And when I’m happy. I can do more for my kids. I’m kind of done feeling powerless, lousy and insecure.
2018 awaits me!!
(edit: end date of my extended maternity leave is dec 2018 not dec 2019. oops. accidentally typed the wrong year. 1 year not long enough, maybe?)