I came across an article titled 8 Important Lessons Older Mothers have for Younger Moms. I found it timely for this post I’m currently writing, especially the first lesson: Letting Go. So I’m in the right direction afterall, fortunately. *exhales*
You see, when I was still pregnant with Lil One, I had this notion that i should be running a tight ship when baby finally comes. Everything in order. Me always perfectly composed. Blah blah blah. I realize now that instead of holding on to these perfect pictures in my mind, it is in letting go that I can more enjoy the perfect moments with Lil One. And so i let go!
Being a person who is used to having control (and who isn’t before kids?), i learned to let go of it now. Specifically speaking, I learned that i do not own my child’s sleep schedule. Yes i can help set it, but not control it. Some days, she just won’t sleep on the supposed time and inspite of all the rocking and bouncing, she.just.wont.sleep. And yes, it will frustrate me to the point of tears, perhaps because i havent eaten yet, my backaches strike again, or simply i want to sleep too. So i will step back, breathe, and say to myself, ‘Let go!’ Instead of trying hard to make her sleep, i will do something else like read, watch her jump on the bed, or most of the time, I play with her too. Let go!
Also, I learned to let go of neatness. As long as the toys are clean, i will no longer care if they are properly stacked or in neat order. And to state the impossible, you cannot sterlize a whole house. So if the pacifier fell on the floor, let’s hope for the best that the germs were startled enough not to ride on my baby’s pacifier. Five minute rule eh. And honestly, sometimes im just too tired to clean those toys, lets just say, we need germs sometimes!
3. Unscheduled me-time
When i was eight or nine months pregnant, i was hooked on the series, The Good Wife. I was still in season one and planned to continue watching it after i give birth. After 10 months since delivery, not a single episode. Nah-ah. Maybe because before, i had this weird illusion that babies would behave like those in instagram pictures or those in childcare tutorials i saw on youtube. Nah-ah.
Well as a mom, the diaper bag is oh-so complete with the essentials a few days before any planned appointment. The medicine cabinet is well stocked. Toys are placed in her playing area. And somehow, things still won’t go my way or according to my plan. Somehow, there is always something i forgot to put in the diaper bag. Or she does not want to play with her toys. So i remind myself of my motto, ‘let go!’ I realized, as long as baby enjoys her trip, or has recovered from fever inspite of an overly used kool-gel, or is having fun playing with her cousin’s toys, then that should be my end-goal and not my unaccomplished checklist.
5. Weird advices
Being with my child 24/7 qualifies me to say i know my child best. And since we mothers also were given that mother’s instinct, we know if something is not right with our child, and reversibly, if something is right with our child. This brings me to an incident with a pediatrician who advised that i limit my baby’s milk intake, in other words, to put her on a diet to avoid obesity. And i was a fool to follow her. One month later, baby did lose weight and was on the lower percentile. Now i realize what entered that pedia’s mind to put my baby on diet when her weight was normal during our first visit. If its about formula feeding, well then i will deal with obesity WHEN it happens. For now, baby needs all the nutrient she could get to support her development. I will not mention the other things this pedia said or did that still makes my blood boil. So the moral of the story, you know your child best!
Motherhood is tough. And if my pride is the lead deciding factor, i will keep the toughness. But this is not about me. Its about the welfare of my child. The main point of everything is the overall happiness and health of my baby. So if i do not know how to change a diaper the right way, then please show me the right way.
I should have breastfed longer. I should have left my job earlier so that I won’t have to be away from my baby for three straight months. I should have pushed harder, tried harder, planned harder… and the guilt list goes on. But these guilt do not bring you to the present moment, they only lead you to a moment long gone where you can not do anything anymore. It will just paralyze and stop you from moving forward. So let go! Anyways, new challenges will always present themselves as baby moves from milestone to milestone, so just learn from past mistakes and do your best in the present.
I have a bad temper. Yes i’m the calmest person you could meet, silent and no dramas at all. But when my temper is triggerred, it really is triggerred. And bad temper ain’t a good ingredient in this motherhood+childcare recipe. So many days and night i begged the Lord to give me strength, patience, patience, and patience. I want to be the best mother my child could have. So i have to let go of my worse trait. And let God do the rest. Ah yes, i learned to let go of everything to God. I will do my best, and God will do the rest. Amen!
And the list continues each single day. How about you mommies, what have you let go of?