Sacrifice. Rewarding. Believing. These are the responses that three new first-time mothers provided us with when we asked them to describe motherhood in one word. Being a mother is a job that lasts a lifetime, and it’s said that one never really stops becoming a mother. This Mother’s Day, even as we celebrate all mothers everywhere, we bring the focus to new mothers instead, and their experience transitioning from not-a-mum to mum. These are their stories:
“I Finally Feel Like I Have Something/Someone that Belongs to Me and Me Only”
Of course, our baby girl belongs to daddy too, but it’s about me today. (Editor’s commentary: it most definitely is, mama. You go, girl!) Baby girl is about 13 months now, and I remember being super excited when I found out that I was pregnant. We’ve been planning to have our own little family for years, but never really got round to it till our wedding ceremony. Also there’s more reasons for me to shop for baby stuff and the thought of having a mini me sounds super fun!
Since having our girl, the biggest challenge I’ve faced and still am struggling with is work life balance. I have to work, so I can’t take care of my baby myself during the week, but I make sure that I see her every day after work. Even then, it feels like there’s never enough time with her, and I feel like I’m missing all her milestones, such as when she took her first step, or when she learns something new. I did have a defining moment when I fully realised I’m a mother now, and it was when I did my final push and my baby slid out. I thought I was going to cry like what we always see in the movies but there’s no energy left. I was just staring at her lying on my chest, thinking I’m now a mother and how I’m going to care for her and making sure we’re doing enough for her.
In the first few months, I was very mentally drained as I was juggling between learning all there is to care for the baby while also making sure I took care of myself. Articles, information, or even word-of-mouth help is almost always about the baby, and never about the mother. Even when people visited, it was always about the baby from the gifts to attention. At the end of the day, it’s up to me to manage and organise myself mentally, and get better at the whole motherhood thing.
A second defining moment came to me one day when I realised whatever I’m doing now is because of my daughter. I actually have a purpose in life for me to do better and work harder so that I can provide a better life that I’ve envisioned for her ever since I found out about the pregnancy.
“It’s Like Winning the Lottery”
When I learned that I was pregnant, I almost couldn’t believe it. There isn’t any other word to describe it. Now, I’ve been a mother for about four months, and I still feel unbelievably lucky. That said, I feel like I have to say that everyone says that being a mother is tough, but you will never know how tough it is until you experience it yourself.
Being a mother really isn’t the easiest thing, as you’d have to undergo some changes and face some challenges. Personally, it took a toll on my body, and I now have:
- Severe backache
- No strength in my knees (Technically, I’m unable to get up if I squat)
- De Quervain Syndrome – inflammation of two tendons that control the movement of the thumb and their tendon sheath, resulting in pain outside of the wrist; commonly occurs during and after pregnancy
- Stretch marks and skin tags
I’m also still definitely not sleeping enough, and I’ve had to level up my time management and multitasking. Every decision I now make is with my baby in mind. But all that and more is worth it when you see your little one grow and learn day by day. It hit me that I was a mother when I first met my baby the moment he came out from my womb, crying very loudly in the delivery ward. Holding that little human in my arms, I went, “omg, this is real”.
“This Baby is Depending on Me to Live”
When the nurses handed my son over to me to breastfeed him, it hit me. It’s a moment that’s hard to put into words, but that was the first intimate bonding between the two of us. I remember thinking, “Woah, this is my life now. I’m a mom. This baby is depending on me to live.” I’ve been a mother for about eight months now, feeling overjoyed when I learned that I was pregnant, and the best thing about being a mom is the way my baby looks at me like I’m his entire world.
With love comes fear, and the biggest challenge by far was when my son got COVID from our confinement lady. He was only 2 weeks old then, and the hospital only allowed one parent to be with him so I had to take care of him alone for about 3 weeks. Subsequently, I got infected as well, and had to be in quarantine. Having to navigate becoming a mom and staying calm to care for a baby was definitely difficult, but thankfully all is well and we made it through!
What came as an unexpected surprise was that my baby breastfeeds (what feels like) all the time and always wants to sleep on/next to me, so he’s pretty much with me 24/7.
Being a mother seems like the toughest yet most rewarding job one could ever take on, and we wish all mother’s a Happy Mother’s Day! To all the new mothers, congratulations, and you have all our respect and admiration. We hope you enjoyed these stories today, and are able to find strength and support in each other 🥰
Haven’t gotten mum a present yet? It’s still not too late here: