’’Momma said’’ - Parenting from the heart

May 03 2022. views 42


In the early hours of the morning, the new mother sits, alone, listening to the sounds of her stirring baby. Sleep-deprived, fatigued from the trials of the birth, she is metamorphosing into a divergent phase of the maternal process. Once, where her body physically changed to grow and carry her baby, now has moved into a different state of motherhood. Despite the cutting of umbilical ties that bound mother and child, an invisible thread of connectivity has taken its place, binding them forever in heart and soul. Through the waves of undulating joy and happiness, splinters of doubt and uncertainty brightly shine through. Can she be a good mother? Is she up for the challenge? Who will help her?

As every new mother enters the journey of motherhood, they look toward their matriarchal guides to help them in this trepidatious journey of two voyagers, mother, and child. This journey can only be lightened by the words of wisdom handed down through generations, through families, through mothers, and into the ears of the new mother. Different and varied, the advice, as well as practical, equips the new mother with pearls of wisdom - What did your “Momma say”?

SHE SAID - Just remember once the initial happy commotion of welcoming the baby is over, friends and relatives will go back to their everyday lives and it will be you and your husband holding the baby, well mostly you. Do not panic, you are strong in mind and spirit, and do not let this tiny person wear you down. He or she is depending on you for love and safety and as mothers, that is what we do best.
SHE SAID - Avoid showing every friend that visits the thousands of pictures you have taken of your baby on a blanket. This is a sure-fire way to alienate people. Yes, they share your joy but have a perspective on bombarding them with pictures and birth videos. Of course, take the pictures, make the videos, take as many as you can for your little bundles of joy will grow up faster than you would like and you will treasure the ‘blanket pictures’ in years to come.

SHE SAID - Do not stress if the housework starts to lag behind. You are not perfect and your baby needs more attention than the house at the moment. If possible get help, rope in friends and relatives to help with a few chores. It is alright to ask for help.

SHE SAID - If you thought your husband had a selective hearing before, it will probably go up a notch more during the nighttime. But do not take this personally; this is a new adventure for them as well. They will try to help out as much as possible, give them tasks you know they can do. Otherwise, you will start to resent them and then things can get ugly. Very ugly.

SHE SAID - You will have ‘break down moments’ where after spending a whole day in pajamas and two hours of sleep, you wonder why you did this, what made you give up your exciting ‘motherless’ life and say ‘YES’ to this. You just want to go back to your desk job. Then you will be racked with guilt for thinking such thoughts. We all have those moments, they are there to test us, and you can either wallow in them or live for the moment and engulf yourself in baby sweetness and consider your excellence in creating this soft, milk-smelling bundle of perfection.

SHE SAID - NEVER compare your baby with another baby. However tempting it is do not go down that road your baby is unique and will do things in his or her own time. Relax.

SHE SAID - Most of all do not lose yourself. We can be dedicated mothers, but remember to go back to whatever that made you, YOU. Your self-worth, your confidence in yourself, and your own achievements will in turn be a victorious torch to your child, and then it will be your turn to guide. 

It is not an easy journey that you embark on, it will be fraught with physical as well as mental ailments but the reciprocal love and incomparable closeness that you share with your child is supreme to any such feeling that you will ever experience and you are truly blessed to be allowed this chance and opportunity. In those quiet dawn breaking moments when the sounds of the breaking day are upon you, and everything is still around the house and you hold your sleeping baby in your arms and he or she gives you that perfect smile of contentment, that is the true meaning of life.  Enjoy it to the fullest, ….that’s what my momma said.
What advice did your mother give you when becoming a mother yourself?

“Learn to cook!”  Naseema
“Learn to do everything by yourself, never depend on anyone”  Stella
“Look after yourself no matter what happens…Don’t sacrifice your life or health or sanity for anything”  Rozanne
“Never give any medicine without reading the whole information leaflet” Laura
“Well my mother didn’t give me advice..but, as a mother I would say…remember your child will not always need you, so savour the moment you have with them”… Maljinee
“Kids are 1st priority” Chathu
“Family comes first was my mom’s advice and example to me”  Tracy
“Don’t let anyone who doesn’t pay your bills tell you how to raise your children”  Nishu
“Nothing in life comes for free….sometimes even the air you breathe comes at a cost, work hard and always stand on your own two feet...Never depend on anyone. My mama always told me this…She was the most independent woman I know”  Rachel
“Take a deep breath, then do it again”  Maryam
“Always save money for a rainy day. Put half of your earnings in the bank and cut your coat according to the material..Don’t depend on anyone" Aysha
“A mother should respect the father for the children to respect him” Rehana
"1. Follow your gut instinct! It’s a mother’s magical power. 2. It will always be a roller coaster ride - they need you /they don’t need you - they love you/they don’t love you-Brace yourself for the ride. 3. You're not a terrible mom if you have fleeting moments of dislike towards your offspring - you are not always their biggest fan either. 4. Your babies are your babies - not your mum’s, MILS’s, or any other good intention lenders…follow rule 1 again. 5. Breathe"   Shalini
"Love them and teach them to be kind human beings, and always love and treat them equally. Never favour or rundown your children to each other"  Chamindri
"Mom told me not to unnecessarily stop work for my baby.,. just keep her in my vicinity and do my work if I wanted to continue my job after maternity leave. And that was the best advice. My baby never troubled anyone who looked after her and also became a very independent child" Patricia


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mayuri Jayasinghe

Mayuri Jayasinghe plays many roles in her life but her most important and quite baffling role is that of being mother to her four children. She is the voice behind 'Parenting Life' for LIFE. A regular contributor to Women at Work and the Little Enquirer. Follow Mayuri on her Facebook page, The Parenting Club.


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