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Keep being yourself, but be a mother. Really?

Keep being yourself, but be a mother. Really?

They say maternity changes a person. There is surely some truth in it but lately all I can think of is to keep being myself. Seriously, I couldn’t guess how easy it is to forget about yourself and who you are when life gets busy, almost chaotic.

People tend to go a bit too romantic when it comes to being a mother. As if a woman became a saint or virgin Mary after birthing a baby. Then you got no rights to behave like an ordinary woman. After the birth you are just an angelical creature that is there to make sure baby has perfect treatment while you look like the most perfect mother on earth.

But guess what? There is no romance in the everyday life of a new born’s mother. Right now, as I write, my baby sleeps on my lap and wakes up by any strong move I do. God forbid I want to get up. As he is too tired now, he will cry until I give him my breasts. I have a strong headache, I am exhausted, thirsty, hungry, but prefer to have him sleeping on my lap, so he is peaceful and I can update my blog.

Yes, this is a complaint. But most of all, this is a reality check for those who insist it is so angelical to be a mother.

While I was pregnant I read a lot. As I had not so much time to learn – had the “shortest pregnancy ever – I tried to find posts/articles that expressed how it really was the everyday life of a new mother. Nothing I read actually could prepare me for what was to come. People focus too much on how movies taught us on what to be a mother is.

My baby is 15 weeks, 3,5 months now. Along this time I have had the happiest and exhausting days of my life. Mikkèl is usually calm and always a happy baby. Smiles easily and rarely cries. But recently things changed a bit. His body changes every day, it seems like his gums are preparing for teeth, he is getting more aware of his surroundings and has been much more interactive – which is so much fun.

He is quite advanced for his age so he is going through the “4 months crisis”. He has been more dependent than ever, just sleeps on me or his father, has been very agitated at nights. It seems like the fact that we moved to a new apartment has trigged the crisis so he has been acting like he feels unsafe. I heard from the psychologist that this crisis happens because the baby is more aware of himself as a person. He realizes that he is no longer a part of my body and has his own body and soul (kind of). The good news is that it is a phase. Soon he will be passed this crisis and mama will be so thankful.

It has been quite a journey. Although I never been so tired in my life, I have never felt this complete. My heart pours love for him. It is a crazy intense feeling.

I also feel like I still manage to be myself. I still work, even though not as much as I think I should, but I do. Sometimes I realize how hard on myself I am being when I feel guilty or unhappy for not being as productive as I wanted to be. Some women do not manage to work at all. A lot of my achievements are due to the fact that my husband also participates. Some people say, oh he helps you so much. He is helping, but not me specifically, he is helping the family. This is to all women that read me now: you are strong and you are entitled to get help. The father that participates in the kids tasks is not helping you, he is helping the family. So do not feel guilty or lucky, that’s just how things should be.

—–

Breastfeeding and art project.

My friend Anna asked me if I wanted to model with Mikkèl o her art project. She would talk about freedom of breastfeeding and changes. Since I come from Brazil where breastfeeding in public is not well seen everywhere and I found out so late about my pregnancy, she thought I would be the perfect subject for the theme.

We talked about it and took some pictures with a little direction from her, respecting my personality and opinions about the theme. I do love the results. Her pictures were good and true to my thoughts.

To birth my strong boy and to breastfeed him are the most powerful and amazing thing my body has done for me. There is no reason why I should not be proud of it.

Photos: Anna Saertereie
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