A few months ago, my kids were taking a nap and I got to work doing the thousand and one things that I cannot do while they are awake and all over the place. I asked myself what happened to sleep when baby sleeps? It got me thinking…
Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was complaining about sleepless nights when I was a new mum? I remembered whenever I complained, the most common response I got was “Don’t worry, they will soon grow and it will all be over.” Yes, the sleepless nights are over, but is it really all over? Now, when they are asleep, I cannot even rest because I need to get stuff done. I have complained about this and I have gotten a “Don’t worry, they will soon grow and it will all be over.” once again.
What will all be over? Maybe the challenge of the previous stage but there will be a new challenge waiting for us. However, just as there were good things in the previous stage, there will also be good things in the new stage. But would my eyes be open to it?
I don’t know about you, but prior to that day, I had been living most days in anticipation of the so-called better days when they are older. Suddenly, I was hit with the question: “Will such a day ever exist?”
While I was reflecting on this, Mumsellor, a group I recently started supporting had older mothers on the August version of its monthly Zoom sessions. Boy! It was such a rich session as mothers shared various experiences they have had and still continue to have with their kids. One mum commented that she had thought that after her kids become adults, her work will be done, but she still finds herself playing the role of mother as her child contemplates on a future partner. This hit me so hard. Wait! It’s never really going to end. The journey is for life!
More than just having a baby, I have become a mother. When I look at it from that angle, I realise there’s so much more I have become than I realise. Each day, as I mother my child, I ought to remember that there will be a tomorrow. A tomorrow where I will still be the mother to older children and the seeds I have sown in them today will begin to yield fruits. If all I do is to anticipate seemingly better days ahead, really, what fruits will I reap? Would the teenage years come and have me still waiting for better days to come, whatever that means?
I have begun to look at the big picture of my motherhood journey and this change in perspective has changed the way I mother. At first, it seemed irritating when my three-year old always wanted to do something himself. But when I thought about the fact that one day, I want a confident young man who will believe that he can be anything he wants to be, I realise I need to find creative ways to get him to exercise his independence. I allow him to help in the kitchen or pick his clothes. I ask his opinion because one day I don’t want him to think his opinion doesn’t matter. If he’s telling me a story that doesn’t seem to make sense, I still need to make time to listen to him because one day, he will be willing to tell me about things going on in his life because he knows I listen.
Whenever you are feeling stressed about a phase of motherhood, ask yourself, what can I nurture now that will result in a better relationship for my child and I tomorrow? It’s okay to admit you are stressed and take a well-deserved break. But even more importantly, it’s necessary to seek out what kind of investment you can make in the life of your little one by making use of their strengths and innocence of today.
What are you doing with your child today? Would it make your mothering tomorrow easier or more difficult? Would you spend tomorrow plucking fruits or trying to clear weeds from the ground and while figuring out what seeds can be planted at that time?
Did this post speak to you in any way? Let me know in the comments below.