You are young, you are having fun, you have a lovely boyfriend who adores you and you have just moved in together. Life couldn’t be any more perfect for you! Or can it? The more serious your relationship gets, the less strict your contraceptive measures are, until you wake up one day just to realize that you skipped a period.
Everything falls into place at that exact moment; the upset stomach, the sensitivity to smells that wouldn’t otherwise bother you, the irritability. They are all part of the journey that is about to unfold.
Most people think that you become a mom the day your child is born, but the truth is you become a mom the second you hear its heartbeat through the monitor and the second you see that tiny worm-like creature floating in your belly. It’s like you got hit by a lightning bolt. You realize that you are, as of that minute, and for the rest of your life, responsible for two souls: your child’s and your own. And for as long as it grows in you, you must be extra careful, watch your every move, your every step, what you eat or drink so as not to harm it.
This is not to say that men are irresponsible or less enthusiastic about the whole thing; it’s just that they don’t have the connection a woman has with her unborn child. A woman feels its first movements and stays up at nights because her little invader has no sleep. She sings lullabies and tells stories that her baby will recall as a newborn.
The father, on the other hand, will only engage in the whole process during the late second trimester or early in the final trimester of the pregnancy.
The day you physically become a mom for the first time, though, remains in your mind forever in vivid images and memories. They place that bundle on your chest and they congratulate you on the new member of the family. That’s when you get overwhelmed with emotions; excitement, happiness, fear, frustration they all mingle and turn you into a time bomb.
So, you are officially a mom now. You’ve been reading parenting books for the past eight months, you should be prepared for this and look like all those happy moms you see in the magazines holding their newborns in their arms, but your reality is far from that.
In fact, you are sleepless, nothing you do seems to be able to soothe your baby, you are afraid to go to the bathroom in case it wakes up and starts crying and you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown. You feel incompetent and unfit for this role, but you, somehow, manage to find the strength to keep on trying until you master the role of supermom.
In the meantime, you have learnt to read behind your baby’s cries and you know that when it cries in that high pitched tone, it probably suffers from colic and when its cry comes and goes it is probably hungry.
Your life becomes a low second priority and you devote your time, effort and love on that little angel who came into your life and managed to make it both so beautiful and scary. You run to check that everything is good and that it is still breathing when it is asleep. You hold its tiny hand in your palm and promise that you will do your best so that it has the life it wants and desires.
Well, welcome to motherhoodland. It is an endless trip into the unknown and just when you think you have mastered your game, your little one will come up with new tricks to keep you busy and going crazy. But at the end of each day, when you put them to sleep, you will feel blessed and thankful for the little monster who came to turn your life upside down.