One thing that has stuck with me over the years is something a co-worker told me when I was in my last trimester. I just met him near the elevators (infact I still remember very clearly which part of the building and the exact spot where I was while these words were being shared with me) and he saw how I am almost there and congratulated me once more for expecting. And he said "This is such a life changing event. Infact let me tell you that after the baby you will not even remember how your life was before you had her. " Such simple yet true to the core words! I still think of him when I reflect on our lives at times or see a new mommy-to-be.
Another lesson I have learnt and never forget to impart to mommies-to-be is this. Please enjoy all your sleep before you have a baby. More importantly, enjoy the lifestyle which lets you sleep in to late hours during the mornings. Coz once you become a mommy, you will not have that luxury anymore. I know they say sleep is precious but for me, it is the early morning sleep that is the most precious. Coz I am just NOT a morning person. But once you are a mommy, you have no choice but to be one or atleast force yourself to not just get up early but even function like a clock early in the morning. I mean even weekends, when you think there is no rush in life, the baby decides to be wide awake, chirpy and playful early in the mornings!!! Whew! I get tired just thinking about mornings :-) But its not all bad you see. Mommyhood wants you to be up that early so that you can enjoy the baby a little more before the mad rush of routine starts. Or so that you can enjoy a few minutes by yourself before motherhood calls.
Patience is my new virtue. People who know me since my childhood marvel at the amount of patience I have grown since having lil N. Including my own brother! Especially at the age when your babies turn into toddlers and are discovering life on their own and have millions of questions every single minute. It is sometimes hard not to lose patience and to tell them to go do their own thing. Believe me, most times I make an effort to answer her questions to the best of my ability and in a language she can understand. Coz I strongly believe, if we curb this curiosity, the kids will either lose all interest in discovering and questioning ways of this life or worse still, will go find ways to get their answers from sources we may not like.
I always knew that I worked very well under pressure and that I can be a superwoman, multitasker queen when I need to. So I will not elaborate on that here and infact will just say that mommyhood has honed that skill of mine to perfection. I am sure this applies to most mommies in life :-) What I did learn is that now, as a mommy, I will keep worrying about almost everything. Infact I remember when I was talking about something I was worried about regarding my pregnancy to my boss at the time, she had said "Welcome to motherhood dear - you'll always worry about something or the other for the next 18 years until your child leaves your home...or even after that". Now I know what my mom must have gone through every time I wanted to do something reckless or even as simple as go on a school trip out of town. I used to tease her then but now I can sooooo relate to every emotion that must've gone through her heart.
Another lesson I learnt - that my husband is truly my rock in life. And that with him, I can face every challenge thrown my way. I am so glad that after all the childhood and teenage crushes, I finally found, loved and married a man who is just perfect for me. He and this event called motherhood taught me that come what may, if life throws a challenge at you, it also gives you the strength to endure and come out of it with flying colors. Or in other words, if God brought you to it, he will take you through it. You know how I know this? When lil N was born, we used to live in the US. And due to many reasons best left aside in this post, both our sets of parents could not come be with us when our baby was born. So we had to figure out how to raise this little bundle of joy all on our own. Not one single extra hand to help. Not even a maid. (We had hired a nanny once I was back home from the hospital but she turned out so devastating that we had to fire her within a week or so). That was the time my hubby and I bathed, fed, changed, rocked the newborn to sleep, took shifts at night all on our own 24 hours a day with no prior experience or help. Our love grew stronger than ever during that time and still makes me believe that come what may in life, if I have my husband by my side, I will be just fine.
During that same time, I also learned that when you are far away from home and your own families, your close friends become your extended family. So while we were learning how to be a mother and father to our little one when she arrived, our friends did the most amazing thing. They all got together (virtually over email) and created an Excel spreadsheet listing out who will take turns to deliver food (lunch and dinner) to our place every single day until we find a new nanny. And these were people who had kids and full time jobs of their own to worry about. I will never forget how our doorbell rang every morning with one of our friends coming by to check in on us and drop our lunch on their way to work. Some of them even had their mothers visiting them in the US and sent nutritious laddus, drinks, etc. that are given to new mothers in their own families. God bless them all.
There is soooo much more and like I said, each day teaches you something in this new life as a mommy. But it is not easy to write it all down. I can keep going and going but I think I'll stop now and pause to think who else can I tag. I am pretty sure most people I know have taken this tag up already but I'd still love to hear from Simran, HVP, Choxbox, Shruti and any other mommy who'd like to take it up. Take it away ladies!