It’s been almost four years since my last pregnancy, but I can still remember the days of transforming into a baby carrier and being a new mother, quite vividly. A warm feeling twirls in my heart as I recall those days of excitement, nervousness and a bundle of different kinds of feelings.
As I peruse scribbles and notes I made during my pregnancy and the first year of being a mother, this is what I found:
- Expect the unexpected. Oh yes, please do. Even though “the book” tells you everything you need to expect, but still, sometimes what happens to your mind, emotions, and even your body, isn’t thoroughly covered in the book. Morning sickness doesn’t apply to you; it’s an all day long sickness. The sex feels weird. The exploding household budget gives a pang to your chest. And that body, oh God that body! Even though you’ve diligently applied body butter to it, the stretch marks still stubbornly emerge. And that face is no longer recognizable (at least by the forever17 brain of yours) thanks to all the bad acne, the bigger nose, and special parts that have darkened even though you have never sunbathed.
- Thou cannot hide anything from your Ob-Gyn. Not that second pint of ice cream you ate last night, not that Indomie Ayam Bawang, and no, forget about keeping your most private part of your life private. You think it’d feel better after you chose a female Ob-Gyn? Well, not really. :|
- Thou shalt NOT lie about anything to your Ob-Gyn. You will realize this over time.
- You don’t sleep. Hardly. At all.
- Babies’ nails grow fast. Faster than their hair. Even though you’re still collecting the nerve to cut those tiny nails of theirs, the growth just won’t slow down. So you cut them, slowly, carefully, with a trembling hand, while trying hard not to jump when the baby yawns.
- Babies cry. Often for no reason. So just get yourself up the bed for the 9th time at night, get her off her crib, and rock that swing!
- You’re no longer pregnant, yet you still eat like a monster. Embrace it.
- Plan ahead. Plan waaaay ahead. About health fund, insurance, babysitter vs daycare vs grandma’s parenting issue, even about which parenting magazine to subscribe!
- When pregnant, investing in childcare and breastfeeding classes is way more useful than a shopping havoc at ITC. Needless to say, I learned it the hard way.
- You’ll get accustomed to hospital’s scent/excessive “Carbol” aroma due to your routine visits.
- As 21st century’s parents, you’ll have a whole lot of new ‘trends’ to adapt with, such as:
– Not to worry about babies becoming ‘bau tangan’ no more, because now, apparently, there is such thing as attachment parenting method,
– Too many drugs is no good, rational use of drug (RUD) is the guideline and home treatment is the first option,
– Giving your baby the freedom to watch TV at an early age is not good,
– “Empeng” is not good (if it’s revolutionary, then it’s worth to adapt. (oh, really?)),
– Hypno-parenting method
And these stuff will likely put you into endless confrontations with your mother.
- As 21st century’s parents, you’ll be exposed to abundant information and inputs about child care; therefore, you can no longer rely on the old “Mother Knows Best” proverb. :S
- You’ll befriend online shops and address the seller as “sis” like everybody else does, like in “Kurangin dong, sis.”
- You’ll value money more, because a one time eating out equals to a week’s supply of diapers.
- Commitment you make to give ASIX (ASI ekslusif) means you have to be ready to nurse 24/7 (face it when people refuse to help you calm the baby during colic dengan alasan “Kan botol susunya di kamu.”)
- There will be “growth spurts” period, and during that time, you’ll nurse incessantly. So the best attire would be detachable tops.
- Being married to a man who’s not afraid of diapers is one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
- Being such a neat and hygienic freak about it all would only make matters worse (and more likely make you suffer from baby blues).
- (Because) (relying on) common sense is the best policy. You’ll figure it out when you lie awake at night, exhausted, reviewing the not-so-nice conversations you had with your spouse over sanitizing the whole house with disinfectant.
- (Thus) in the end you’ll make peace with your mother (and her ‘old-school’ childcare methods).
- A ‘teman sepenanggungan’ is a luxury to have throughout stressful times as a new mother because she’s the one who’d understand the lack of sleep, the cracking nipple, the why-don’t-you-stop-crying moments, etc….
- Less toiletries is better (for the baby).
- You’ll consider blogging to record your journey but never have the time to do it.
- You’ll consider being a full-time mother but don’t have the guts to do it.
- You can’t help not to compare your baby with others’. Just admit it. You can’t and you never will be able to.
- Once in a while, you smile upon seeing a pregnant woman…. if you had the guts, maybe you’d pat her on the shoulder, as a way of saying, “Hang on in there, sister. You’re up for something soooo good it would make up for all the immensity and pain. :)”
- You’ll have to learn to trust strangers. Eventually you’ll have to. When they give you reasonable suggestions on online forums. When they look at you sympathetically, and then open the door voluntarily for you, as you carry the baby in one hand, and push the stroller (which she refuses to sleep in) with the other.
- A baby’s smile is contagious. Therefore, no matter how very little you sleep, or how you just vent out your frustration (at the bathroom, with the door locked and the shower turned on), when she smiles, you just can’t help not to smile back.
- That’s why you need to just make it easy on yourself because babies are the most forgiving creature.
- But still, as a new mom, sometimes the littlest things worry you… well, most of the time, actually.
- Yet, despite all the turbulence and sleepless nights and the never-ending worry, you realize you wouldn’t trade the experience with anything else in the whole…wide…. world. :)
Hello there, I’ve been expecting you :)
Ibu satu anak. Was an SAHM for 2,5 years but decided that working outside home is one of many factors that keeps her sane. Grew up deciding not to be like her mother, but actually feels relieved she turns out to be more and more like her each day. She's on Twitter & IG at @rsktania.