Being a mum – Part I

I’ll be honest.

I was never a baby-fan…or rather, I just wasn’t a baby magnet. When I see babies, I just freeze and sometimes I think they freeze up too. We would look at each other for a minute or two, try to figure each other out and along the way, either one of us would just give up. It’s like going to the cashiers with a boatload of goods and she stops using the barcode scanner, look you in the eye, you look back and well, nothing clicks. The same happens with children.

Overtime, I begin to tell myself that maybe I’m just not cut out to be a mother. I look at some of my friends and my cousins, and they handle children so well. Me? Well, I just freeze. So you have to understand that I really felt that motherhood wasn’t me at all. I don’t understand babies, I have my own little problems and well, I just didn’t see myself as a motherly person. Having said that, it didn’t mean that I didn’t want children – of course I want babies. I just wasn’t quite sure of what sort of parent I wanted to be or if I could handled it all.

Then I got married and when we started talking about raising a family, that got me thinking. I wasn’t quite warmed up to children yet so what more babies? We ventured onward into the unknown anyway. I figured along the way that no one person is born ready to tackle babies. Most of the time, it all boils down to experience and since I didn’t have nieces or nephews to practise on, I was left with just one option (which isn’t even an option) – to practise on my own child. Hah.

When I got pregnant, I realized that this was it. No more chances to experiment. So I did the next best thing – I bought books and read up. One of the most memorable things I remember seeing was this – “Women are pregnant for nine months for a reason and one of it is called preparation”. Preparation here doesn’t mean buying a manual and learning to drive with that manual beside you. What it does is that it give you a certain edge in the fact that you have an idea of what you’re doing and not just jumping into the water blindly. Especially important for a person like me who isn’t all that baby-friendly. Nil often teased me whenever we go for my antenatal check-ups because I never seem to have any questions (because I know what’s common and what’s not OR I’d do some read-up on this test and that test, etc).

For a few months, I ruminated over the kind of mother I wanted to be, the things I wanted to teach my child, the things I wanted them to not pick up at first impulse…many things. I started following blogs of parents I wanted to be like and formulate my own parenthood strategy according to what I read/saw or observed. I remember fondly talking about wanting to breastfeed for at least six months, if not a year. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mum for the first two years of my child’s life. I wanted them to learn cooking together with me. I wanted to be those mums who are involved in their children’s life without the appearance of a maid (common in these parts of the world). I wanted a lot, I remember. In that sense, I was quite greedy. *grin*

I forgot that sometimes wanting certain things isn’t always the same as getting them.

To be continued…

Other related stories:
Part II

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3 Comments

  1. well, after all is said n done….what u thot u’d be, u’re even better than that! πŸ˜‰ i think u’re an excellent mum who always has her baby’s interest at heart ALL the time in ALL aspects of her life. what more could a child ask for? πŸ™‚ good on ya!! they say u never know till u try it but in ur case, i think it was hidden….u just didnt know u had it in u. πŸ˜€

  2. so true. it’s hard to imagine what life would be like, until you are there. i kind of equate it to trying to learn how to swim, without being in the water. you can read up all you want, theorize, even judge others based on how you would like things done the “right” or “wrong” way… but once you are in the water, it’s so much different than how you imagined it in your head. it’s humbling to say the least! =)

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