Who am I now?
Are you feeling more like a milk making machine (aka cow) than a real person these days? Have you filled in a questionnaire recently and been unsure whether to tick employed or homemaker? Are you afraid to tell someone you’re an at-home mum, in case it heralds the death of your conversation with them? Does it frustrate you when people talk about returning to work? What do they think you do all day!
For many women in New Zealand, the late weeks of pregnancy and early months of new parenthood may be the first time ever that you are not in some form of paid work or study. This can seem like a major loss of identity for some, or a ‘coming of age’ for others. However you feel about it, there are most likely some major changes afoot and there are some things you can do to ease the way.
Early motherhood is sometimes ALL about the boredom – going from broken nights, to poo-filled days, wiping endless baby spills, crooning the same monotonous lullabies, and starting all over again when the sun comes up tomorrow. But that’s not all it is. Don’t believe me? Surely if it were, no-one would ever have more babies. And yet people are lining up to have two, three and even more!
So how do you find your bliss in amongst it all?
Well there are the obvious moments – the first smile, first giggles, that tiny fist gripping your finger. But things like recognising your baby’s cry in a group of babies, your first unbroken night of sleep, and hearing “mama” can redefine joy and wonder for you (mad isn’t it?).
The start of new motherhood is an amazing rite of passage in a society that is sorely lacking in ritual and custom these days. I know that sometimes (often) it’s boring, or back breaking, or just downright exhausting. But for the times when you transcend the mundane and stare into the blurry, wobbly, eyes of the most amazing person you have ever met and think “I made you”, it is so worth it. This little being is utterly dependent on you for everything – love, warmth, and food, and more love – and the great thing is that you have it all there to give.