In my attempt to spread awareness on postpartum recovery and the mental and emotional challenges that a new mom could face, I didn’t realize that it had the unintended effect of scaring some women about pregnancy and motherhood.
While the “welcome-to-motherhood” phase is no doubt arduous, the joy it brings is immeasurable. And so in this blog, I’d like to focus on the joys of motherhood. I’d like to share what makes every mama say “it’s worth it.”
There are many priceless reasons why motherhood is the most tiring yet best job a woman could ever have.
1) It’s a great privilege to bring life into this world.
All the changes to my body, such as my stretch marks, are reminders of the time when my body nurtured another human being and birthed him to life. To this day, when I look at my son and how big he’s growing, it still blows my mind how at some point, he was inside my womb and that was his whole world!
I don’t mean to be insensitive to women who are having difficulty to conceive. I know it could be particularly tough for some women and I really hope that you can find a way to share your motherly love and become the mom that you always wanted to be.
2) It’s delightful to see the life you nourished in your womb bloom in front of your very eyes every day.
My son is now a couple months old and he’s at a point where he’s just so curious about the world around him. He has to touch everything, taste everything, feel everything — it’s his way of familiarizing himself to things surrounding him. It’s his way of learning.
When I look at the way he’s consuming the world around him, it makes me enjoy the simplest things and it brings me great joy. When he first discovered his hands, he would stare at them as if thinking “what are these little things for.” Even as simple as crossing them together on his tummy as he sleeps — I find it to be the most adorable thing.
Later on when he discovered his feet and toes, he would stare at them with curiosity and fascination all over his face. It didn’t take long until he figured out he could bring his toes to his mouth and sooth himself to sleep that way.
When he first rolled over, I was the proudest I’ve ever been. In fact, I don’t know how many times I already said “I’m so proud of you” to my son even if his milestones are run-of-the-mill things for us, as adults.
3) You see an extension of yourself.
Whenever I look at my son, I feel giddy when I see very similar physical features that we have. A lot of our families and friends tell me that they see my face whenever they look at my son — and it’s like music to my ears. But beyond the physical features, it’s also the little quirks such as when he would feel ticklish whenever I kiss him on his neck or when he would jump at every sudden noise he hears. It makes me think “how can someone be so different yet so similar to me.”
4) You get a million kisses and hugs and unlimited cuddles per day.
Oxytocin is the so-called “happy hormone” or “happy pill.” Hugs and cuddles are known to increase oxytocin and this helps reduce stress levels.
I love giving my baby hugs and cuddling him until he falls asleep because I feel like it calms him down and I get to let him know how much I love and care for him.
But beyond that, hugging my baby gives me such a calming and comforting feeling as well. It’s like a gentle reminder to myself that no matter how dirty the kitchen gets after dinner, or how messy the living room gets because of all the baby toys, or how much laundry gets piled up, or how long of a list of chores I have left; at the end of the day, what matters most is that my baby feels my overflowing love for him. And if I can accomplish that everyday, then I’m doing a great job being his mama.
5) You get to play dress-up with a real-life doll.
Babies grow up so fast! My baby certainly does. Sometimes I put a shirt in his laundry and by the time it dries, he no longer fits in it — even if it didn’t shrink from the wash! So with all the baby clothes that he has, I try to play dress up and snap a quick photo of my baby before he outgrows all the cute little outfits he has. Nothing is more adorable than seeing a little human in tiny outfits and tiny shoes!
6) It gives you the chance to guide and shape your kid to be a good person.
Motherhood gives you a chance to see the world with a slightly different perspective because you see things through your baby’s eyes. It gives you new hopes and aspirations not just for yourself but for the world writ large.
Now that I have my son, I find myself becoming more aware and concerned about things happening in our society and how these may affect the environment that he will grow up in. While in a perfect world there wouldn’t be cases of injustice, inequality and hate, I know that’s just not what the real world is (as much as we’d like it to be).
However, I know I can create a home full of love and teach my son the values that I’d like for him to uphold. I recognize that he is his own person and he will develop his own values and beliefs, but I’d like to think that the principles he would learn from me and his father would guide him as he grows and develops his personality.
7) Motherhood gives you new skills and develops your instincts.
Of course, with motherhood comes new fears, new worries. I think I worry about my son every second of the day. Sometimes he’s sound asleep and I still worry about whether he’s breathing properly or whether he’s feeling too warm or too cold in his pyjamas.
However, I think that such worrying is tied with developing my mama instincts. I get to sense when something is not right with my kid. It helps me develop this skill so I could react fast and be in “protect mode” for my little one when the situation warrants it.
When my little one looks at me with his eyes as if asking me to help him when he’s in any sort of discomfort, I can’t even describe how great that feels (at least for me) — that I get to be someone’s “person.” I am my baby’s mama and I am the person he would draw comfort from.
8) Lastly, it gives you the privilege to feel a kind of immeasurable love that shatters and builds your world at the same time.
I already feel emotional just writing these words. Everyday I feel thankful that my baby came to my life because he allowed me to feel such immense love — one that is so strong and so deep in my core that nothing can change it.
Even if the days are hard and tiring sometimes, my son is a reminder of my why’s. He is my raison d’être and he will forever have my heart.