Hello! This is my first post of what will be a weekly blog. Before broaching the topic I want to talk about today, I’d like to write few things about myself. I am a woman slightly over 30 and I am the mother of a sweet 10 months old baby who is a handful! After nine months of maternity leave, I decided to extend it for different reasons, the most important reason being that I am not ready to let my baby go to daycare. Not yet! And I am lucky to live in a country which allows mothers to stay home with their babies for the first three years.
Today I’d like to talk about the stress of being mother. For the past 10 months, I have been attending the baby round the clock and I have not been sleeping much. The baby hardly sleeps during day and at night he wakes up every two or three hours. And guess who is waking up each time? Well, that would be me because I am the one who is breastfeeding. My husband is helping as much as he can but he is working. Yes, that’s right, someone has to work in our family, hence his free time is scarce and his need of sleep gets priority.
Back to the stress of being mother! I wasn’t even aware about how tense and on the edge I was until we visited my parents. For the last few days, I have had the opportunity to lie in bed and rest while the baby was with his grandmother. Few days ago, while I was lying in bed and relaxing the muscles of my body, a recent photo popped up in my mind. It was the photo that captured a happy moment with the baby and I, when the baby was playing in the pool and I was watching him. The face of the baby was full of joy while splashing the water around him. My face was frowned. I was all worried! Is the sun too strong for him? Is it cold for him to stay in the pool? (there were about 35 degrees Celsius) Is he gonna fall?
Thinking of this photo, I realized I kind of missed the joy of watching our baby playing in the water with his toys. In addition to the photo that was occupying my mind, the headache reminded me that the neck was very tense as well. So, here I was, lying in bed, trying to relax when I had an epiphany about how frowned and worried I am spending my days. At this point, my Guardian Angel was shaking her/his head in disagreement. And I agreed with her/him that this is not how I want to be around our baby. I don’t want to be cranky with my husband and the other family members. It is enough that I look tired, I don’t have to show it in my behavior.
So, what is there to do about it? The first obvious answer is that I need more help with attending the baby. I need to rest each day, even if it is for a short while. I need a little bit of time on my own each week. Yes, what else? The rest resides in me. The Guardian Angel is smiling, I take it as a Bingo! Even when I feel tired, there is a way to gather strength. There is the option to breathe deeply, to feel the air that enters my body, to breathe out the fatigue and to invite the patience to step in. The patience to hold our baby in the arms and calmly put his shoes on even if he is protesting strongly. There is a long way to go until I will have learned to avoid the daily stress of being a mother. I will try to be patient with myself, and to rely on the understanding of the dear ones meanwhile!