Motherhood,  Parenting

My Motherhood Journey: The first year

My baby turning one was such a milestone, one filled with gratitude and love. However, I have learnt so much from my motherhood journey thus far.

The good the bad and the ugly are all learning curves in life. However, my journey began on a rather sour note. I was unmarried, a mess, had to change plans and my body was going through the motions. As a result, I was so sad and disappointed in myself.

My struggles

I don’t think I can express how I felt into words. I had allowed negative thoughts to fester and grow in my mind. It was a dark hollow place to be in and I didn’t know how to get back to being me.

I struggled to get out of it for a while, then had to think about this little life growing inside me. It wasn’t all about me anymore. I had to accept that I was pregnant and going to be a mom. Initially, I toyed with the idea of whether or not to keep it and all other options in between. A year later I’m glad I did.

It has not been easy at all. Being a mother was certainly not my plan, not at this stage of my life. I still had so much to do, to live for and enjoy life. Subconsciously, I felt that having a baby will ruin my life. My mind kept guilt tripping me and reality was, I was nowhere near ready for motherhood.

Having support

There were many people around me who assured me that a baby is a gift and that I’ll love her once she’s here. I didn’t see how that could be possible. I got through most days by just thinking how fortunate I am when so many people struggle or can’t have children at all. “Stop the pity party Ntha. You knew what you were getting yourself into”. My mind again.

My spiritual family and friends did not judge and look down upon me during my pregnancy. They were happy for me and looking forward to their baby. She is a baby to all.

I had to change the way I thought about myself and my baby. I had to realise that it was not all that bad. My mom and family were very supportive, especially to have dealt with me. I wouldn’t want to deal with my pregnant self.

That is just a fraction of my motions. “How do I get that motherly instinct to kick in”, I often thought to myself. So, I won’t focus on all the bad. However, it is a reality most women face. I’m fortunate to have had the support, love and understanding of my family and friends.

My breakthrough

By the time I felt the first little flutter, I was madly in love. I had a name picked out and talking to her and singing and enjoying her. From doom to boom! The idea of motherhood was growing on me and I loved it.

We’ll skip the 4-day labour for now, maybe in another post. And rest assured she will hear about it when she’s older. Although, it was not all that bad.

Nothing beats the feeling of overwhelming joy and love when you look at that beautiful face of a newborn baby. This life-altering experience was a game-changer for me. It was at that very moment that I realised that all my struggles were worth it.

The first few months were hard. I was recovering from an infection and the roller coaster emotions that came with the pain and my body just trying to get back to normal. Whatever normal is after birth.

The good

The good you ask is that I had a good pregnancy. I had no morning sickness or crazy cravings and midnight snacks. In other words, physically I was fine, just my mind and emotions were not playing ball. My boyfriend was supportive and there for me, bad days and all.

As a new mom, you will need time off. Click To Tweet

The best thing about motherhood is having a super cute, calm and happy baby. She must have felt that mommy couldn’t take too much at the time. I had all the help I could get even though I felt like a burden at times. The positive side is that everyone loved fussing and having to care for the baby. I can’t tell you enough how important it is to have help and a solid support structure.

As a new mom, you will need time off. Being a mom is a full-time job in itself, throw in a full-time job and side hustle to the mix. I have found my pattern which won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me. There will side-eyes from people who have all kinds of ideas of how to be the best mom. Find what works best for you.

One year later, after countless sleepless nights, packs of diapers, tantrums and cheers, tears and laughter; I love it all. There are days where I don’t want to deal, then I call on the aunts and grannies. Therefore, its important to take a break and just regroup.

I have learnt and grown so much in the year I’ve had with my baby. She has taught me patience (A LOT) and acceptance. I have learnt to have an attitude of gratitude even for the smallest of things.

Coming out the other side stronger

A lot of women have similar or even worse experiences to what I went through. I am sharing this so that you know that you are not alone. If you feel more than just sad or emotional, speak to your doctor. Surround yourself with a good support structure or join a support group for pregnant women and new mothers.

When I started to embrace my little one growing and the changes that were taking place, I started feeling better. Changing my mindset was the best thing I could have done for myself and my baby. I wanted to be happy and so, I strived to be happy.

Photo by Joey Thompson on Unsplash

Most of my time is now spent running and chasing after the little one. There is a lot of fighting and fussing. However, I am learning to be calm, because she is a feisty one and everyone says she gets it from her mom. Oh, the joys of motherhood. Nothing can compare. I am blessed and grateful to have a chance at grooming and raising this wonderful little human being. The sky is the limit.

Please comment and share your journey with motherhood and the lessons you have learnt.

Love, Everyday


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