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Have you ever looked at something so beautiful and be amaze of the beautiful creation in front of you and feel an unconditional love for someone who lived inside of you? Mesmerized from day one, I felt compelled and responsible to be the best mother I could be to my daughter. I watched her sleep and did not want to be far away from her. She slept in a basinet next to me so I can be closed to her as possible with her safety in mind.
When the time came and I went back to work, my mind was at home with her. I came home on my lunch break to spend some time with her and feed her since my work was less than ten minutes drive. I may sound obsessed or overly protective or may sound the typical first time mother but the love I feel for her is powerful and feared that somehow I would fail her as a mother.
I want my daughter to feel loved from the very beginning and I want her to feel secure because she is loved. I was grateful that my mom was able to help for couple of months because I didn’t trust anyone else to watch my daughter.
I was working at a shelter working with families with children. I worked with amazing women in the office with strong personalities and caring hearts. These ladies were more than just coworkers but also my family. All of them have shared their stories from their upbringing and their experiences of parenthood.
When my mom returned home I was allowed to bring my daughter to work with me. I felt at that time that it was easy because her needs were simple: milk, clean diapers and naps. My daughter was an easy baby. She was a good sleeper and didn’t fuss much.
Then my husband’s military orders came and we are now moving across the Pacific on the other side of the world. Many things changed our daughter was 10 months old, mobile and her needs have expanded. I am now a full time mom and housewife. My husband is now working on a ship that deploys for three to four months then port for one to two months. There were many things I learned about myself. I felt that I had to work harder now that I’m a fulltime spouse and felt the guilt of not being able to contribute financially even if my husband never have any problem of me not working.
The reality hit because I didn’t have anyone aside from husband and I didn’t have the mom tribe/friends who was there when I needed help. I worked harder to be a good wife and a mom. I made sure my daughter was out everyday socializing with other children then come home for her naps then while she nap I was cleaning the house and cooking. When my husband would be home I made sure there was gourmet meals everyday. My life revolved around tasks of housework and making sure my daughter’s needs are met.
I started having anxiety and many questions started arising like “Am I doing the things right?” I have no idea what I’m doing sometimes and if the decisions I was making were right choices. I questioned if my daughter was growing and learning appropriately and reaching every milestones, adding more mom guilt and the comparison to other children and parents. The feeling of time is passing fast and my daughter is getting older. I am torn caught in the middle of the struggle between day is longer and she’s getting older by the day.
I have learned painfully that there is not a single right way to parenting. I have the control of what works for my family. I have learned that people will have opinions different than mines and there are people who will verbalized them out loud trying to validate their own choices. I have learned not only to keep myself in check not give my unsolicited advice when I’m with friends but be aware and empathize. When I feel that there’s something wrong with my daughter I need to keep myself relaxed and seek a medical professional and not search everything online. To rid of my mom guilt is to tell myself that I have tried and what I’m doing is enough. That I need to focus on my life and my family not compare.
I have to learn to embrace that the days that are long and my daughter is growing up before my eyes. There are days that are rough and it’s okay to send my daughter to bed early or pray for early bedtime because I need to recharge to be able to care for my family the next day. These moments are bittersweet and we go through different journeys and adventures which some are complicated but only way to survive is to make sure you keep moving and do your best to stay in the now and absorbed and be grateful each day. Motherhood had allowed me to grow in ways I never thought possible. I am changing into a better version of myself. Hands down, motherhood is a miracle and that mothers are supernatural creatures.
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