parenthood reflections

Oh, the changes!

Friday, June 26, 2015tee

One of the very constant and real struggles I had as my pregnancy progressed was transitioning and accepting that my life would turn around 360 degrees. Sure, J and I planned what we could; down to me staying at home for a bit, but it was a thought I had a hard time wrapping my finger around. See, I was one who has to do something and not have an idle moment. I have been working for 10 years of my life and it's the only routine that have been so part of me and my being that I find it hard to separate myself from working to staying at home. Even on sick days, I would last until noon and start to get bored, looking for things to do and finding stuff to tinker around with - be it unfinished blogs, photos or house chores. By mid-afternoon, I would practically beg J to just go home already! Poor guy had to bear with my kulit messages 'til he arrives at the doorstep.

I felt like I was about to lose a part of myself, a very familiar and safe part of myself to be something else. To do something else. Something new. Something I am unsure whether I'd be good at, and I always strive to be good at whatever I do. Will this new task be for me? For sure, becoming a full-time working mom or a stay-at-home mom is hard on both ends. It's not a battle between that.  Both sides require sacrifice. I know there isn't a day that the working mom wishes she was at home with the baby rather than being in the office. And I know there will be days that the stay-at-home mom would rather escape from diapers and take a breather from all the fussiness and crying. During that time, I haven't really made up my mind or haven't had enough experience to decide which one I'd rather be and which one I can live with.

J and I had it all planned out, figured out, and then one moment I'd break down and open the topic again. We'd discuss it again (the guy's uber patient!) and I knew deep in my heart, it was what God wanted for me to do - to lose my own "pride" in my sense of accomplishments and career, and to start a new and equally important task to care for the bub for the meantime. But let's just say I was so hard-headed. I wanted to fight the inevitable off. Little did I know when I'd see him and experience caring for him, it'd be a no-brainer. That I'd forget all my arguments and fear and that the decision would be the most natural thing to do. That seeing him would melt the what-ifs away.  That I'd gladly surrender and care for him 24/7, and there isn't a thing that we wouldn't do for him.

I used to be a career woman. I used to think I'd never be that woman who stays at home with the kids. I have nothing against stay-at-home moms. On the contrary, I have high regard and respect for them. It just felt like it was something I could not do and is not meant for me. I thought I wouldn't last a week - patience was never one of my strongest suits. True, the first few weeks have been a crazy ride, but we came out of it alive, haha! Due to my naivety, I even thought stay-at-home moms have all the time in the world to kill - an image most likely imprinted on me by Desperate Housewives. :)) These days have indeed been an eye-wakener on my naivety, and a humbling experience as well. I know that soon enough, I'd be asked by well-meaning acquaintances and friends when I'd go back to work. When I'd stop my maternity leave. But truth be told, this new chapter, it's growing on me. Seeing Jaden and his little milestones and making sure I am there each and every moment is indeed rewarding. I wouldn't trade being a mother for anything else in the world. I couldn't even imagine our lives without him. One day, I'll be a career woman again. But for now,  no rush - let's hit pause as a bigger job demands my time now.

I remember the first time I had to be with Jaden on my own, the day J had to go back to the office for the first time after a couple of weeks off. I had so become so accustomed to doing things with J - we were inseparable, J and I. We even work together, shop together, go to places together, that caring for Jaden became something we naturally did together too. I was so scared to be left with caring for Jaden on my own, J was so natural and so hands-on and I felt I just couldn't. Looking back, I am still no expert but somehow, I have managed. My days have become better, and I reckon, I have become better at it too.

I used to be so happy and fulfilled finishing a task, a project, debugging and fixing a complex bug. It used to give me an ultimate high. I stepped back into the office with Jaden in tow after a 3-month hiatus and it felt like I was a stranger - it felt like I was visiting a part of my past life from an outsider's perspective. I know one day, I'll get back to the office and I still will enjoy the daily humhums and the sense of fulfilment the job brings. But this "time off" made me realise nothing could give me the ultimate high as seeing the bub grow, watching his little milestones and have a beaming, proud stage mother moment right there. I was never the weepy, hormo-tional one, but Jaden has his ways of making me just pause and blink back tears when he's accomplished something like do a roll-over for the first time, or finally realising that once again, he's grown, perhaps a tad too fast for my liking, as evidenced by the snug clothes.

True, I miss waking up and dressing up for the office. Yup - I miss dressing up, so typical of me! I miss how an 8-5 job just ends at 5PM. Because being a mom doesn't have time-outs, no sick leaves. I am blessed and grateful that J lovingly wakes up and takes time off when I just want to hide under the sheets and have a few hours of sleep. That he exemplifies what being a "hands-on dad" means. My days may be different, but I remind myself that my days are filled with purpose.  It's not as boring as I thought or imagined it would be. It's not as simple and unchallenging and full of routines, after all, a little human is a person who may have his/her days too. Believe me, when I thought I have it all figured out, the little man decides to make things interesting and challenging. That, and managing a household and taking care of J too.

I have made new friends, yes - mummy friends, and I couldn't be thankful to have new people in my life to talk to who knows and understand what I'm going through and can ease my worries and concerns too. New people I can hang out with on days my other friends can't, given that I have more "free time" now too. We've even managed to go to the cafe and have a walk afterwards, prams and babies in tow. How fun it must have looked, a group of ladies in prams. So apparently, I now belong to the "pram society", haha. But despite making new friends, I am still thankful and intend to keep the old. True, while some friendships will not survive babies in the middle, I am confident that I have true-blue ones that will.

I look myself at the mirror and sometimes wonder what ever happened to that woman that I was was? She has changed and become a mother. Her days may be different now, but she wouldn't have it any other way. I know that I am where I am supposed to be at this point in my life now. There's no turning back and what an adventure it has been. It's not forever that I get to do this and indeed, it has been a blessing that I have the chance to get to do this. Because true enough, before we know it, the little guy will grow up and want his independence. But 'til that time comes, I'm enjoying every moment, even the sleeplessness if it comes down to it. :)

Oh, the changes. But it can't be helped - somehow I am still still me, but not really. 

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