It is more of a continuous journey than a destination
Momming. Loosely defined as “the act of being a mother and the flair and style that you parent your child with”. In my case, “the act of trying to be someone’s mother, in the hopes of convincing everyone else that you know what you are doing”. Momming. Some people are born to be mothers, carers, and nurturers. I skipped that gene, since I am more of the “be responsible and self-sufficient” variety. Does not go down well with a toddler nor a baby! Since being a mom does not come naturally to me (I sincerely think it does not come naturally to almost 90% of the world population), momming is what I had to learn. Not only small things like what to do when they are crying, or how to deal with toddler temper tantrums, but also major things like how to discipline your kid without leaving permanent psychological marks, how to teach your child respect while encouraging them to be individualistic, and the kicker – how to raise a soft, sweet girl who will take no nonsense, be as tough as her male friends but without alienating other women. As if my job was not hard enough already…
My journey started roughly 4 years ago. Recently engaged, we were busy planning our wedding for the same year September. Great excitement. A doctor visit was scheduled as we realised some form of birth control had to be implemented since we did not want to start with a family immediately. Being young and healthy, we had all the time in the world. Or so we thought. Saw the gynea, and left in tears. I had a tumour (myoma) and it was growing fast – already the size of a large orange, directly on my uterus wall. I had to have surgery, and fast as we were getting married in less than 2 months. This doctor’s findings were also that there was a chance that I could not have children. These type of tumours usually grow back, and fast, and although you can get pregnant easily, the pregnancy usually ends in a miscarriage as a result of the tumours, or a premature delivery when one of them burst. I was shattered. We wanted children, and planned on having two or three. Now that dream seemed very far away. A new gynea was found, and she could do the op in that same week. At first I did not like her, at all. She seemed vague and uninterested. But then I started to get to know her. What at first seemed like aloofness was actually a complete disregard for any medical “prognosis”. She believed that I would be able to conceive and carry to full term, and even more so after she removed the tumour, but we had to get going. My time frame was roughly five years. A glimmer of hope! I had the surgery on 1 Aug 2013, and we got married 27 Sept 2013. In May 2014 we found out I was pregnant, and her excitement almost beat ours! A1 was born via C-section on 29 Jan 2015, perfectly healthy at 37 weeks. We were a family.
A1 was an exceptionally busy baby, and she grew into a very wild and busy toddler. Today, she doesn’t stand, she jumps; she doesn’t walk, she runs. She talks fast and loud, and without ever ending. And sleep – what sleep!?! We went for weeks without a fitful night’s sleep, truly walking zombies. And that have not really improved with the months. Even now, she will go to bed between 20h and 21h and wake up at 4h, maybe 5h. She doesn’t sleep during the day, and she rarely sits still. Oooh this child pushes my boundaries. Strong willed and very opinionated, she does not accept a “no” for an answer and a good old hiding does nothing for her. She amazes us every day with the things she picks up, and knows, without us every telling or teaching her. She is amazing, and I think absolutely beautiful. If I had an idea of how to “mom” before her and attempted to use these techniques and ideas, I would lose this battle every day. She is not your textbook child, and I had to adapt in order to be her Mom.
Then came A2, also by C-section, but this time at 39 weeks, and once again – what a surprise. Although she is just 7 weeks old, she is already so much different compared to her sister. Calm, and quiet, she only cries when she is uncomfortable, hungry or wet, she is easy to calm down, get to sleep or to drink. No issues whatsoever. Again I have to change my mom-hat to suit this little miracle. Adapt or die it may seem.
To some it may seem easy, even effortless, to be a mom, and although I do admit that for some it comes more easy than for others, in general momming is a dangerous sport. The time and dedication that goes into getting to know your child, their dreams and fears, their loves and dislikes, is daunting and at times utterly exhausting. And then the moment you have it down pat they change! Then the whole process of learning starts all over. Momming is a full time training course, profession, and passion. But for these little blessings, I will learn every day.