Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Its been 3 months, shy of a day, since I've been thrusted into the world of mamahood. I won't lie, its been hard, trying to juggling a job, research, a child, and other social duties/activities. Sometimes, I just want to crawl into the closet and sleep for days, but you can't do that. Sometimes, I want to take my daughter with me to work because I just don't want to be separated from her, even for a few hours... but I also can't do that. Sometimes, I want to go out without being a mom... and sometimes, I want to take my baby out with me and carry my mama badge for the world to see.

Its a complex, tangled web of emotions that I'm sure other moms (maybe fathers) have felt before. I think that most people don't realize this emotional phone tag you experience, until they're knee deep into poopy diapers, screams, and blurred vision due to lack of sleep. But you start to love the smell of the poopy diapers, hear music in the screams, and who needs 20/20 when the world looks like a great big colorful cloud?

My post isn't to complain about being a mom (or parent). But it is to shed light on the complexity of being a parent. Not all parents are the same. I happen to be the type who can't just send my child off with someone (even a family member) without feeling guilty. Many women are like that... I don't know about men... But, to do something on my own... even if it is to do research for my dissertation, while sitting at home, I feel bad sending the little one to someone else and then they get tied up and aren't able to do their own activities. Yes, I know that as she gets older, she'll learn to play by herself and won't need to be constantly held or talked to, but until then its hard.

That is why I've come to realize that it truly does take a village to raise a child. Two even three people can't do it alone. But, you need to work with what you have. So, based on my short experience thus far, this is what I need to do:

1- Get over it. Not feel guilty... Let the tiny human being go play with her aunts, uncles, cousins, babas, mama and baba's friends and anyone else who is close enough to you. How to not feel guilty? Think of it as a) a learning experience and opportunity for the little one; b) a fun date/outing for the big ones.

2- Babies need to get used to seeing a lot of faces... otherwise, when they're older... you'll probably suffocate from separation anxiety.

3- Go to work. If you're a stay at home mom, find something that you can do alone outside of the house, even if its an hour a week. Maybe, go to the library and read a book. This time make you feel like you're a real human being... not a milk machine... i.e. a cow... which is bad enough, considering all the weight you put on making the baby.

4- Find someone to trade off with you. You might have a friend, who has a baby too. Set up your schedules to "alternate" in order that you can baby sit each others kids, without having worry about costs or values. This is good for the parent, because they can have the flexibility to do things without the baby distracting you. And good for the child, because they'll have a playmate as they get older. This isn't only for working mamas. For example, say its really hard to get the house clean... Set up a day once a week, where you send the little one with a friend. But you have to be willing to accommodate the friend's day too. FYI- I'm still looking for someone to do this with...

5- Don't take things personally. This, I still need to work on. But, if people start saying things to you that tick you off, whether it is how you're doing something wrong, or not to do such and such, or to do whatever it is, or even a loaded comment about how working moms aren't real moms... Well, just pretend that their comment didn't come out of their mouths. Instead, think of what you need to hear and replace that in your brain. So, if someone is like "You're doing it wrong" in your brain process their statement as "you got this!" ---> This takes a lot of time and mastery... trust me, I am not even close to being able to do it, since I'm an extremely sensitive person. Good luck!

6- Talk to (and appreciate) your family members and significant other or even friends who may be helping you out. When you begin to appreciate them truly, that negative guilty feeling goes away, and you just feel blessed. Also, talk to them about specific needs you may have and explain, without embarrassment, what help you need exactly. They may think one thing and you have something totally different going on in your brain. And then in the end you get frustrated and annoyed. So, yeah... be more accurate and specific about your needs and constantly express your appreciation.

I guess I'll stop there.