We’re in a restaurant and my toddler is screaming. I feel your eyes on us, but I make no move to leave. When I return your stare, I see you look away quickly; not so fast, though, that I don’t catch your eye-roll. I can feel your annoyance coming at me in waves. And you know what? I could not care less. And we’re not moving.
There are more than a few reasons I am happy I waited until my mid-30’s to have a baby (and a few reasons I am not, but that’s for another post), and when I did give birth at 37 and decided to hit some of the mom-and-baby library groups, it became abundantly clear what exactly had made waiting right for me.
Being a people watcher and an armchair psychologist, I had a good look around. The moms were all younger than me; I wasn’t the oldest, thankfully, due to the grandmother unsuccessfully wrangling her grandchildren to the circle and the elderly librarian trying to grab their attention.
Motherhood is quite like running an unending marathon – it requires an immense amount of preparation, strength, flexibility, patience and determination. Before you become a mother, many will sound you off about the do’s and don’ts needed to master this life marathon. Only when you experience the run yourself will you truly enjoy the euphoria associated with each little victory and realize how every bit of your effort was worth it! Being a mother is unique for every woman in the world. Just how no two people in the world are alike, so is the experience of bringing them up equally different. Some, experiences, however, form a part of every mother’s life and leave a mark far beyond the baby-naming, breastfeeding, nappy-changing and sleepless nights! Here are ten things you never knew about motherhood (unless you are a mother, of course):
1. Your Focus Will Shift From Yourself – Ever had your husband complain about how long you take to dress up before a party? When you become a mother, the complaining won’t stop; only now, it would be directed towards how long you take to dress your little one! Doing things for your kid will give you greater pleasure than doing anything for yourself.
2. You Will Cherish Being At Home – If holidays mean traveling the length and breadth of the world with your partner, wait till you have a baby! You would want to spend all your free time at home playing and fooling around with your little one. You’ll cancel lunch dates with your girls, your monthly spa appointments, and many other commitments so you can cuddle with your cute little angel all day long. You won’t have any regrets!
3. You Will Become An Excellent Multitasker – Of the many life skills that being a mother teaches you, multitasking features high on top! You’ll learn to do everything, from cleaning your baby’s dirty diaper to cheering him up, while gearing up for his next meal, all together. You’ll play the roles of a chef, doctor, entertainer and caretaker all at once!
4. Your Child Will Be Your Therapy – The world raves about peaceful retreats to help calm the mind. Only a mother, however, knows that her child can light up her life with the greatest amount of happiness and harmony, beating every other therapy hollow. Looking at your kid sleep is indeed the most beautiful sight that can bust your stress in a matter of seconds.
5. You Will Grandly Celebrate Every Achievement Of Your Child – No matter how self-critical a person you might be, when it comes to your kid, you will be an unabashedly proud momma! You will fawn over everything from his smile to his cute talks and will want to capture and share everything he does with the world!
6. You’ll Be Amazed At Your Strength – The world may see women as the weaker sex, but the truth is that they are much stronger than what they get credit for! Experiencing over 12 hours of painful labor to going many nights without sleeping and keeping composure in the most stressful days of initial motherhood, is highly brave! Motherhood requires not only physical strength but also emotional and mental strength.
7. You Will Discover A New You – Though you were once known to be the most impatient and non-accommodating person in your group but when you become a mother, you’ll discover a whole new side to you. You’ll amaze everyone around with your patient and calm demeanor! No matter how big a problem might arise, you’ll handle it with an immense amount of composure.
8. Your Friend Circle May Change – From a gang of crazy girls to a gang of overanxious mothers, your friend circle may also change over the course of your motherhood. Given the drastic turnaround of things and situations after the arrival of your baby, needless to say, your equation with your pals is also likely to get impacted. When all you’ve left to talk about is your kids’ weird rash and his potty training stories, you need someone who can relate to your situation and share tips that have worked for them!
9. You Will Become A Nutrition Expert – Vitamins, minerals, calories, fiber content – all of these details of various foods will be at your fingertips when you become a mother. You will become extremely cautious about healthy-eating to be able to give your child the wholesome nutrition he needs to grow up into a healthy individual!
10. You Will Love Beyond Comprehension – One never truly learns the meaning of the word love until they become a parent. It’s only your child that you can love unconditionally, even more than you love yourself. It’s the most satisfying feeling to see your child flourish and grow more than you did! Your child will give your life a whole new purpose!
Most importantly, motherhood will make you realize that there isn’t anything else that could give you as much happiness as seeing your child smile! Not a perfect job, a lottery or a couture gown – nothing at all!
– Aradhana is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.