” It all started in September 2011 when I realized I was pregnant. I wasn’t really happy, I was in fact shocked due to continuous fears, an unplanned pregnancy, new job commitments and financial disruption. All these made me re – think if I really had to compete in the race. My pregnancy wasn’t an easy one – Hupernesis Gravindum made me lose tremendous amounts of weight- frequent admission to hospitals and away from home made me feel miserable about becoming pregnant.
Ada Joanna blessing might have given me a difficult pregnancy but a very short 45 minutes labor it was. I still remember how she popped out of me. I still remember my husband standing in front of me with tears in his eyes. Ada was a small puny baby and a very fussy eater.
Society refused to accept the fact that she was thin – constant, mock statements – it ruined the little happiness that came with being a new mother – many times it made me feel that I was a bad parent. While their intentions were right, their unsolicited advice did not help my journey as a new mother. And who appreciated that I was cleaning up puke, poo and pee on an hourly basis? Right. No one.
“My baby girl is healthy. My baby is beautiful”
She couldn’t gain much weight but she wasn’t underweight. “My baby girl is healthy. My baby is beautiful.” I kept repeating this mantra over and over while I continued to hear but not listen to advice.The society’s needs of a baby should be as round as possible. But I couldn’t meet their needs. What satisfied me was I met Ada’s needs and did things for her that I would want for myself.
Being a working mother, daughter in law, a wife and a daughter, I couldn’t give my 100% to all of them. Many times I have failed. I still fail. If I look after the household and spend time with Ada one day, then I wouldn’t have given my best at work that day. There was always an imbalance. If I had given my 100% at work, then I wouldn’t have done the same that day at home. It was difficult to wake up at four in the morning and sleep at 11 in the night.
Ladies if no one has told you today “IT IS OKAY TO FAIL”
I wanted to quit work but I couldn’t keep up. I wanted to quit family then I thought I couldn’t survive. I can encounter many instances where I decided to quit and really move on. But I saw who was looking at me, I saw those small legs following me, and then I said to Myself, “if this is how I spend time with Ada and help her grow, then I suppose it is okay.”
What she saw, she believed. The things she heard made her happy! I started seeing growth changes in her. Her doctor constantly reassured me that my baby has always been healthy. Then why did I feel I wasn’t doing my best? We tend to think children do not understand. They understand more than we do but they don’t let it out as much as we do!
Ada watches me and does her chores like putting away shoes, washing her clothes (only hers – because she thinks adult clothes are yucky), drying them and keeping them folded (even when she crumbles them – I still let her do it) she makes a mess while washing dishes with me (she thinks it’s water play). She enjoys her bathing time on her own – I let her pee and poo on her own! I let her be. I only watch her I don’t help her. She doesn’t like help when she does her part and I believe it’s for the best!
Taking a step back I believe all those comments from society did absolutely nothing to help. My experience as a parent has been unique. There is no mould to guide you how to raise a child. My baby is unique and my so is every child. Listening to my child and living by example is what has brought me this far.
I encourage you ladies… Be bold. EVERY effort counts. Both yours and your child’s. “