14 May 2015

and then Narnia: surprises in new motherhood

M is for motherhood. It is also for Mystery, misgivings, mistakes and marvelous things!
I invite moms to share this month here. We begin with a new mother, Rox, who describes herself as 'an accidental saty-at-home mom, former slave to the corporate world; now a happy slave to her son Max'.
Look at Max, such a happy chubs ~

"Entering motherhood, for me, was like opening a wardrobe and stumbling into Narnia - a foreign land and a whole new world. 
w o n d e r 

There are battles to be fought, discoveries to be made and victories to be won. My identity and role as a woman shifted from a wife to also a mother and yet there were times when I felt as helpless as a newborn and as clueless as a child sometimes would with a new experience. 

I was suddenly set on a path to distinguish parenting truths from myths, to separate science from superstition and to sometimes decide between listening to my instincts or well-meaning advice. There is a barrage of choices to be made and theories to be tested; from breastfeeding to exclusively pumping to formula feeding, having schedules in place or following a baby-led routine, how to sleep-train and so on. Some choices seemed to invite judgment which then made me feel less of a mother and some made me feel wrongfully superior. More significantly, there will be choices that reflect my values as a parent; values that will inevitably be passed on to the child and could potentially shape his behaviour and beliefs. The voices of the world are many, loud and confusing, so it is a relief to know I could always turn to the voice of God, our perfect parent, for instruction, assurance and comfort.

And then there are the surprises; the loud burps that I can never imagine would come from such a tiny human being, the embarrassing farts that I thought could only belong to the husband, and the baby's ability to always wake up when I'm in the middle of a shower! I discovered that my physical and mental resilience could be stretched, that it was possible to function on little sleep and still remain joyful. I even started to exhibit sacrificial behaviour, putting the baby's needs before my own, letting my stomach growl angrily while satisfying his hunger. The maternal instinct that kicked in caught me by surprise - I became protective and passionate about every aspect of his well-being.
As I became more comfortable about my new role, the journey began to be filled with many magical moments - they say a picture is worth a thousand words but some emotions cannot be captured with either pictures or words. Thinking that newborns mainly eat, sleep and poop all day, I was proven wrong when my 2-month old son started responding to me with a variety of sounds - it gave me such a rush to be able to have a conversation with him, sort of. When he shows interest in a book or song, I wonder if he'll love reading or music as much as I do. I started to think about where his strengths and passions will lie and what kind of character he'll turn out to be!

Finally, I've come to realise what a privilege it is to be able to influence and disciple my child and I can't wait to see what God has in store for him.

Rox & Max

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