Usually, when planning for a baby, the typical things most women focus on are eating healthy, baby clothes, doctors and maternity leave. Those things are important but there some things that most women fail to address which unfortunately leaves them and their kids miserable. And these things cannot be corrected and retracted once you get on the kid roller-coaster.
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1) There is No Return Back Policy
Women need to understand that it is really a lifetime responsibility. You cannot return the parcel because what you got is not what you expected. Women need to understand this gift comes with many unexpected surprises good and bad. If you have any starry illusions of being a mother do read experiences of mothers who really hate being a MOTHER! ‘I want to run far, far away.’ or We Need to Talk About Women Who Regret Motherhood.
Parenting is tough and exhausting. You have to constantly be on your toes literally and the stress at times is almost unbearable. You have to put on your best self at home more than you would care to put it in your social sphere. Motherhood is a career choice, requires never-ending deference and sacrifice. And there will be times when you wish could just put your kid in a box and mark return ‘not wanted.‘ You need to remember that if you manage to do a fairly decent job in the initial period of 0-10 years, you will be spared the dreaded teenage angst.
2) Deal With Your Past Sh*t
Today, most women decide to have a child after they have had some job stability or career success. They feel confident that they can manage things and can definitely raise a child. Most women think ‘we know how to raise a kid’. We will be the best after all aren’t we so competent in our jobs. However, no childcare manual really prepares you for dealing with a demanding, bawling kid. When the baby arrives, literally the shit hits the fan. And, suddenly you have descended deep into a Mother’s Dark Heart.
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As new mothers, suddenly we have to face the darkness of our hidden selves where we return to depths of the right brain where our own earliest overwhelming memories are stored. We are shocked by the changes in our personalities our children brought out into the open. We are unequipped to deal with the triggers unleashed upon us by our unsuspecting kids. And our toxic parent brain explodes, We lash out, and end up inflicting the same sad history of our own past. It is often a path of descent into our own early history and the wilderness of our primitive selves.
Everything stinks, that competent women have been reduced to a half-crazed lunatic. We may have put a distance between our past, our incompetent, neglectful or crazy parents. Promising ourselves that we will never be like them. Unfortunately, our programming takes over. We need to understand and resolve our issues. Take care of unfinished business grieving for losses and processing traumatic experiences if we want our kids to be healthy both mentally and physically before we have kids.
3) Build Your Resource of Alternative Carers
Children in a healthy culture need to be raised, not just by parents or mothers, but by communities of adults supporting each other in the tasks. However, don’t expect just because you have a kid people will be cooing and wanting to care for it. As a culture caring for a child is the lowest in the hierarchy of work. Don’t be surprised by the modern cultural tribal abandonment of mothers. Build your community of support network when planning to have a child. Even though you may think you will manage a baby along with other responsibilities like work or career. Paid babysitters will always be an option, however building a pool of alternatives for baby care is not just smart but could also be sensible and safe. Who do you turn to?
Of course, the best is family, but if that is not feasible or available, then trustworthy neighbors and friends. Be generous in your compensations and gifts for services rendered. It’s a two-way street. Child care is one of the toughest jobs. It is very tiring not just physically but emotionally. Don’t expect or think that when people are good to your kids, it is because your kid is God’s gift to this universe and the privilege of caring for them is a reward in itself.
No, people care for another person’s kid because of the kindness of their hearts and deep compassion in their souls. Return that goodwill with deep gratitude. Getting personal support is essential for any mother embarking on the hardest job in the world. As a mother, you will need all the help you can get. No, there are no supermoms, it’s a myth. All the celebrity supermoms who talk about doing it all, has a nanny, chef, driver, governess and a bevy of helpers who remain unacknowledged in the background.
Deciding to become a mother is a big decision, and life sometimes has a way of derailing them. However, one has to clear that I wanted this child no matter what and I am going to do whatever it takes. Mothers carry a much bigger moral burden and the choice of being a mother is always with a woman. And it is a very big and important choice to becoming a mother. Or one can be honest like talk show host and media mogul Oprah about not having kids ‘and accept that ‘I wouldn’t be a good mom for babies’ and decide to choose not to have any. Either way, it is a difficult choice from which there is no turning back.