Motherhood feels like going to college for the first time. You get in with so much excitement and expectations and discover a lot of things on your own. Some of the things you've probably heard before hold true, but there are a lot of things you would experience that are new and may even be shocking! You would find that being told things and experiencing those things yourself is a huge difference!
The beauty of motherhood, though, is that we learn every day. Each moment we learn, and we get better. It's as simple as ABC, or is it?
In this article, I am sharing some A-Z of motherhood from my perspective, which consists of some lessons and experiences that mothers encounter in their journey in motherhood.
Let's take a ride, shall we?
A - Antenatal. Congratulations, mama, you are pregnant! It must be exciting for you, isn't it? Now that you have confirmed you are expecting, the next thing is to register for your antenatal classes. These classes moving forward will guide you, especially as a first-time mom, on all you need to know and do to stay fit and healthy for you and your baby, good luck!
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B - Bond. The unwavering feeling, love and affection between a mother and a child. This bond is for life!
C -Contraceptives. There are lots of birth control contraceptives options out there for moms to choose from. My advice is: seek the guidance of a gynaecologist who is the best person to answer all your questions regarding family planning.
D - D is for Daddy. It is easy to get lost in the mix of motherhood and forget to have a life with your partner without the kids always in the centre of things. Make a conscious effort to always do something with each other every now and then.
E - Episiotomy. Some mothers swear that this is more painful than childbirth itself. Episiotomy is the cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth that helps with the delivery of a baby. The stitching and the healing process can be one of the most uncomfortable feeling, if I say so myself.
F- Friends. Something some mothers have less of because they are too busy to meet up with new people or reach out to old ones. Sometimes when a mother uses the word ‘friend’, she is probably referring to someone she used to know or an acquaintance from social media.
G - Guilt. Every mother can relate to this feeling. Mom’s guilt never quite goes away but can be managed. Mom’s guilt springs up at every opportunity it gets, so it is important we give ourselves grace and understand that we are doing well for our kids and we are the perfect mom for them.
"So, while you are pushing your kids to be better every day, supporting and cheering your partner to achieve his goals, don't forget to channel that energy and love towards yourself, mama, don't forget all of the dreams you once had."
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H - Happiness. Something your kids makes you feel all the time. They are like little rainbows filling your homes and lives with so many colours, joy, love and happiness.
I – Insomnia, aka ‘Momsomnia’. You would never get to sleep the same ever again! I never knew what luxury sleep was until I became a mother.
J - Jealous. There is something special and beautiful about a father and daughter's bond that may get you a little jealous. Mothers with daughters can definitely relate to this. I had such a relationship with my dad and was so glad to watch my husband have that with our daughter.
K - Knowledgeable. With motherhood, we learn every day as we grow. There is no manual to it, so it's nothing to beat yourself up about.
"Motherhood feels like going to college for the first time. You get in with so much excitement and expectations and discover a lot of things on your own."
L - Love. I never thought I would love someone much more than myself until I became a mother. A mother's love is the closest thing to God's love for us. It is a love that burns true; it is a love that is never wavering, always present and constant. It is a feeling where you would rather put yourself in harm's way than let your kids experience any hurt. I knew my mother loved us, but I did not know how much and how deep until I became a mother.
M - M is for Mommy. A name you would be called all your life! Can you imagine that? Feels surreal, right? I know! I will never forget the excitement I felt the first time my kids called me "mommy". It was a feeling of both warmth and so much happiness that made my heart almost burst.
N - No. A toddler's most favourite word and a mother's least used word because if we could, we would say yes to every request our kids ask of us.
O - Opinions. You will be getting tons of opinions on this journey, especially the unsolicited kinds. Many people may have a say about everything that concerns your parenting style, and if they could, they would hand you a manual on how to be a mother, don't let that bother you so much.
P - Poop. The one thing that you never thought is a big deal until your little one hasn't pooped for four days, and you go into a panic mode because you think it is the end of the world, and Google doesn't seem to be helping either. Not until you talk with a doctor who calms your fears and tells you, ‘you need not worry’, but oh! you never stop worrying until your baby does the ‘number two’ and only then would you stop worrying. And then you pause and think to yourself, "I never knew poop could make me so happy".
Q - Quiet times. The only quiet moments you may ever get are when the kids are sleeping. Other than that, your home will always be filled with the cries and laughter of kids.
R - Relax. Relax and take breaks as often as you can; your body will thank you for it both now and in the future.
S - Social media. The loneliest thing about motherhood is not having someone to share your struggles with. Thankfully social media has created a space where moms can connect and find a tribe. E.g., on the Instagram [@themomconversation_].
T - Tired. This is a familiar word in motherhood, so familiar because it is basically how we feel most of the time. Who wouldn't feel tired running and cleaning after kid’s day in day out? And let's not forget the never-ending to-do list.
U - Unique. The experiences of each mother are unique to her. Some or most of our experiences may be similar but are different and unique to each of us.
V - Village. There is this popular saying about how it takes a village to raise a child, but I have always had a different opinion about this because unlike our parents who had the presence of a ‘village’ and enjoyed the benefits, I can't say young and millennial parents or mothers enjoy such. Everyone is busy - grandparents inclusive - with their own lives. The places we considered safe spaces no longer provide guaranteed safety for our kids, the people you consider guardians are the people we are sort of weary of lately. The only village we have or consider safe enough for our kids is our home.
W - Weaning. Weaning your toddler off breastfeeding may be the one thing you thought would be easy-peasy, but sorry to burst your bubbles, this notion doesn't hold true. My handy tip has always been to start when you are ready. Trust me —it takes a level of mental readiness to do this.
X - X-ray vision. Growing up, I always wondered how my mom could see things before they happened, like how she would advise us about being friends with a person or advise us against some things and how there's always an event that happens much later to confirm her words. Call it x-ray visions, seeing the future, wisdom or instincts, but we all have that within us. Mothers have been blessed with that innate feeling, especially when it concerns our kids.
Y - You. The one person who never puts herself first is a mother. So, this right here is a reminder not to forget you on this journey because it is so easy for us. Before you were a mother, you were someone. So, never forget that someone and stay connected to her always.
Z - Zone out. Stop paying attention to the things that do not allow you to grow in motherhood, which could be things or even people. Motherhood isn't a limitation; there is so much we can do and achieve. So, while you are pushing your kids to be better every day, supporting and cheering your partner to achieve his goals, don't forget to channel that energy and love towards yourself, mama, don't forget all of the dreams you once had.
We are rooting for you and cheering you on to pursue your dreams. We believe in your magic, mama, yes! You can do it!
Keep soaring and stay dazzling!
Mrs. Chidimma Juliet Oladipupo is a mother of two, social media strategist and content creator with a bachelor's degree in Sociology. She is passionate about using social media for good, getting her voice heard and connecting with others.
She is the founder of THE MOM CONVERSATION® —a motherhood
blog on Instagram dedicated to highlighting the truth and realities of motherhood. It's also a space she holds conversations and inspires mothers to share their true stories and journeys about motherhood without filters.
When Chidimma is not writing, researching, reading or creating contents for brands and businesses, she spends time with her kids, brainstorming, bouncing off ideas or have random conversations with her husband.