on motherhood

1.       On my bub’s first year, I’ve become a proud baby wearing mama.  Baby wearing is not new for someone like me who hails from the Cordillera region. It has long been practiced by moms & grandmas, the only difference is that, our parents used blankets instead of the modern ring slings or sling pouches.  My ring sling has helped me a lot in going around Manila and in travelling with baby alone. I was able to ride a pedicab, tricycle, jeepney, the MRT and LRT with my bub in tow.  I knew it was easier that way rather than putting baby in his pram. We all know Manila is not & was never child friendly. There are no ramps for prams, the elevators are always jampacked with people who never bothers to give way to moms with babies or in some places, the lift is not-in-service forever. Even crossing the streets of Manila with a pram is like playing patintero with the drivers. In travelling by bus, since we’re not used to car seats for babies, my ring sling has kept him safe in my arms & made sleeping even longer. A whole night trip to our province was made easier by my sling.

2.       Aside from baby-wearing, I’ve also become a cloth-diapering mama. Thank you to online forums that introduced cloth diapering to me. I started with 4 pcs of Cloth Diapers (CD) only which eventually became a two-day supply of nappies.  The reason I switched to CDing right away are the benefits that come with it:  1. They’re very safe for baby’s bum unlike disposables which contain lots of chemicals that could harm baby’s skin. 2.  They’re environment friendly. Think about the number of babies nowadays multiplied by the number of disposables they use daily.  All of these disposables take 250- 500 years to fully decompose. Gasp! (http://breathofsunshine.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/going-cloth/) 3. One can save a lot by using CDs. Though these nappies are expensive to buy out right (1 pc cost around P300 for China nappies and P700 - 1000 for US brands), it would be worth it in the long run. They can be reused even after baby is potty trained.  And they can still be sold to other CDing moms. Some of my bub’s nappies are EUC’s, which I bought from moms whom I share the same love for CDs.

3.       On breastfeeding. This is one I truly truly regret. I failed to exclusively breastfed my baby. The hospital was very supportive & my OB was even really pushy with it but when we got home, I realized I don’t have the support system I needed to continue breastfeeding. Though there’s tons of information that Google could offer, still I needed physical help. There was no one to make soup for me or buy veggies for me to cook. No one to do the cleaning, washing, laundry, etc. I focused so much on these that I wasn’t nursing enough to produce much milk. I should have known that time that it’s ok to live in an untidy smelly place than to feed my baby with formula.   Tsk.Tsk.

4.       Google was an ally throughout those days that I need help on motherhood.  Every single Q, I checked with Google but not all were answered & answers have to be verified of course. Social networking was my only way to socialize, hence the term, LOL. I’ve joined online groups for moms and found virtual friends to exchange thoughts with.  During baby’s feeding and sleeping times and I couldn’t leave his side, mobile internet and games have kept me company and somehow kept my sanity.  I also got hooked with online shopping. It was a convenient way to shop during the first months when I couldn’t bring baby out yet.

5.       His first year is filled with dramatic changes, adjustments, of triumph, loving, living and learning not only for my bub but for me as well. I became a mom and that made it all different now. Priorities have changed. What used to be ME have become HIM, then US.

6.       My father’s definition of a mom clearly applies to us,”isusubo mo na lang,ibibigay mo pa.” Its meaning was made clearer by what I’ve gone through on his first year. Since he came, a few minutes of peace and quiet has become a luxury, sleeping soundly at night has then become a dream, a few hours for leisure is one I could no longer afford, bath time has to be quicker than before (to think that I don’t really spend much time for this) and worst, enjoying my meals whether dining out or not, is what I truly miss. I love to eat! :D  But does that make me unhappy? No. It never was and never will.  Though I admit I miss my ME time but if I look at my baby and see how healthy and sweet he is I’d shrug things off and say “pat your back Dom. You’re doing a good job.”

7.       I’ve learned that motherhood is truly getting out of your comfort zone. It’s like leaving your clean and soft bed in exchange of tarnished and lumpy one and enduring all the discomforts that come with it, all because of love. Motherhood is more than an advocacy, it’s a life. It’s one that I’ve embraced from the day I’ve learned I’m pregnant.

8.       After having gone through all those, again it made me realize one important thing, which is to focus on my baby but not to forget myself too. On his first year, everything I did was geared towards keeping my baby healthy, happy and safe forgetting the fact that I needed attention too. That I also have needs to be met. I didn’t bother to check on how I look, I didn’t care if I was still gaining weight after I had already given birth, etc. etc. but beyond the looks, is the need to keep myself healthy, safe and positive for my baby for no one else would look after him and love him the way a mom does.    

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