Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bringing Home Baby

Mothers Day is on it's way, and my opinion has been that any birthday ought to be a celebration of each mother who brought that child into the world.  Having been through two long, arduous labors, my mind invariably goes back to those hours of birth every time we celebrate a birthday of one of my children.  Now with anyone's birthday, I feel I can relate to whoever's mom had to go though that life-changing experience.

But as everyone supposedly knows at least in theory, the labor has only just begun!  The actual task of caring for and raising a child is no joke.  I ache for the teen-age mothers who come through the doors of our church; children raising children.  Statistically it's a long shot that they'll raise them well.  I recently met a happily married, well-adjusted couple in their 30's who just had their first baby, and it was a touching sight.  Bright, intelligent professionals, successful in their fields, and totally lost when it came to keeping up with their little bundle of energy.  They had that glazed look in their eyes of people who hadn't slept for days, bewildered that a 25 inch person could throw their lives so out of whack.

A mistake that many new mothers make, especially those who have no experience, is to expect their babies to behave in a way that shows appreciation or love right away.  When her baby cries and is inconsolable, she begins to think that the baby dislikes her.  When she looks at her newborn and smiles at him, but he just gives her a blank stare and waves his fists in the air, she feels rejected.  She tries to hold him close, but he kicks and wiggles and doesn't seem interested.  He seems to only want her for her milk, and her expertise in burping him.  She feels "used" and resents him.  He even reminds her of others who treated her badly in the past.

She has no concept of how a baby's body needs time to develop.  How little he is able to coordinate his movements, focus his eyes on any one object, that he's unaware of what a smile is yet, and can barely hold up his own head.  Instead of just loving him despite how he acts, she feels hurt and offended and is unable to bond with this child who needs her so desperately.  She wants him to give her the love that she hoped for by having a baby in the first place, and when she doesn't see it, she withholds her own love.  And the beginnings of a form of abuse begins: neglect.  Her child will soon be starving for love because his mother was too immature and selfish to be a mother in the first place.

There are some things you ought to know before allowing yourself to conceive a child:

1. Becoming a parent only works if you are ready to give and give and give, and not expect anything in return.  Unconditional love is a choice.

2. Be prepared not to have a good night's sleep for at least 2 years.  Some parents are luckier than others, but still - be prepared.

3. Babies cost money - diapers, food, formula, bottles, juice, clothes, car seats, strollers, toys.  Not to mention monthly trips to the pediatrician and any medicine he prescribes.

4. You will feel at times that: You've lost control of your life. Keeping appointments is a monmental endeavor. You will live the rest of your life covered in baby spit and attached to a large diaper bag. Be patient, and enjoy the experience.  This shall pass.

5.  You will feel like you are loosing your memory.  So many things to remember, nap times, feeding times, extra supplies, extra little t-shirts in case of accidents, extra warm cap, blanket, bottle, toys, snacks,  bring the stroller, or not bring the stroller?  And then you wonder why you can't remember where you put the car keys... Every. Single. Day.  Don't worry, this too shall pass.

6.  Your husband (if you are so fortunate to have one) still needs your love, affection and undivided attention at some time during your day.  If you snap at him when he expects anything from you even when you've been drained to the last drop, you are shooting yourself in the foot.  Give, love, and give again.

7. Don't project your own insecurities on your baby.  If he doesn't respond to you the way you hoped, it doesn't mean he doesn't like you/resents you/wishes you weren't his mom.  Babies are totally dependent on you, and their only opinions revolve around the need for food, warmth, sleep, cuddling and a clean diaper.  Give first, and know that in due time, you will really receive.

4. You don't have a baby so that he or she can make you happy.  You're the only person who can make you happy.

Give your mom a special hug and send her the best of your love, because she went through all of this for you.  For those who have been there and done that, congratulations!  And have a wonderful, blessed Mothers Day!


Ana Villatoro said...

Wow. Mrs. Evelyn, you described very well what a mother goes through. Happy mother's day Mrs. Evelyn and to all the mothers in the world.

Yuliana R. said...

I really admire my mom, and all the mothers. It's a lot of work and its not like you can take a class and learn how to be a mother, you learn as you go. I will sure let my mom know how much i miss her and how much I love her and admire all that she has done. I will continue to pray for her so that God can bless her and guide her to continue being the great women she is and all that she has done for me and my family.

Rebeca=) said...
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Rebeca=) said...

I will definitely tell my Mom how much I love her.
This article shows even more clearly that being a parent is really not easy. The pain in the first hours of that little person's life is just the tip of the iceberg.
I know I don't have kids, but I think I can relate this in my life in the way of the souls.

We are suppose to have like spiritual children. People that we help mold, change and convert.
One that I really have worked hard for is a girl named Denisha. I've known her since 10th grade. When I met her she had tried to commit suicide 2 times. The last attempt she drank clorox in juice. All her life she was depressed. She had seen her grandfather commit suicide in front of her. And it's like the demon that was in him went into her.
Needless to say her life was hell. But what made it all even worst is that her parents are Hindu and have a totally opposing faith. She sneaked out 2 times at first to go to church. But lotzzzz went on after that, i would write 2 pages about it. And though I wish I could tell you her decisions were all good and her life is now roses and daffodils, and she's full of the holy spirit today, it's not and she's not. I don't think I can count the hours that I've spent with her on the phone trying to help her. For some months she's strong for others she's jumping into a "love" trap.

Sometimes I just wanted to give up on her and not talk to her anymore but then God makes me realize I should help her because He doesn't give up on anyone, or turn away when they ask for help, and neither should I. Through her I really got to understand how God must feel towards mankind. He loves us sooo much but constantly we hurt Him, but he doesn't turn away, he forgives. In the same way a mother. So I keep helping Denisha and she's been doing better recently. =) I see great potential in her, I know God can use her. That's why He doesn't give up on her, so neither will I, just as a mother wouldn't either.

vera said...
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Anonymous said...

:-( sniff

Erika - Philippines said...

Hi Mrs. Evelyn,

Thank you for sharing this to us Ma'am!
I really admire my Mom as well and all the mothers in this world! For me, they are the best Mom in this world!

A Blessed Happy Mothers Day Mrs. Evelyn!

Izamar Romero said...

Babies are just soo cute, but such hard work....

Bianca said...

I admire my mom alot because she is always there for me. Whenever i mess up she rebukes me but she only does it because she cares. She is my mom but also my friend. I can talk to her about many things. I really admire all mothers because having a baby is not easy and all the things moms go through.. wow.. really admiring
May God Bless all moms in the world
Happy Mothers Day
Bianca Lima

Divya said...

I know my mother had much trouble when giving birth to me. She told me I wanted to go the opposite direction ;0) She almost died. I am grateful and will pray for her, that God will bless her and guide her more and more.

May parents to be consider the advice in this blog, so that they will not see in their children fulfillment to the emptiness inside of their hearths. That is too much to expect of a child, and only God can fill an empty life.

Bianca Moctezuma said...

Now i can really see what my mom went through, and its not easy at all. i will sure tell my mom how much i love her.
& Happy Mothers Day to All the Mothers Out there. :)

Maritza Barr said...

Thanks for the advice that will be useful in the future.

Mothers' are to be admired and truly cared for. Growing up I was always a "cold" person and I undoubtedly hurt my mother several times. I didn't think much of it then... but the penny soon dropped.

It pains me to see how many children neglect / reject their parents. Its like the saying says "you don't know what you have until its gone." The most loving things about mothers is that in their eyes you'll always be their little one! It doesn't matter how old you might be... in their eyes your still their baby. Mothers' are willing to not eat (if need be) and give that food instead to their children!

Now more than ever I have such respect and admiration for mothers! They go through an entire life of labour. I will show my love to my mother this Mother's Day but not only that day, everyday.

Mrs. Evelyn, thanks for being my Spiritual Mother!

Eliana said...

Hi Mrs Evelyn,
I would like to ask if you could share some tips for mothers whose children are far from them due to work issues and their grandparents are the ones who take care of them and the mothers are not happy with the way their parents are doing this work and also for mothers that have adopted children that is behaving very bad because they are jealous of their sisters and brothers. They are doing this to call the attention of the parents because they are afraid that the parents are going to love them more than the adopted one. The parents doesn't know what to do anymore. I love your articles and when I heard about these problems I remembered you. Thank you and God Bless you always.

Ana Villatoro said...

Happy mothers' day Mrs. Evelyn. I love you and thank you for all the advises that you have given me, they are helping me to be a better woman. God bless you.

Cindy Flores_Manila said...

this open more my mind about giving birth, as i was reading i could relate this to servants of God giving birth to new Christians. it's not really easy.

in addition, i agree we have to really appreciate and love our moms that they took care of us so much.

belated Happy mothers day Mrs. Evelyn. thank you for being our Big Sister and Spiritual Mother.

Alicia said...

hmm.i never looked at it this way. I'm not a mom but I live with mine. this article makes me appreciate everything that she has gone through for me, eye-opener.


Natalia said...

is amazing how well you have describe mothers, I am about to have my first baby and I am very happy but at the same time a little scare because I dont know a lot stuff, but thanks to share those tips.

Erika Gomez said...

This is a great message Ms.Evelyn
It really opens your eyes to think twice about having a child. And its so true its about giving, giving and giving. I like how you mention that you shouldent take the fustration out on your husband but give love. Im not there yet but this message helps a lot for the future. And I will make sure to thank my mom for everything she went through. Thank You

Gemma Leon UK said...

I often think of the birth when I think about mothering and that's enough to make me know that I am not ready. Thanks for being so candid. I think that so many women have an idea of what the perfect mother is and when they don't fulfil the criteria they are too hard on themselves. I thank God for the wonderful mother I have and the sacrifices that she makes even today.

Andreia said...
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Andreia said...

I had no idea it involved THAT MUCH, having a child...
I always admired my mom and her willingness to go without so we would never lack anything. She really gave her all for my sister and I and I really owe her a lot. But now reading this blog, I have realized that the 'a lot' I thought of, isn't even a third of what she went through. I have always tried to show her how much she means to me, but I gave her a very hard time during my teens. After I met God, my mom became my best friend. I will be seeing my mom very soon (which I'm really excited about), so I will be sure to show her my love and admiration for what she has done and continuous doing for me. She is an angel!

I love my mother and father very much and I know that I am were I am today through a lot of their sacrifices.

Thank you for sharing this with us Mrs Evelyn and great job in raising your wonderful kids!
This post taught me a lot :-)