Updated: Apr 6, 2020
If you've kept up with the blogs so far you might be thinking parenting is all negative and you might be starting to wonder what you've got yourself in for and why so many people do it. Don't worry, there are lots of positives too, like being reminded on an almost daily basis to humble yourself because you aren't always right.
I'm sure you've probably all heard the saying 'Mum knows best' and more than likely from your own mothers. Well, ever since I was able to feel my son kick me in the womb he seems to have known best. Whenever something would stress me out at work, or if I would have an ounce of worry that something wasn't right, he would give a couple good kicks as if to remind me everything was going to be okay. That has only been enhanced since his birth.
In the first few weeks as I got used to changing nappies I got what all new mums get... peed on, LOTS. I would even get pooped on, and not from explosions, nope, from my son deciding that the fresh air on his butt meant it was his time to shine, usually right in between swapping a dirty nappy out for a clean one and then right as I’d clean up that mess in comes the fountain. Not only was this not fun, it was pretty frustrating at times watching 3 nappies back to back be thrown out without any actual wear. Throwing things away was a whole new concept to wrap my head around as someone from a family who, at times, struggled financially. My mind would go into overdrive about how many nappies were being used and how much money that equates to. While I was trying to remind myself that he wasn't doing it on purpose just for me and not for Dad, and that he didn't hate me, and that we can afford more, my son would give me a cheeky grin as if to remind me everything was okay and not to worry. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to stay grumpy while a baby smiles at you but it’s pretty impossible.
My son has taught me already that I need to chill out on the worrying. Having an uncontrollably crying baby out in public probably isn't any mum's idea of a fun time but it does happen. But guess what? Nobody cares if a baby cries. My son settles so much easier out and about than at home - he loves the fresh air and fresh environment just as much as I do. The few times he has cried while out he has always just been ready for a change and feed and then settles right away. It took a few outings for me to realise this. I spent days worrying before an outing on my own with him about if he cried what would I do and where could I go. It was always okay and not once did my imagined worst case scenario occur.
At Christmas time my son was nearly 3 months old. I was worrying about the 2 hour drive to Rotorua and sleeping in an unfamiliar place. He slept the whole drive and only woke up once on the first night. I was proven wrong again for worrying. They say our pēpi can sense our emotions. I like to think our babies try their very best to help us out where they can, maybe it is all just a coincidence but even if that is so who really cares, if it helps us all out a little it’s got to be a good thing.
I may have mentioned in a previous post, but I am a firm believer that everybody has something to teach us. Our pēpi are not excluded from that, in fact, they probably have the most to teach us. If there is such a thing as a chill baby then maybe that is my son, but having a pēpi who teaches his māmā just as much as he learns can’t be exclusive to us. I know for myself I have already experienced so much growth because of my son. Some things I had been struggling with and working on for years and suddenly in his presence I have improved on them tenfold in these short 4 months. They say a mother is reborn with the birth of a child - I think the mother is reborn with each new phase that her child goes through and with each new lesson that comes with those phases. Some days the lessons are subtle, other days they are blatantly obvious, but every day our babies are such precious beings and they have so much to offer the world.
Being a māmā can be really hard work but with a little patience and understanding it has so many rewards to offer. Letting out a little frustration every now and then is not the end of the world. Next time you are having a hard day with your pēpi just remember how far you have already come and imagine how much further you can go - these little blessings have chosen us for a reason, embrace the full experience and let it change you for the better, let go of a little control and try something different, sometimes pēpi knows best.