As you may already know, I am pregnant, currently in my 32nd week (only 8 weeks to go! Sheesh!). With this season of preparation comes all sorts of interesting and wonderful experiences, lessons and the capacity to consume endless amounts of information on the topic of babies (sorry to all my friends who have copped an earful of verbal diarrhoea on all things baby)!
At times I feel like I can grasp even just the slightest peek of what motherhood is all about, as emotion surges and hormones rage within... Overwhelming it may be, it somehow gives me a sense of definite purpose and courage. When I am not in a state of magical motherhood epiphany, I am somewhere between feeling kind of scared and sensing the anticipation of what this child will bring to my world; sleepless nights, poop, lack of memory, poop, milk (both fresh and regurgitated), crying, more poop... Oh and of course joy and love and ultimate cuteness... etc.
The most startling thing (in a good way) however, outweighs all of the above... This time is not just a time to adjust to the idea of being a milk supplying, nappy changing, poop detecting, baby whisperer. And it goes far beyond finding purpose and courage in motherhood. It is the responsibility that comes with being arguably the biggest influential role model to the little life growing within, for the rest of it's life.
No words can describe both the privilege and burden this responsibility gives mothers. It is truly an honour to be able to touch a life in such a poignant way, yet it weighs heavy on our shoulders. I'm not perfect, and I know I will make many mistakes, so it is easy to think of all the things I could do that may damage this child's potential to be the best she can be. But it isn't my job to be perfect, nor is it my job to ensure my children are perfect. It is simply my job to understand the importance I carry in their world and to do my best with the task at hand...
Being aware of what we pass on to our children is probably the first step to realising the responsibility we hold. Children are like sponges, they soak up everything we do. Our actions speak louder than our words!
I am already assessing my life, the good and bad habits I posses, the way I love my husband, the way I respond to his love, and many other things that I know will directly affect my baby's world. Being aware gives us a better chance to pass on more positive models of life as apposed to negative or damaging ones.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, suddenly those little insecurities that seemed to tag along un noticed, became unacceptable in my world. And ever since then, I have been working hard on cleaning myself out of old and negative thinking patterns, bad habits and petty ways of dealing with things. It has been like a spring clean for my life-style... So good (sorry babe, for the emotional roller coaster this journey has taken me on)!
One of the best things I can do to prepare for motherhood is to work on my character. And it is always a work in progress. But as long as it is in progress! If I can be the kind of mum who chooses to look on the bright side, who is happy despite lack of sleep, who has integrity and character while no one is watching, who is ok with herself when she makes mistakes, who is ok with the world when things don't go to plan... then I know my kids will have a good role-model to look up to. After all life can be messy, and we aren't without fault, nor should we be! But that is ok, that is what makes life intricate and beautiful.
It has been hard preparing, noticing all the things that I know I don't want to pass on to my kids. And I know they will still receive things from me that aren't great. But I am more interested in the wins, the small victories, than focusing on the inevitable truth that yes, my kids won't always be protected from my own down falls. Because these recent 'small' wins have been some of the greatest victories in my life yet... Like gaining more patience, learning to be gracious even when I feel so agitated and re-learning humility - the genuine kind. What better way to educate my kids than to be the example. I would rather them learn from me - a loving yet fallible mum - than the messages that blare from the media, or any other influencer that doesn't have the same invested interest as I do.
And isn't it incredible to think that this all started from the moment I conceived? Indeed, even back then I was influencing my baby by what I chose to put in my body, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually! And it doesn't stop until I pass - am I ready? YES! I choose to be ready.
Love Heids Xx