“Mommy, how do I do this? Can you please help me?”; “Mom, I need you! I have an emergency!”; “Mommy, can you take care of her today, I have something important to do.”; “I love you, Mommy, thank you for being here!”
These were some of the words I wished I could tell my Mom when I found out I was pregnant but, fate had a different story ending for me and my mom, so I utter these words instead:
“Hi Mommy, I miss you!”; “I wish you were here and see her grow.”; “Mommy, I can’t do this, please guide me, watch over me.”; “I know it was you, Mommy, thank you for being her personal angel!”
It has been 8 years since my mom went back to her home in Heaven, and admittedly, it still stings when I wish she’s still here helping me take care of my first daughter. It was honestly a daunting feeling when I knew I was pregnant because I didn’t have her around. But somehow, I still feel blessed to know that my daughter has her personal angel watching over her all the time.
Here’s a quick list that I came up with as I tried to cope with the excitement of having a baby while trying to balance my grief in losing a parent.
I prioritized my mental wellbeing and equipped myself with books, and phone apps and even several websites about pregnancy and parenting. Somehow it helped me prepare objectively on what to expect, what are the common do’s and don’ts, what to prepare, and all that. I kept on reminding myself that I needed to be a step ahead on things in order to achieve a kind of sanity for myself and my daughter.
How I love free seminars about pregnancy and parenting! This allowed me to expand my knowledge more on how I can cope. It seems that a lot has changed from how mom raised me, and it prepared me to expect the best and worst, most especially during the early days of giving birth.
Believe me when I say that I am very happy and blessed to have a caring mom community wherein I can just simply ask away whenever I am unsure of things around my daughter. My mom friends have been so helpful in battling my anxiety as a mom, as well as it breaks that kind of pressure that I need to be perfect for my daughter. I honestly feel that being a mom can be so overwhelming, and having this community makes it so bearable to know that I AM NOT ALONE!
Whenever I am unsure of my child’s wellbeing, I don’t hesitate messaging our Pediatrician. They are God-sent angels to moms like me who (honestly) feels that little kick of anxiety most especially when I notice something unusual with my daughter. It helps me calm down when I am able to communicate the needs of my daughter without any hesitation.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone (your dad, husband, in laws, aunts, cousins, friends, etc.) who you trust the most for some tips that may help you with parenting. Not everything can be found in books and the internet. Some may have been an old practice that worked for them and may work for you and your daughter.
No matter what the books may have taught me, and other people may have suggested, I still try to follow my instincts. She’s my baby and I know what’s best for her.
Talking to my husband has been really helpful in dealing with a lot of emotions. I honestly feel that I have my personal therapist when he insists on acknowledging my feelings and talking about it. It also helps when you are able to release all the pent up emotions throughout the day as it helped not only our marriage but also our view of life.
I had to prepare myself mentally, physically and emotionally with all the changes that were happening. I personally talked to my husband that I needed my “me time” with my mom wherein I constantly visit her resting place and just talk about what’s been going on in my life including my daughter’s. This somehow help me release all the stress and pressure of being a “perfect mom” and just taking it all in that here I am, trying my best to be a good mom to my daughter. Prayers also helped me in battling all these big and little challenges. It helps appease my mind and body that I am guided by someone greater than my fears.
Believe me when I say that being a mom is also accepting all the changes going on in your life, your family’s life, your relationship with your husband and even with your little one. Everything changes in a snap that it may be a hard pill to swallow. But one thing I learned little by little is to accept the life that I have been blessed with. It may seem easier said than done, but I’ve learned to accept that Friday nights were not the usual wine sessions with friends, date nights with the husband is still a long shot, and even my usual pamper sessions are lowered sometimes to none. I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) that this is all part of a beautiful process of sacrifice. That accepting and embracing my life today has helped me appreciate the little things in life, most especially personally seeing my daughter grow up and achieving her milestones one step at a time.
I have to say, that being a mom is definitely a 24/7 job, it’s exhausting and even draining, but honestly it is a lot harder when there is no one personally guiding me in this journey. Yes, I really do wish that my mom is still around to help me get through parenting, but learning to embrace this beautiful journey has also taught me how to be stronger, more resilient and be more accepting. I may have learned this the hard way, but it taught me to appreciate each and every moment with my daughter.