One of the MANY things I've learnt as a mother is that motherhood is ALWAYS a trade in. You win some, you lose some. As a mum, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Mums have got to choose their battles wisely… and be ready to throw in the towel if there's some good at the end of it.
I've felt like it's always been a 'deal' of sorts with Little Man, that I'm always giving up something in order to get something from him. And it's the same with every baby/toddler-mummy relationship.
When you're a new mum, you can't believe the cuteness overload that is your child who is nestled in your arms. But with all those gurgles and dimples and that sweet baby smell comes so much poop! So many nappy changes! And oh my God, such awful sleepless nights. Yet, you wouldn't want it any other way, correct?
Moving on… the first few tiring, trial-and-error months are over and your cuteness overload is FINALLY sleeping at a respectable time or even through the night. Only to wake up fresher than ever at 6 am! Gone are the days of sprawling in bed till 8 or 9 am, but still you are over the moon that your baby is SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT and you can have UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP again!
Or take major milestones, such as crawling and walking. When Little Man was really little, I couldn't wait for him to crawl, naively believing that he would obediently follow me around the house and I wouldn't have to tug him along from bedroom to living room to kitchen. Boy was I wrong! I still remember the first day he crawled unaided. There was just no stopping him. Every drawer in my house was pulled open, the wires behind the television were tugged at, things that were in his way were strewn about… and it was only the beginning!
I later eagerly waited for him to walk, again innocently picturing us holding hands and strolling about town. Instead, he darted in the opposite direction while I chased behind him. I really couldn't have my cake and eat it too!
Then Little Man grew up some more and went to nursery. As much as I missed him, it was wonderful to be free of motherhood duties for some time, (you can read all about that in this post: https://talesfrommamaville.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/the-emotional-rollercoaster-called-motherhood) and get to do other things (like writing this blog and sipping on HOT tea while doing nothing). But nursery comes with its share of illnesses; you've got to be prepared for constant trickling noses, tummy bugs and other infections like conjunctivitis. Not so great looking after a sick toddler, I can assure you!
Then there's the perpetual question of should I allow my toddler to watch TV? Your logical mind says 'No, play with him instead, take him to the park or read to him' but your tired body says 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' just so you can have a breather for half an hour or a cup of tea or a much-needed shower. (I've dedicated an entire post to this moral dilemma: https://talesfrommamaville.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/the-emotional-rollercoaster-called-motherhood/ ).
Things you do everyday just to make it easier for you to manage – soothing baby with a pacifier; rocking or feeding baby to sleep; bribing him with pudding so he eats his veggies – are all great at that point, but become trade-offs in the long run when you have to work on breaking these bad habits. You win some, you lose some, eh? It's just another fact of motherhood – almost every rainbow has a cloud lingering somewhere behind. YET, some trade-ins are just so worth it!
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