Baby’s First Year: Why Being the Best Mother Means Caring for Your Own Needs, Too

With an estimated 2 billion mothers worldwide, becoming a mother is something that will likely happen to many of today’s young women. Whilst having a baby is without a doubt one of the happiest, most rewarding things anyone can go through, it can also be one of the most challenging and overwhelming with many different fears along the way.

mother and baby

Especially if you’re a new mother, taking the best possible care of your baby is likely to be your no.1 priority – and rightly so. But just because you now have a tiny human to look after, this doesn’t mean you have to completely neglect your own wants and needs too. Looking after yourself is just as important as looking after your baby, as it’s vital you keep yourself healthy and well for your baby’s sake. So if you’re struggling to find motivation to take your needs seriously too, here are some simple ways to look after yourself without compromising the needs of your baby.

Ask for help

No one said motherhood was easy and, if you’re trying to juggle everything on your own without any help, you’ll likely burn yourself out in the long-run. No one likes to admit they’re struggling but, for the sake of your baby, if you’re feeling unable to cope it’s essential you’re not too proud to ask for help.

Your family and friends will likely love your baby as much as you and will want to do anything they can to make your job easier. Even if it’s just babysitting for a couple of hours so you can have some time to yourself, accepting help from others is an ideal way to reduce any stress you may be feeling.

Treat yourself

Especially in the first few months of motherhood, you’ll likely want to spend every cent you earn on buying new things for your baby. Whilst it’s great you want to give your baby everything you can, it’s essential that you also treat yourself.

Luxury items like a car are likely to become even more important during the years of motherhood, as it’s only a matter of time before your baby grows up and wants to be taken to play dates. So, if you’re in need of a family-friendly vehicle but are blowing all your money on treats for your baby, be practical and weigh-up what’s most important. Click here to discover some affordable options for inspiration.

Drink water

We’re always told to drink lots of water but, as a mother, it’s never been more important. Not only will it keep your energy and hydration levels up, but will also provide the essential liquid needed for breastfeeding. Keeping both yourself and your baby healthy, ensuring to drink lots of water is one of the simplest steps you can take.

Motherhood will always be challenging even for the most prepared mothers. Both your physical and emotional wellbeing will be tested like never before so, even though you’ll likely want to focus all your energy on your baby, it’s still important to give yourself some love too!

Image source: Pixabay

Mother’s Intuition

RJ is amazed that I know her every move. I know what’s on her mind, I know when she’s lying or not, I know what she’s going to say or do, and when she goes outside I know where to find her as if I am wearing watch with GPS. It’s because of the innate impulse and natural gift of every Mom…Mother’s intuition.

mother's intuitionImage from the web

There was a time RJ asked me in a sarcastic tone, “What else can’t I hide from you, Mommy?” I know it could be irritating sometimes. She thinks that I am always snooping but I am not. But still I am grateful that I have this wonderful gift of Mother’s intuition.

If you are a new mother or about to become one,
has anyone told you that much parenting is a learned behavior,
not—as we have been led to believe—all instinct and motherwit.

~Sally Placksin~

An Extra Ordinary Woman

It was breaktime. The girl in her old uniform excitedly went out the school compound and was looking for someone. Her face lit up upon seeing the woman hiding behind the tree, covering her face with a veil. They hugged tightly and kissed each other for a while. They must have missed each other so much. Then the woman asked, “How are you and your siblings?” “Has anyone got sick lately? I am always thinking of you. Here is your allowance. Buy something for your siblings. Don’t worry, we will be together again someday…all of us. Please do not tell your father that you are seeing me.” The poor girl hugged the woman again while crying. The woman wiped her tears and kissed her then bade goodbye. The girl was watching the woman while she was walking away. She didn’t know when she will see the woman, her mother, again. She wanted to go with her but she can’t. Her siblings need her.

That’s the story of my Nanay’s childhood. Their parents got separated. Their father left them for another woman and their Mother went away to look for a job. They were left in the care of their Aunts and Uncles in their father side. An 8-month old baby girl, the youngest among her siblings, was left with her. She became a sister and mother at the same time at an early age. Mom is the second among 9 children but their eldest got married early so all the responsibilities were passed on to her. Unlike other children, Mom didn’t enjoy her childhood but she didn’t mind at all.

Until now her story makes me cry. I do not want my post to be mellow-dramatic but I can’t help it. That is how I see Nanay…a woman who will put her loved ones’ needs above her own. Her love is instinctual and unconditional. Even now that we have our own lives and families, she’s very supportive and always there to lend her hand. She’s just a call away whenever we need her and we don’t need to ask her twice for a favor. She loves taking care of her grandchildren and playing with them…a great spoiler for that matter.

Nanay with Tatay and grandchildren…still pretty at 62.

Nanay is a good listener too. She’s very open-minded so we can share with her anything and everything…problems with partners, kids, money, sex, etc. I remember when we were still teenagers she watched R-rated film with me and my sister. She said that sooner or later we will be curious about those things so it’s better to watch it first with her than with our friends who cannot give us good points of views about sex and sexuality. That is the reason why me and my siblings all got married on our late twenties…we are well-guided with Nanay. She has all the answers to our questions that satisfy our curiosities. And oh, she gave me 2 beautiful T-backs as gifts before I get married. Nanay is so cool!!!

Yes, all mothers brought children to this world but not all accepted the responsibilities that came along with it. All mothers provide their children with love and care but not all are willing to give up their career, their pleasures and full time. But Nanay is different. She gave her whole life to all of us…to her siblings, to her children and now to her grandchildren. That’s the best thing I learned from her…the same thing I will do for my family. Nanay is indeed an extra ordinary woman.

Hats off to you, NANAY! We love you very much!!!

We’re Pregnant

Bringing RJ to this world has not been easy for me and Rhonnel. We were one and a half years married when we decided to consult an OB-GYN specializes in fertility work ups. I am not like other woman who gets pregnant effortlessly. I had to go through series of tests, fertility work up and take fertility pills. But despite all  our efforts after several months, I still didn’t get pregnant and it caused me so much pain, depressions and frustrations. I started to lose hope. I thought then that we’re just wasting efforts and money. I stopped complying on my OB-GYN’s advises, stopped taking fertility pills and laid everything to God’s hands. We prayed every day and night that He may give us a child…just one child.

After six months, our prayers were finally answered. It was a miracle! I still remember Rhonnel was in the office. I excitedly called him because I can’t wait for him to come home and tell the good news. He was very happy that I heard him laughing and shouting at the same time. Then I called Nanay and Tatay, my in-laws and all of our friends. That was one of the happiest moments in my life.

On the first three months of my pregnancy, I loved eating eggplant, squid, “dinuguan” and grilled chicken blood. In short, I love eating dark foods. I always hate spicy foods but during my pregnancy I love hot and spicy dishes. I hate fish and chicken and I don’t like the odor of any cologne and perfume that’s why I was not using any that time.

RJ is a good girl. Even when she’s inside my tummy, she didn’t give me any trouble except for waking me up on wee hours because I felt there was something dribbling inside me. I didn’t feel nauseated nor experienced morning sickness. But when I was 5 months on the family way I was having hard times commuting from our house to the office and vice versa so I volunteered to be included in the ongoing retrenchment in our office.

This was taken when we had our farewell pool party after the retrenchment. I was 5 months pregnant but still had the nerve to wear swimsuit.

 

Being pregnant is an exciting time in my life because I was pampered and getting too much attentions. I had the privilege of being always the priority and had the privilege for having a comfortable seat on a jam packed bus and restaurant even I was not making any reservations. lol! Most importantly, my loved ones were showering me with my favorite foods, fruits, love and care.

This is my entry for Couple’s Corner theme this week entitled “We’re Pregnant”, in honor of Mother’s month.To read more stories about pregnancy, just hit the badge below.

Rodliz’s Nest

Two Great Women

This is my MIL, Rosalina (sounds like my name). We call her Mama. A native of Marikina, a retired teacher and was a good cook. It is sad that she can’t cook anymore because she is diabetic and bed ridden for months now. How we miss her Everlasting and Pickles. I must admit, even how hard I tried to imitate her cooking of these two Marikina delicacies, the taste of mine can’t even get close to hers. I wonder what her secret is.

She’s not a showy person. You will never know if she likes what you do or not. In fact I don’t remember a dish I cooked that she praised even how delicious it was. She is also known as strict by her siblings, nieces and nephews. But despite all of these, I love her. We don’t see each other that often but when we do, we talk almost about everything. She loves telling stories and though most of them are “tsismis”, I patiently listen. I like it more that way, she does the talking and I do the listening because she’s a negative person. Most of the time she misinterprets what people around her are saying and I am afraid to be misinterpreted.

We are not that close but she is good to me that’s why I cried when Rhonnel told me that she is starting to show signs of senility. Poor Mama, she’s only 64 but can’t enjoy every minute with her grandchildren because of her condition.

This is my mother, Nilda, also my best friend, a daughter of Pasay City. We call her Nanay while her grandchildren call her Mommy Lola. She’s not a professional neither a good cook but for us, she is the best mother. Until now she is the one washing the clothes of my youngest brother who is now 25 years old because for her, he is still her baby. That is how caring she is.

She is the one who inspired me to be a full-time Mom. I want to give RJ all the love and care that our Mom gave us. I still remember the nights when we were sick, she sat up all night, while repeatedly saying, “It’s OK baby, Mommy’s here” and when I have sibling who kept on crying and did not stop, she was worried and walked around the house all night. She taught us how to tie shoelaces before we started school, read bedtime stories over and over again to make us fall asleep, sat down with us and explained all about the things around us, cooked our favorite foods, cut our hair and nails every week, make dozens of cookies for school teas, and make all our costumes for school programs.

Even now that we have our own families, she’s always there for us. She’s just a text away when we need her. When I was rushed to the hospital, she stayed with us for three days, did the laundry, cooked and took care of RJ. She’s helping us raising our children and always reminding us to be strong, brave and honest.

Mama and Nanay, though this tribute is not enough to show how much we thank both of you, you always deserve it. Thank you for always being there no matter what. May our Good Lord bless you with longer lives. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

And to all my friends and Mommies in blogosphere, Happy Mother’s Day! Motherhood may be the most difficult but it is also the most fulfilling profession so cheers to us!

Meet more great Moms at…

Rodliz’s Nest