What a title. A bit scary, but I am going to write about it anyway, to document my truth today.
My Lila is now 6.5 months old. She is sitting and eating solids. She is rolling and kicking, grabbing and gnawing. She has the cutest laugh and the sweetest smile. Her eyes and nose scrunch when she smiles. And my heart melts. When she nurses, she looks at me with those beautiful black eyes. And my heart skips a beat. She would grab my glasses while she is nursing. She would play with my arm with her feet and toes. She would close her eyes and drift to sleep. My heart bounces and explodes with each milestone that she achieves. She is starting to take interest in the dogs. She loves petting Olive and always seem mesmerized by Trippy. She takes great selfies and loves seeing herself in the mirror.
She woke up on the floor this morning. She was not happy about it. She is having quite a miserable time with her eczema, but she is being a good sport and she stops scratching when I asks her to. She can be loud and demanding. She snapped at another baby today at Baby Time at the library because the other baby was poking me over and over again. She also freaked out when I left her at the Infant Center at the gym because I had a one hour appointment with a trainer. I cut the appointment short to 15 minutes. Lila was just not having it. What a spitfire, my Lila.
I still feel overwhelmed when I think of myself as a mother. I still can't comprehend that reality. It's weird, I know. I feel like I don't have any control over anything. I feel like each second I am struggling to do good. For her. I am struggling because I don't know if anything is good enough. If I'm good enough. I'm scared as hell. And that's the honest truth.
Now I get anxious about things I didn't know existed before. Like the various colors of baby poop. I mean I knew baby poop existed, but I did not know it came in various shades. Or the complexity of grocery shopping or having lunch with friends or arriving to my destination when my baby had just fell asleep. Oh my dear God, naps and sleep! Breastfeeding was not a breeze at the beginning and now I'm dealing with solids. And with that we are back to baby poop.
There is absolutely nothing glamorous about motherhood. It's messy, tiring, confusing, overwhelming, and scary. But then my Lila giggles. And then she reaches out to pet our dog. And then she looks at me and drool. And then my heart just burst. I thought I knew about love, but not until Lila that I realized I knew absolutely nothing. My love for her is so massive that it sometimes scares me. I could explode. I could stop breathing from the thought of something bad. Because an invisible boulder suddenly drops on my chest every time I see or read something bad or sad happens to someone's child. The dire need to always protect Lila is something I never knew could exist. My life has been completely altered. It is not even my own now. It's hers. And I don't mind.
Amidst the fear and panic and anxiety, motherhood has also taught me a thing or two. I'll be damned if don't come out of it a better person. Motherhood allows me to see and experience first hand life on the other side of the fence. I was always the person with no kids. I was the person who felt bad for people with crying babies and screaming toddlers, but glad I was not them. I was the person that knew more about parenting than those people with children. Now I realize that I didn't know anything. Motherhood is humbling. It brings me down to my knees and makes me admit defeat. On the other hand it has also taught me to lighten the hell up. I can get obsessive about things and now I realize that most of the time I'm just wasting my energy. But I guess the most important thing that motherhood has taught me is to be kinder and less judgmental, particularly towards other women, other parents.
It is hard enough to raise a human being without being judged. I don't want to be that a-hole who thinks she knows everything about everything and always has the need to speak out her personal beliefs and choices without being asked. That a-hole is annoying. So I'm trying hard to do good for Lila without thinking (out loud) that other mamas are not trying to do exactly the same thing for their spawns. Being a mother, now I know that we are all struggling in one way or another. NO ONE has it easy, no matter how effortless they make it look. Because we all start and end from one thing when it comes to our children: love. And that love is massive. So I will not be that a-hole who questions a woman's love for her child. I refuse to be her.
So far motherhood has mostly been interesting. I am surprisingly enjoying it. I never knew I wanted this until it is what I'm given. And now I can't even think of not having it. My Lila is a blessing. And I don't use that word lightly. This 13.5 lbs blessing is a constant source of awe and joy. I am blessed to be her mother. And this motherhood thing will get more familiar, I know. Until then, I am just taking it day by day because I just want to savor, enjoy, and live every moment. I want to document Lila with my heart and mind, not just my iPhone camera and Facebook.
Lila Gaia Pramudito, please be nice to this inexperienced mother. I'm doing my best. I promise I am.