Ambition has always been one of my strongest traits, one that has helped me find my way back on track when I’ve lost sense of direction. So, when I was pregnant and people would say “your life is going to change, your dreams and aspirations will go down the drain”, it would hit a nerve and I’d say “no actually, my baby will only inspire me to continue”. But behind these words, it was needless to say, as much as I loved the kicks and the bump, I was frightened for if it really were the end to my progression in my profession.
During pregnancy though, I made it my sole focus to enjoy my ever-growing womb – ensuring this tiny human in creation felt good vibes from early. I may not have planned to become a mum so soon but I always knew I would try my very best when it was time. I was very well aware that a child’s development does not begin once they’re born, the foetus’s brain starts forming just three weeks after conception. An unborn baby will sense any stress which will affect them, putting them at risk of things like depression, however, positive emotions will embed strength and wellness. Which is why I told her I loved her the minute her existence was revealed and don’t go a day without telling her she’s strong, smart and beautiful.
Though I always mean well and love my baby girl more than life itself, I’m far from the ‘perfect’ mum. My baby is almost 10 months old and I make what I call, minimal, repetitive and unintentional ‘mistakes’.
When I don’t have time to brush her hair before taking her to day care, therefore looks like a lunatic, or haven’t given her snot a thorough wipe before being seen in public leaving her face unkissable or leaving her nappy on for six hours instead of three, when nappies are advised to be changed every three hours to avoid nappy rash. Some will scream “oh my goodness, what an inattentive mother”. I scream “minimal mistakes” because quite simply, in the grand scheme of motherhood, these things are minimal, to me anyway.
Repetitive? what do I mean by repetive mistakes? All of the above definitely fit into this category because on a busy day, I might not brush her hair, wipe her face thoroughly and might well do leave her nappy for a tad bit longer than I should. But I’m also talking about moments of frustration, when baby cries uncontrollably and inconsolably, I find myself reach a state of irritation. And Every time it passes I experience guilt because I know patience is a virtue yet I find myself in the same state when it comes back around. I have the habit to reach for my phone in the morning, check the time and accidentally start scrolling, when really, I could be kissing my girl good morning.
Last but not least, unintentional mistakes are when I’m making mistakes and I don’t even know I’m doing it. Being so caught up with trying to do what’s best, making decisions based on what I think is correct – to learn that correct isn’t always best. I’ve gone back to work to persue my career in order to succeed, make a change, provide and be an example but on the flip side, my child who’s not even a year old misses out on that extra connection. Now, I feel it’s the right thing to do but is it the best for my little one? It’s a question I battle with regularly, at times leaving me torn and broken.
These are a few examples of what I mean by minimal, repetitive and unintentional ‘mistakes’. I put quotation marks around ‘mistakes’ because I don’t entirely believe that they are – It’s quite literally motherhood for you but someone looking in will easily judge you whatever it is you do.
“Motherhood is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, loving in a way you didn’t know you could, letting go of perfection and not giving up when struggle occurs.”
— Lorena Vargas