Baby J is almost 6 months old now, and I feel like time is passing too quickly! He’s picking up new tricks every day, and he surprises all of us at home all the time with his cute little antics. As a new mother, I am constantly learning new things. Yes, it can be exhausting caring for a baby, doing milk pumps etc., but I know for sure that motherhood is a journey I will always cherish. Today, I am going to share 5 rather important life lessons that motherhood has taught me, and I’m sure many mothers are going to relate to. I have saved the best lesson for the last!
- Empathy Towards Others
Just a couple of days ago, I encountered a mother teaching her autistic child how to buy drinks at a food court. The child was by herself with her mother watching from a short distance away, and I was just behind her in the queue.
Even after several very patient prompts from the drinks stall auntie, the child still could not tell her what she wanted. A few moments later, the mother rushed to her side to prompt her to tell the auntie her order. She remained silent. The mother eventually told the auntie the girl’s order and prompted the girl to make payment. The girl passed her $2 note to the auntie and immediately walked away, leaving her mother to collect the change on her behalf. The mother then explained to me that she’s teaching her child how to order drinks. I think she felt apologetic for holding up the queue, even though no one was complaining.
While observing the interaction between the mother and her autistic daughter, I felt true admiration for the mother… such patience, such strength, such devotion. At that moment, I did not feel like they were holding up the queue. Instead, I felt empathetic towards their situation and hoped her mother did not feel so apologetic, and could continue to teach her child how to be more independent. Perhaps it is because I was looking at it from a mother’s perspective, and I would have liked for others to give me the chance to educate my child in a public area. If all of us had more empathy and understanding towards others, the world would be a better place.
- Cutting Down on Unnecessary Spending
I have always been very thrifty, but now that I’m a mum, I tighten my purse strings further, especially when it comes to unnecessary stuff. I also find myself gravitating towards looking at things suitable for Baby J when we go window shopping, and will only buy the necessary items. We now have one additional person to plan for, so I would constantly remind myself (and my hubby) not to spend on things we do not need. Most of Baby J’s clothes are also hand-me-downs from friends, and we are more than happy to reuse them!
Any amount of money we can save now, can be used for better investment!
- Letting Go of Unpleasant Past Experiences
We all have done something stupid at least once in our lives. It’s all part of growing up. Sometimes we hold on to those bad memories and kick ourselves for letting that happen to us. My hubby often quips about how he blessed he is to finally have a nice little family of his own, and all the heartbreaks he had suffered in the past are now insignificant. Had he known back then that this would happen to him someday, he wouldn’t let these affect him so badly then. But of course, we all know that that is not going to happen to anyone, ever. 😛
I too, have my own set of baggage, and recently had to face one particularly bad memory from many years ago. At the same time, I also had the chance to close the case once and for all and finally let it go. What came to mind was Baby J and how much I would love to move forward in life with my family. Anything else, especially anything negative, should be left behind.
- What Unconditional Love Is
When I think back of all the not-so-nice stuff I’ve ever done or said to my parents, I wonder how they put up with my bad behaviour and always forgave me so readily. Now I know. After Baby J arrived, I understood the kind of love my parents had for me. It’s so hard to describe, but I can see now how parents are able to put up with the bad behaviour of their children, and why they can do so much for them.
I guess this is what they call unconditional love.
- Greater Appreciation of My Parents
I saved the best point for the last! My parents have played a very huge role while I was pregnant and after I delivered Baby J. Without their help, I cannot imagine how much more tiring this whole experience would have been. My dad had the idea of renovating part of the house to create an extra room for my hubby, Baby J and I, all in an effort to bring us closer together. My hubby and I moved in about one month before I was due to give birth. Hubby and I do not own a car anymore, because we found it more worthwhile to take Uber/Grab in SG. So when I was heavily pregnant, my dad would offer to fetch us to and fro my gynae visits. That added much more convenience for our travelling.
Because I had c-section, I was in great pain for 2 weeks postpartum. While my hubby would help out in the heavylifting, like supporting me in and out of bed, showering for me etc., my mum would cook nutritious meals during my confinement to make sure that I recovered well. She would also help us to care for Baby J while I was recovering from my surgery and after my hubby went back to work. Now that we are both back at work, my mum has taken over the role of main caregiver of Baby J during the day.
As we Chinese have a saying, 家有一老，如有一宝 (an elder in the home, is like treasure in the family), and we find it so true. I feel so blessed to have such a strong family support. I will always appreciate the love my parents have for the 3 of us. 🙂
Is it the same for you too? Please share in the comments!