Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Baby talk

There is a lot of talk about babies lately - perhaps it's because I have so many good friends who are with child at the moment.

It seems women fall into several categories in the family department, which include:

* Women who've known since they were little they've wanted to be moms
* Women who've grown into the idea of having kids
* Women who don't want kids
* (Have I covered all the categories? Let me know if there are more...)

But I was thinking about how the thought of having kids can be quite scary for many people. It's easy to hear all the horror stories of frantic, frazzled mums who've forgotten what sleep and me-time feel like, and think, hmm...do I really want that?

So I'd like to hear from moms about some of the joys of having children, the moments that make it all worth it. And I'd especially be interested to hear about how moms balance creativity and personal pursuits with having to take care of another little human. Obviously I don't have any experience, so I'd love to hear your thoughts moms!


Erin Smith said...

I think that I was a cross between the women who have always wanted kids and the kind who grew into it. It's interesting because working with kids actually made me think twice about my desire to be a mom.

Anyhow, two kids later, I'm pretty happy with my (our) decision to procreate. I will say that the first kid is the hardest and adjusting to life with a baby can be really hard. But, if you have the support of a husband who takes responsibility for your child as much as you do, you will be fine.

As for the balance of creativity and baby, the first year is hard and you probably won't have the energy to do everything that you did before. Over time, I found that my desire to create and make something that was mine and that didn't go away at the end of the day came back in full force. If that made any sense...

What I mean is, with motherhood it feels like you work extremely hard yet you have nothing to show for it at the end of the day. In creating and reading I feel like I can do something that is just for me and it feels really good.

I think that you would be a great mum/mom and that instinctively, you would know how to balance life. I hope that helps!


Nadine said...

I think I'm somewhere in between category two and category three. I don't really want kids, but I'm open to having them in about five years. So perhaps I'm growing into the idea?

Rebekah said...

hm researching becoming a Mum, I like it!!

For me having my first child was so surreal and special and although I was tired the adjustment period was pretty easy. I loved being a Mom and had wanted to be one since I was a little girl, I was living the dream! I actually started my jewelry business after Simon was born, he would just sit in his little bouncy chair or play with toys and I would create pretty things. And then baking and decorating and making dinner kind of added to the whole creative outlet experience. I just felt like I was playing house..

number two came as a surprise, I got pregnant after just seven months with baby number one. I will admit that the transition to two was much much harder with a very colicy unhappy baby and another one to care for..I had super bad post pardum depression after number two and that is when the creative outlet really became a life source.

I think that one of the keys is to not be hard on yourself but to allow time to think, write, create, be a woman and child of God first. Your family and kids are your first priority but you won't be able to properly care for them if you don't take time to do what makes you happy. You will find a balance because you have to and you will be so shocked at where the new energy and strength comes from.

Becoming a Mother is honestly the most incredible creating I have been a part of. It is a gift an honor to be entrusted with lives to care for and I know that you will never ever regret your decision to have kids!

good luck on your quest!


alisha said...

Ooh...thanks for your thoughts ladies. I think it's nice to be reminded that babies don't rob moms of creativity (at least not long term). Rebekah I love the picture of you making pretty things while Simon bouncing around next to you. :) I also like the idea that you can't take care of your family if you don't take care of yourself - that probably applies to lots of areas of life! It is important to recognise of course that it is really hard work, but it's worth it. Thanks.

Jane said...

Hi Alisha,

I think I would agree with the other comments that having your first baby is a huge adjustment that you have to make to your life. Life changes. The main thing that changes is that you are no longer completely in control - you have this little being that controls everything you do. That was a shock for the first 6 months, but as with everything, life evolves. As Mylo has grown, I've gradually gained back the control again.

So now to the good part. I love my husband to bits, but nothing could prepare me for how I would feel about my child. It is a different love to that which you have for your husband, not more or better, but it is this amazing, instinctive, protective, deep love that I would never have imagined feeling. And its completely unconditional. It doesn't matter what Mylo would ever do, nothing could ever make me love him less.

As your child grows, I think it just gets better and better. You see this little person with their own unique personality emerge. I sometimes look at my son, who has just turned two, and think I cant believe he didn't exist such a short time ago and now he is this funny, affectionate, inquisitive little boy, so full of life.

I have baby number 2 on the way now and can't wait to meet them. I'm under no illusion it will be very hard at the beginning but its all 100% worth it.

Hope that gives some positive insight into being a mummy!

love jane xx

Family Down Under said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Family Down Under said...

Hi Alisha,
Further to the message I sent you...and on a positive note:)...I fall into the category of people for whom the idea of kids grew on me with time, I wasn't a "born breeder". I wouldn't trade my 2 babies for the world, yet it is surely challenging at times. I agree very much with the above comment by your friend Erin. Personally, I make an effort to do x amount of creative based things just for myself each month. Mind you, this does require advance planning, and doesn't just "happen" as it did pre-kids. Recently, my creative endeavors have included a cupcake decorating course, a yum cha cooking course, studying Italian, and taking a short univeristy course in art history of Tuscany. As I said, it does require planning, but is certainly worth it so I can have part of my "self" back. And I agree also with Erin when she says that a person like you seems to be blessed with the good instinct to be able to carry on as you wish after you have a child. Im not sure if this had been helpful or made much sense, but I thought I'd add my two cents. Amy (Paulisse/Capocchi)

Jess Fouche said...

Being a mum is the hardest & BEST job in the world. The best for SO many reasons but as mentioned in another comment, the love you experience for your children is like nothing else in the world, & to invest your time raising kiddos is truly a privilege. Hard b/c it's tiring & you do have to let go of a lot of your own time- but Andrew & I try & think of it as becoming more selfless which is a quality we'd like to have; hard b/c you don't get paid or complimented so you have to have eternal perspective- parenting for the long term & remembering that the days might be long but the years are fleeting & then you ache for the baby stage again with sweet memories.:)

I think most mums come to a point in the first year after having kids that they don't quite feel like themselves or like they are losing themselves somehow- & then you just learn how to squeeze in the creative moments amidst the rocking & feeding & it becomes easier & easier to multi-task. As kids get older you can teach them to do their own creative projects alongside yours or have them help sort buttons while you sew, etc. I've also had to learn to ask for help when I need it & have had to learn what to let go of so that I can do what is most important with my hours.

I love the thought that our lives flow in & out of seasons, & that if we know we are called to something, such as being a Mum, then God gives us the grace we need to be content & flourish in that season. He alone is faithful!

alisha said...

Thanks for all your thoughts ladies. And for all the people who took me aside to ask if there was something I needed to tell them. :) The answer is no but it's always good to be well informed.

Jessica T said...

I didn't want kids. I loved kids, but didn't want them myself. I was much too selfish with my time, my husband and my money and I knew it! When I became pregnant with Laura (surprise! The pill isn't 100% affective!) I cried and cried. And then hoped that if I didn't think about being pregnant, that somehow it would all go away. Obviously it didn't - and praise God for that! When Laura was born, truthfully, it took me a couple of days to really bond. But when it hit, good Lord it hit! I ENJOYED getting up 3 times a night for feedings. It didn't matter how tired I was, it was worth it. Because it meant I got to be with and hold my little girl. I could stare at her for hours on end. She was/is so precious. I would cry over her, thanking God for her and the amazing gift that He had given me. As Laura now hits her terrible twos, YES, it's a struggle at times as you have to patiently mold this child and her strong will. But at the end of the day, when she's sleeping so sweetly in her little tiny bed, I know there is nothing else that could be better. The other day I told her, "mommy doesn't want you to grow up Laura! I want you to stay my little girl forever." Laura looked at me with her giant brown eyes, patted me on the arm and said ever so softly "Don't be sad mommy, it will be ok." THAT is something that will be in my heart forever.
Needless to say, my mind is forever changed about babies. Jude, our son, was born this past June - and we hope to fill our home with many more little ones in the next coming years.
Blessings to you and YOUR future growing family. You'll be an amazing mommy when it happens. And you'll feel a love so amazing, that nobody will EVER be able to explain in the meantime. But if I were to try, it would be in this way. If you can try to imagine the pure, amazingly insane amount of Love that God has for you; that is how you will in turn feel for your little one.

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