When my friend Kullein wrote to me asking me to contribute an article to this blog, I was elated. I immediately said yes. That was about two weeks ago. Why did it take me that long to submit an article? Motherhood happened. My 16 months old baby has suffered a viral infection as well as a bad cold back to back in two weeks. Children do that to you. You make plans. You commit to things. But once those little guys need you, you drop everything else to attend to them.
Motherhood is a learn as you go process. The advice before and during motherhood helps, but you will find all children, and definitely all mothers and what they want for their child is different. My first real emotion as a new mother was anxiety. The happiness and joy and all that nice stuff kicked in later. Anxiety: what was I going to do with this human, what was I going to feed it, did it really REALLY depend on me for its survival? And with that anxiety came perception. It came with the understanding of what is important, what is not, what and who can wait.
Now, with the passing of time has come a strong undeniable feeling that yes, this little man should be able to count on me. I had my baby in a hospital where the label tagged on my new born child read “Baby of Sheebah” as a way of identification. And so, because we decided to keep the same hospital for his pediatric care, the same ‘name” still runs in their system when we take him for checkups. It has taken them ages to change that label to his actual name. I was thinking about the symbolism of this the other day, and actually realized it is a very long time before your child can be a separate human from you.
Do they ever though?
I know I still need my mummy. And with that realization comes the dawn of responsibility that lays on your shoulders for how this person turns out. And with it comes rescheduling events, sitting out things, sitting nights out and sitting out some personal pleasures so he can have the best. Where does their life end and where does yours start? Life literally changed from being first, all about me, then all about my husband and I when we got married, to being just about our baby. It has been a difficult thing prying ourselves out of his grip to slowly have a life. And it’s still a learning curve.
Things I have learnt from being a mother;
1. Appreciation for a greater, higher power (GOD). Being a perfectionist and somewhat a control freak, this was a hard and humbling lesson to learn. From the miracle of conception, to sustaining a pregnancy, to the horrors and uncertainties of labor, it is undeniable to me that there is definitely a higher power. It does not matter who you are and how super of a mum you are, you can only do so much. You cannot stay up all night watching your baby breath, you will need to sleep yourself. No matter how much you trust your nanny, you cannot be 100% sure of what she gets up to when you are gone. Only God looks down on and protects our children for us, just as he loved and protected us growing up. And Oh, what joy and comfort it gives me knowing that I can just surrender all my points of anxiety as a parent to the CHIEF PARENT- God.
2. Appreciation for my mother; It is after I had my own baby that I started to truly and wholly appreciate my mum. She never took a day off, she never fell ill, she never got tired, and if she did, she never said or showed it. She never took leave from mothering 6 children. Gosh! How did she manage? I am just so grateful that I still have her to tell her everyday how much of a superhero she truly is!
3. Kindness and patience; For myself and others. It is quite humbling to know that this is not an exam you can study/cram for an ace. Every day comes with its own drama- flus, constipation, fevers, bruises, refusing to feed/eat. Things you cannot plan for. You must be kind to yourself through things you do not know how to do and patient with your little one through it all.
4. Balance. No this is a lie. I don’t how to do this yet. What is balance? When I crack this one I will write another in depth article about it.
About the author: Sheebah Kanoowe Rwakakooko has been married to Allan Rwakakooko for over 2 years. They have 1 boy together, Samuel Ishaazi Rwakakooko. She is an economist by profession with a degree in Development Economics from Makerere University. She currently works as a Research Associate at a Health Economics Firm- HealthNet Consult. She enjoys Reading and sleeping (yes, believe it)!