The joys and pains of being a mother

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BETTINA CARLOS

Motherhood is not a walk in the park. It is tiring, consuming, messy, painful, demanding, dramatic; but also fulfilling, completing and ultimately, beautiful. I am a hundred percent sure that 100-pecent of mothers will still choose to be a mother in their next lifetime; yes des­pite the [birth]pains.

The pains, oh they are a plenty. From the morning sickness episodes that persist through the night in the first trimester, the discomfort of frequent toilet trips, the horror of stretch marks crawling around your growing belly, the darkening of the pits you carefully whitened, waxed (or even lasered) and took so good care of in college; the back aches; the agonizing labor, the (literally) painful anticipation and then delivery.

And just when you think the pain has ended, you face the mirror and see a saggy, flabby, feeling-empty tummy; an areola bigger and darker than a chico; a stitched cut that throbs when its cold (or a laceration that takes a while to dry and heal); face so puffy and legs still swollen from all the water retained.

All these physical changes intersect with your erratic post-partum hormones and you have an instant, daily pity party (hooray!); that is further aggravated by a crying tot who cannot seem to latch properly so you end up with blistered nipples but barely any milk with a total of only three hours of sleep everyday.


Then you see the house you carefully decorated and furniture thoughtfully bought and strategically situated in every corner will be taken over by play mats, play pens, a crib and heaps and loads of toys—that crawl, sing, make all these everyday sounds.

The smile that makes a mother’s heart ache with joy

The long, warm baths you used to lavish on will be downgraded to three-minute showers; the hair you used to spend time on to dry, iron or curl for some nice flicking will be tied into a messy bun—your fixed hairstyle for at least the first two years. And your signature sling bags will have to be kept in the closer for a while as the big baby bags take over shoulder.

Sacrifices? Those are not even an inch of what lies ahead. Wait till your baby starts going to school and making friends; sometimes they forget to kiss you bye in excitement to play. You ask them out for a random date after class and they drag a classmate to go with you so you end up—well for the lack of a better term, as a “third wheel” or chaperone to their date.

Moms, the reality is this: your kids will fail you, hurt you, make you cry and break your heart a lot of times. But they also fill your heart with so much love and joy you never imagined possible to even contain. It is so much that it overflows and covers all the pain—past and yet to come.

From the moment they were born; that first cry was a cue to your tears of joy; the first smile, the first “mama” out of their mouth; the first attempt to stand, step and finally walk.

It’s the way they hold on to your pinky when strolling in the mall like they’re afraid to ever let it go; how they run to you and hug you; hide behind you when they are afraid or shy; how when they plant kisses in your face to wake you up in the morning it grows into a flower in your heart that blossoms each day and never wilts.

‘My hand is yours to hold forever’

It’s how they say “I love you” in garbled words but your heart clearly understands. It’s how they look for Mummy, and only Mummy. It is how they jump to you when you enter the door, all tired from work and all the weariness is swallowed by their excitement and overcome with their love. It’s how they are always pleased to see you.

I always say that the best feeling in being a mother is that there is always someone who wants you, needs you and pleased to see you. Always.

To all Mommas out there, please be the best mothers your children will ever ask for and need – that when they are all grown up, they would want to become like you because of how you took care of and loved them. Seek the Lord on how to best parent your children! James 1:5, Proverbs 2:6, 3:5-6

To all aspiring and praying to become mothers some day and unexpected [single]mothers, do not be afraid. Be prepared. Be strong. Your children are never fatherless. God is their Perfect Father. And He is your partner who will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:9, Deuteronomy 31:8, Isaiah 41:10

To everyone (because we all have mothers), “Obey your parents, for this is right. Honor your [father and]mother that it may go well with you and that your life may be long.” – Ephesians 6:1-3

Happy Mothers’ Day to all Mommas!

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