Motherhood: Adjustments I’ve Had To Make Since Becoming a Mum
“Mum! Mummy! Mummy! Mum! Mum!” This is Elly’s way of getting my attention. I will confess that sometimes it takes me a minute to remember that when she says mum she is referring to me.
Motherhood has come with a host of surprises and unexpected turns. Like many first-time mums, I have had to make a whole lot of adjustments in order to make room for this little person who depends on me for so much.
1. Everything doesn’t have to happen on a schedule
Wake up at 6:30, breakfast at 7, do house chores, begin work by 10, write for three hours, make deliveries from 1-4pm, get back home by 5pm, play with Elly for an hour before making and having dinner, work for another three hours after that and then go to sleep.
As much as I have learned to appreciate schedules and how they help you get plenty of work done, sometimes things happen and your day starts earlier or later than you planned, or you don’t sleep on time because the baby is sick. You might have to readjust your plans because your caregiver is unwell. You can plan all you want but when you have a baby, your plans need to be flexible to make time for the baby’s needs.
2. Making/Scheduling time for myself
Before I had Elly I used to be in that group of people who would point fingers at women because ‘walikuwa wamejiachilia’ (they had let themselves go). Once there was a baby in the picture, I finally understood what these women were going through. When you want to be an active mother, it can be so hard to get a free minute to get your hair and nails done, etc. But you have to try. Schedule out time to take care of yourself, to get pampered, read a book, try out a new recipe, hang out with your friends etc. Taking some time for yourself will recharge your batteries and reduce chances of you being a crabby mum.
3. Learning to live with a mess
I think kids delight in putting things where they shouldn’t be. Elly has a basket full of toys but she doesn’t play with them, at all. Instead she prefers to take dishes from the cupboard or clothes from the laundry basket or wardrobe, shoes from the rack, books from the shelf, anything that is not her toy. And then, once she plays with them and gets bored, she leaves them wherever and moves on. I used to get so worked up with the mess but with time, I learned to let it go. As long as the house is clean, I can live with a little mess. And besides, when baby girl goes to sleep, I can always tidy up.
4. Forms of entertainment
“Mum, BobBob (SpongeBob).”
When it comes to forms of entertainment, I have learned to watch the same cartoons over and over again. Elly loves cartoons that have A LOT of singing. She loves to sing along and to rewind the parts with her favourite songs. Just the other day she heard one of the songs from Shrek and she could even tell which scene it was from. Whereas I love drama like Criminal Minds and CSI, Elly is all about the cartoons. And seeing that my kind of entertainment is too grown up for her, I have had to go back to my childhood, look for and watch cartoons with her, sing along and also dance to the songs.
5. My things are no longer mine but ours
So I used to be anal about my things. If you borrowed something I would expect it back before I asked for it and if it was an item of clothing, it needed to be clean and in good condition. Baby girl changed this. She opens my handbag like it’s hers, takes money out of my wallet and puts it either in her pockets or in her piggy bank. My perfume is ours. My hair accessories are ours. My bags are ours. Basically, we share everything.
I’ve come not to mind these things so much. By making the necessary adjustments, life is much smoother, with less frustrations when things don’t go my way.
What are some of the adjustments you have had to make since you became a mum? Do share in the comments below.
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