In this candid piece titled “New Mom Diaries: How Does It Feel to be a Mom?” a new mom recounts her experience of becoming a parent and journals through its ups and downs.
I take in the reflection of my naked body. There’s a few changes but nothing to be upset about. This body has created life after all. Just a short, red scar is visible across my bikini line now. It really is quite small. I’m almost shocked by its size. Just a small scar that transitioned my son from womb to world.
I won’t lie – labor is painful. No one can ever explain it to you and nothing will prepare you for it, you just have to experience it. A cesarean, well mine at least, felt unbearable. My stomach was numb and I couldn’t walk for four weeks, yet it’s now just that: a small scar and a lingering detail from the biggest and most influential moment of my life.
Somehow, somewhere during the blur of my first month as a mother, I forgot about the pain. I forgot about my nine months of discomfort, and the post-partum incidents that were happening to me on the daily – oh, you know, milk leaking all over my shirt, the bed sores forming below my hips – the sexy stuff.
Now, when I think back to laying on the operation table, all my body feels is that rush of anticipation finally reaching its peak – my son taking his first breath and hearing him cry for the first time. Rough. Raw. New.
My whole life I was career oriented. Never, I mean never, did I let anyone get in the way of finding, building and implementing my purpose. Or, so what I believe to be my purpose. I find myself questioning so many beliefs from my pre-mom life. In the past, I had ended two very serious, long-term relationships over the decision to pursue a career in development, taking me thousands of miles away for unclear and lengthy periods of time.
Maybe it was selfish, maybe it wasn’t – do they really want to wait around for me? Travel, storytelling, social impact – these were my children, my joy, my light. They still are. Finding love was a plus, but it wasn’t the focus. It was never the focus. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been an easy partner.
Now, my days are quite the same. I’m content with routine and structure, I am a virgo afterall. However, I was never one to do the same thing every single day. Adventure, sensory overload, smoking a few too many cigarettes just because I could. Yet, here I am with a routine I long to repeat day after day, and each time it repeats itself, I feel even more joy.
I fall asleep and wake up to a tiny face in my arms that I need at least 30 minutes to just stare at. He is growing, changing, developing so fast. I don’t want to miss a second. I take my mornings slow, especially since sleep is interrupted at least three times for feedings, diaper changes, extra cuddles when he’s dreamt of something that scared him – or he wakes worried that I’m not right there by his side because I’ve rolled over to keep my arm from going numb.
I drink my coffee with him on my chest or laying on the pillow. He’s happiest in the morning. He’s turned me into a morning person as I’m rewarded with giggles, smiles, and a vibrant, pure energy I’ve never encountered before. It energizes you more than caffeine – I think I’m just drinking for the taste. It aligns your chakras and brings clarity to the beauty of life in a world so dark and violent.
I can only really plan to do one thing a day, and sometimes that one “thing” doesn’t get done. That’s okay. It’s part of the process. Letting go of everything you thought was important and surrendering to a new purpose. No, I have not lost who I am and what I work towards everyday outside of motherhood, but the responsibility of raising a conscious individual with clear ethics is a purpose as well. Funny how well it aligns with what I do in my professional life.
Yes, literally everything about my life has changed, yet I contradict it everyday.
My days are filled with memory making, finding moments to introduce him to new things, who I am, who his family is, what the world is like. I enjoy our coffee dates where he naps in his carrier and I sit quietly without a laptop or screen in front of me. It allows me to tune my ears into the whispered opinions of outraged aunties who doubt he has enough sweaters on, or how dare I leave the house with him at such a young age. What a stupid girl.
I always wanted time to focus on just me. I was never any good at it. Yet, with him strapped to me on a walk or laying on my chest as I read, I find myself suddenly so aware of the need to practice stillness. I’ve even stopped multitasking, something I pride myself on.
I’m singing again. Everything is a song. Shortly after he was born, I found myself coming back to the same three lines of a rhyme that I sing to him while changing his diaper. His first month in the world, diaper changes were dreadful. I’d do anything to extend the life of a diaper so he wouldn’t burst into tears, which of course would send aunties howling to the moon about how poor of a mother I am.
Now, with the help of song and play, he’s grown to love changes, bathes, and massages with coconut oil and cocoa butter. I blend it over the stove and gently press into the rolls of fat he’s grown under his chin and thighs thanks to nutrient-packed breastmilk. I eat better, we both get healthier. He teaches me to be better to myself and my body. I look into his eyes during every feed and I thank my body for keeping this child alive.
As mothers, our role is to teach and prepare this young child to be a citizen of the world. But really, our true role is to learn from them.
I look forward to every new day, anticipating what new skill he’ll learn next. But what I really long for each day is what he’ll teach me.
Jazzmine is a social entrepreneur, storyteller, and facilitator. She is the founder of Hara World, an experiential education platform for young changemakers, and Hara House, India’s first zero-waste hospitality space. She leverages the power of stories to empower young leaders, marginalized groups, and ethical brands to challenge the status quo and work towards a sustainable, inclusive, and inspiring future. She recently published her short story collection titled Bikaner Junction. She is currently working on her first YA novel, Generation Uprising.