As proud as I am to watch my boi grow, it also hurts a little. With every centimeter he becomes more independent and I have to remind myself to back off.
In the last one year as a mother, I’ve stretched farther than I’ve ever stretched before. I have managed things and schedules that I never thought I could. Every month, when I thought I had somehow managed to get a handle on it all, something new popped up and I was left struggling again.
But something happened after crossing the 12-month mark as a mother. I think I’m finally a bit more confident and a little less anxious. When my boi cries it’s no longer a mad scramble to figure out what he needs; I usually know. And if I don’t, I know he’ll be fine while I figure out the reason.
In the first 8 months of being a mother, my independence, rationality, the need for predictability, mental acuity were in the debris. But I have emerged from the ruins. My boi can walk comfortably and I don’t have to watch him like a hawk anymore. Spread baby mats across the room and boi will be happy to zoom across the length & breadth of room. Sure he falls down but it’s as much his learning as is mine to let him learn.
Somewhere in between 5-6th month, I became paranoid about cleanliness. If dirty dishes and coffee mugs were not cleaned as they reached the kitchen sink, I would boil over. I went berserk trying to stash the toys in the toy box. Today my boi is at a stage when introduced to new foods he has to try eating them on his own. Result, no matter how many times I vacuum throughout the day, there will always be food crumbs on the floor. I remind myself that a clean house is irrelevant to the child. What matters is that you pay attention to them, play with them and let them explore on their own.
Between 7th and 8th month, my boi learned how to crawl, pull up and use his hands to explore things around him. Now, that was a scary time that kept me on red alert. So, when the boi slept I too confined myself in the same space lest he decided to roll off the bed while sleeping. By 9th month, it was time to be even more watchful as boi had started putting everything within reach in his mouth. This included slippers, bathmats, brooms etc. It’s easier now to control what he puts in his mouth because an assertive ‘NO’ brings him to a standstill. My trick is to contain my toddler in a play space that is safe/clean where both me and boi can sit and do our thing.
I know that having a year of motherhood under my belt does not make me an expert parent. Far from it! The toddler years are quickly approaching (of which I know little about) and there is still much learning to come, new challenges to face. But I am going to give myself a pat on the back (loose translation, some indulgent shopping time) for all of the hurdles I managed to zip past in last one year.
I’m proud of myself.