5 Things I'm Glad I Learned Before Becoming A Mother

Photo by Allison Egan Datwani.

Photo by Allison Egan Datwani.

I like to do things with love, putting out there the best of my abilities.

Yet for our best to flourish, we also need the right amount of sincere knowledge to be delivered to us at the right time. I'm grateful I was guided into this knowledge even before I learned I was becoming a mother! 

I felt it was my place to pay-it-forward to all mothers-to-be who are also in search of a better way! 

First of all, know that this are not practices on how to make your child smarter or more disciplined (although they may help!). They are not tips on how to make your life any easier (maybe in the near future). These practices are hard, but they definitely pay off after a while. These practices are about respecting nature's way...

If you recycle, in a way it's because you care for mother nature,

If you plant trees, it's also in a way because you care for mother nature.

Then why not let mother nature take its own course, and take care of us?

 

This is my philosophy...

If mother nature designed it, why not honor this gift by just trusting its design in the first place. Yes! By keeping our false ego away from the equation, and not let it mess up the whole natural constitution of things. Sometimes the best thing is to let go and let creation do its magic, one to be revealed in the birth and growth of this specific little being coming to our world. It's so magical when we just let mother nature exhibit its beauty and don't let our human controlling tendencies get in the way!

When you become a mother (if you ever do), you will be given a big assignment prescribed by the Lord him/herself. Why not do this service with an open heart? Becoming vulnerable to whatever it may bring, opening up and willingly experience all of the pain and contentment, all of the feelings of sadness and happiness, all the moments where you'll be needed and those where you'll be rejected.  There is so much more that one can learn as a parent when we become vulnerable to the experience as a whole, one designed by nature and needed to lived out by you! 

To all mothers-to-be and loving mothers out there! These are 5 things I'm glad I did as a mother, and hope you can learn from and share them too! 

 

#1: HOME BIRTH

Birth is a moment that should be respected and honored for the mother and the child to come. This was my wish! And as my husband and I watched the documentary "The Business of Being Born" and figured that the hospital's priority wouldn't line up with mine.

My options were a birth center or a home birth. I went with home birth along with two wonderful and experienced midwives and an amazing doula who where there for me and respected my 36 hours of contractions after my 41st day had passed (which in a hospital they would have induced me). Also, a whole hour of labor (in which case a hospital would have decided to do a c-section, which is completely unnatural and my last resource!). I gotta give it to you, going drug-free for so many hours is really challenging, but not once did I think I wasn't gonna be able to do it.

Today, I feel so much stronger and grounded as a mother thanks to that overall birthing experience. I would say a home birth prepares you for motherhood, and natural birth awards you with better bonding with your child.

 

#2: forty Days of Postpartum Seclusion

In Ayurveda, a practice originally from India, it is recommended that a mother and her newborn stay home for the first 40 days after birth (roughly 6 weeks!). It is a time for rest after labor and adjustment for each member of the family!

It may sound new to our society but it's an old practice that really makes sense, and I'm glad I did it! Maternity leave is not a vacation; it's a process of adapting to this new life with this new little person. It was a tough process—especially during the last week— but it really helped me as a mother to open up to the process and my new responsibility. I was able to get all the well-deserved rest I needed while keeping my newborn in a safe space (the same one she was born in!), and keeping her physically and spiritually protected. This process helped me adapt to my new circumstances and it created a very strong bond with my child.  To learn more about this, CLICK HERE

 

#3: Breastfeeding

This one is a must (if your body lets you do it)! 

I'm glad more people have become aware of the importance of breastfeeding. I really think the formula is an overused source (even using another mother's milk sounds like a better option!).  I know breastfeeding may seem hard at first, and if you work full-time it can get even trickier, but by persistence anything can be achieved.

I struggled a lot at the beginning! My daughter was born with tension in her jaw and it didn't let her open up her mouth enough. She would end up biting me instead of sucking. Yeah! It was very painful, but I stuck to it, taking necessary measures to deal with the situation. In the end, I prevailed.

Breast milk is the best option! It has all the nutrients and adapts to the baby's needs. I call it the golden nectar cause it feeds the baby, while strengthening her immune system and keeping her healthier and stronger today and in the future. By the way, CLICK HERE to view this website who was my best friend in a moment of need.

 

#4: Elimination Communication (EC)

Who said babies love diapers? They sure weren't born with them!

EC is more of a European practice, but I definitely think it should be a worldwide practice! This practice is about potty training your baby. And you can start whenever you choose! I started the first day my baby was born with the first phase (the cuing process), and by the time she was 3 months old she was already potty-trained. Yes! We still use cloth diapers (free of poop cleaning!) and we will keep using them until she can walk herself to the potty!

I see so many parents training their babies after they are born to pee and poop in diapers, and once they get used to them, then they have to re-train them to actually learn to use the potty. Why not train them to where to do pee and poop from the beginning?

EC is a process of learning to" read" your baby and freeing yourself from buying or constantly cleaning diapers! If you are interested in learning more, I recommend reading this book, Diaper Free Baby, and CLICK HERE to checkout this website, they both really helped me in the process!

 

#5: Be available for my baby 

I've complemented Attachment Parenting, REI methods and other practices to my parenting style. From each I've learned that babies know best!  Why letting them cry out to sleep while we break their trust in us? Why not take moments to pay full attention, especially when they ask for it?

I simply just don't get it! Why adults have to force themselves into children and minimize their needs and growing process! We talk about love, yet, how do we manage to express it? Instead of expressing love by selflessly serving and sharing with our kids, we express our "love" with manipulation and force. The more love I give my child, the more I fall in love with her!

I see myself as a channel to help raise and guide this being and assist her in reaching her fullest potential at her own time. I don't feel it's my place to push her to always do as I want, or even ignore her and try to control her natural process. I chose to become a full-time mom because, for me, raising my child and being available for her is more important than my own professional or economic accomplishments.

This experience of being completely open and available for my daughter has deepened our connection and sympathy. I've saved a time in my day to simply be available for her, free of phones and distractions. I take this time to just enjoy her, play with her, observe her and even laugh with her. These moments of the day have built a great amount of precious memories that I will carry within me for a lifetime! If you are interested about learning more on this subject, I recommend starting with The Baby Book by Dr. Sears.

Being a mother is a job many take for granted. It can be a really tough task that many women choose to run away from (even once they are mothers!). But if we give ourselves the chance to do this service wholeheartedly, filled with love and knowledge, I gotta tell you, it can be very satisfying and precious at the end of the line.

Just open your heart and get ready to grow and learn from every joyful and painful experience on the path of motherhood. Keep loving!

 

with love, 

Rita

PS Special thanks to Kala Estrella for delivering all this knowledge at perfect timing! Me and my daughter are forever grateful to your kindness.

PPS Loved it? Share it with a special friend or mother-to-be!