approaching 2018 last year, things were somewhat different. on new year’s eve while waiting for the countdown on tv, my mind wasn’t as organized as how it is now. i could actually say that my organizing skills have improved dramatically, and i’ve got no one else to thank other than my own little flesh & blood.
on new year’s eve last year, we had a small gathering at my place where my husband and i’d invited our closest friends over. little boy was still only 3 months old- crying as much as he can, sleeping most of the time and struggling to stay asleep. my friend had a baby with her as well, and was sleeping soundly- happily, with a pacifier in his mouth; while mine, screaming if he hadn’t a boob in his.
it was serious business though, the boob-in-mouth-thing. seemed to be the only pacifier he ever needed. i bought all kinds of pacifier and they’d all ended up tossed aside.
so anyway. as i was watching the fireworks from the view of my veranda, i couldn’t help but wonder what was in for me for the year 2018. i was expecting it to be a year filled with challenges, and i mostly had imagined myself ending my day each day, all psychotic in the room with my baby crying nonstop.
little did i know, it all turned out very differently.
2018 has been a difficult year for me, but it mostly contributed to the growth of a new mother.
i remember last time, seeing a mother and her two kids at starbucks (they were uncontrollable, if i may add in). her kids were jumping around, laughing out loud, running, nonstop-action as if starbucks were an action movie set. i gazed over to the mother, wondering why she was just sitting down, sipping her coffee and staring blankly into space- she wasn’t even holding her phone, she was just sitting down, and, as i’d mentioned, staring blankly into space.
at that point of time, i only had a niece and nephew that i’d usually come home to play with, but that was it. i only took care of them as an aunt, and not as a mother. being a mother is a totally different world altogether.
the night after i’d given birth to my son, i had it difficult. it was as if Allah had wanted to tell me that motherhood is no longer about me being a mother, it’s about what He had given me, to take care of. it’s no longer me, it’s now all about my little one.
alhamdulillah, my son was brought out safely into this world in the evening, but that night he just couldn’t help himself from crying and screaming nonstop. he couldn’t do it- he couldn’t sleep alone, by himself, in a cot, like any other baby- bundled up and swaddled, regardless, he just couldn’t sleep alone.
i couldn’t get up to take him and when the nurse helped pass him to me, i couldn’t put him back into the cot alone. i spent the whole night (in which i should have spent resting), holding my baby in my arms, feeding him until he falls asleep, and lay him beside me, praying to Allah that i wouldn’t accidentally hit him/sleep on him. in fact, i didn’t sleep until it was 5am when the nurse had to take him for an injection and bathe him. later on, i slept until it was 8am and was woken up by the sound of him crying for my milk (and most probably my warmth).
up until today, it’s still a challenge to put him to sleep. he wouldn’t fall asleep by himself- and to think that he’s already 1 year 4 months. unlike most other babies, my son just couldn’t do it. there was a phase where he was able to be carried and sung to sleep, but after the eczema episode- he just got used to me feeding him to sleep.
trust me. i’ve tried all sleep-train methods, but none of them work.
for the first 11 months of his life, he wouldn’t stay asleep if no one held him, and he would only fall asleep if he was being fed to sleep, or if he was put in the swing. the moment he hit 11 months though, he successfully progressed to staying asleep alone. we could have him fall asleep in the car, or i would feed him to sleep, later on put him on the bed without him waking up.
when he was a baby, he did nothing but cry. cry, scream, and anything else representing a very unhappy/grumpy baby. i bought many books- how to sleep train baby, how to handle a difficult baby, how to this how to that- but none of them actually helped. what helped though, was one book called The Wonder Weeks, and yes, that book’s still helping me understand him better up till now (new mommies, i highly recommend it!).
it took me almost a year, to understand that at the end of the day, it falls back to how i look at things and how i deal with things coming my way. throughout the whole 2018, i thought too much about unnecessary things, i worried too much about his sleeping patterns and whether he was okay, not okay, i worried too much about trying to have him stay asleep while i run errands, while i tried to have a life myself. it was a struggle. definitely– but it’s true. with struggle, comes out a flower, sweetly scented and beautiful as ever.
so the year 2018 was basically a year of growth, perseverance and much understanding of what being a young mother is truly like. after i became a mother, i too, became a stronger woman. i now understand not to be too shy, too detailed and too meticulous about what i wanted. i learned to improve myself and i tried finding time to explore my artistic side. i spent a lot of time in the studio practising on both my playing/singing, i wrote a few more songs, i finally finished my portfolio & resume, i’m finally picking myself up again after two years of having to go through challenges. mashaaAllah.
to think these 2 years are incomparable to the hereafter. after all, dunia is temporary and what matters is the forever in hereafter.
my new year resolution is to become a better servant, and to find balance in trying to improve myself spiritually, to grow myself socially, to focus on the skills that i have, to do more charitable work, to work on my fitness so i could be more active and strong enough to cope with my actively ever growing son, to love more and to give more than take, and to show more appreciation to the people around me who have, still, and will be, sticking around.
may Allah ease everything.