Last Saturday, Kenan turned three months old. After taking some pictures of him to mark the occasion, I sat alone on the sofa and began looking through every one of his photos in the camera. A sense of amazement filled my heart as I realised how much my little boy has grown. From a tiny, helpless being, he has grown to be a rather chubby boy with a double chin; from only knowing how to cry, he is now able to coo and smile. For the first time since he was born, I would feel such an incredible sense of love for my son that I began to cry.
In the beginning
Unlike what I’ve often seen in movies and on TV, I didn’t cry when I first held Kenan in my arms. In fact, I remember feeling a tad disappointed – why does he not have bigger eyes like mommy?
Then when we finally brought him home and the endless rounds of breastfeeding and changing diapers began, there were days when I wanted to scream at him. Exhaustion, helplessness and loneliness replaced whatever feelings of excitement I had felt. There were many days when I would either hold Kenan in my arms and cry, or lose my temper at the slightest thing. Why did I ever agree to have a baby?!
Yet strangely, when I look back now, all that felt as if they had happened a long time ago and it didn’t seem so bad after all.
More importantly, I finally knew what it is like to feel so much love for my baby. And how could I not?
The little baby who was so eager to share the same birthday as mommy that he was born three weeks early; the little boy who would smile brightly at mommy every morning – how can I not love him?
But the truth is, there was a time in my life when I really didn’t want to have a kid. It was really ironic because when I first decided to quit my job to become a freelance writer, one of the reasons was that I was planning for motherhood. I told myself that I want to be there to watch my children grow up. I was even ambitious enough to say I want to try home-schooling.
Yet as time went by, I grew to love my work so much that the thought of having a baby and end up losing my freedom and the time for work actually became offputish.
Eventually, I did get pregnant. Yet it wasn’t because I had become all maternal. It was more like I wanted to fulfill my duty as a wife and, as I often tell people, to do my ‘national service’.
These days, I’m starting to enjoy mommyhood - after getting the hang of the caregiving tasks and as Kenan becomes more responsive. I love seeing my son’s bright smile every morning and at the end of his feeds, watching him learn to do things like lift his neck and roll his tongue to make the Grrrr sound, and seeing him grows bigger and chubbier each day brings me a sense of joy and satisfaction I’ve never experienced.
They say that being a mommy changes a person. It’s true. Being a mom has added new dimensions and meanings to womanhood; the experience has also made me a more motivated person. I’m thankful that I’ve made the choice to become a mommy – and to such a sweet boy for that matter.
That said, I still miss my personal time terribly and always look forward to working!