Motherhood Myths

By Aneesah, 21 Apr 18

I thought I’d do this for fun. And maybe so I can look back one day and re-think my perceptions… or just laugh at my younger self!

1. Labour is painful / excruciating / traumatic

InshaAllah, with some effort and luck :P , giving birth can be much less than traumatic. I’ve written about both of our sons’ births, and alhamdulillah I don’t look back on them as anything scary or fearful. But pregnancy; maybe, because it’s longer and definitely takes a toll on you physically! :X

2. You can say bye-bye to sleep

They all say you’ll lose sleep and can never have a good night’s (continuous) sleep after having babies, and of course nobody likes to hear that, especially people who LOVE sleep. :lol: Yet from my experience, it’s mostly the early newborn days that affect sleep the most, and even then if your stars align, your baby may have the ability to sleep for long stretches from the get-go, so it’s not too bad!

I also happen to stay at home / work from home, have the privilege of direct-feeding my babies, and the baby co-sleeps at night, so there are factors that are in your hand. I’d say naps are lifesavers too! :heart:

3. The dutiful housewife

Speaking of staying at home, I guess there is that image in some of our minds, perhaps due to certain cultures, of the dilligent wife whose entire days and nights are spent in servitude of the family. To this I’d say times have changed (I’m happy that there are many other educated ladies choosing to stay at home, mashaAllah), and also — everything should be negotiable within the family. For some families, maybe having home-cooked meals isn’t at all a priority, so no pressure on anybody to slave away in the kitchen! For others, keeping tidy and clean needs to be a habit — so the standards reflect that.

Alhamdulillah, these days the help and contribution of the Daddy around the home is also commonplace. (Thank you Abi! :B ) At the same time, Mums should have our own things (space, time, money, goals, causes, etc.) so that our identity as individuals are not lost when we gain this new role. I’m not saying I don’t struggle with this, though — a lot of times it can be hard to carve out our me-time, and some contributions and roles we play are through online means rather than in “real life”. I pray that Allah accepts all the good that we do.

4. Kids taking over your life

This one… is not a myth. :suspicious: It is true, once you enter parenthood, it’s for life. I read this wonderful book, All Joy and No Fun, and one of the significant mentions to me was how a husband-and-wife accepted that their life is forever changed especially after having their third child. Life is all about the kids now and they can’t pretend that they’re still just a couple.

I think there are many things you don’t think about when you are single or married-without-children… like the fact that normal activities are significantly affected once a child enters the picture: going out, eating out, driving, packing, the size of your home, furniture arrangements, groceries, cooking… you get the idea. But once you accept it, it’s all fine and becomes the new normal.

5. It’s all bad, or mostly bad, or such a long struggle

This quote is true: “The days are long but the years are short.” :cry:

Some bits are very challenging. Toddlerhood can be bad: they don’t call it the terrible twos and trying threes for nothing! Emotionally, you are constantly tested to the limits (I am just now reading up on emotional intelligence and what it is :X ). In certain circumstances, even physically things can get so tough. But it is all temporary, and guess what? Many other bits, especially #thelittlethings are so fun, like:

  1. Having your own home.
  2. Teaching your kids new things.
  3. Seeing them learn, develop and discover, superfast!
  4. Cuddling your own baby.
  5. Buying toys.
  6. Having little people appreciate and love you!
  7. People saying nice things about your kid(s).
  8. Relating to other families.
  9. Supporting other mothers and peers.
  10. Realising that you’re growing with each struggle.

So writing this was fun indeed. Till next time, toodles! :)

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