In an interview with Mariam Poppins blog, I was asked what I had learned about motherhood so far.
Since then, I have reflected on those three things a lot more.
So, here’s what I have learned, in detail…
1. Follow your motherly instincts.
Have you seen that episode of Grey’s Anatomy where that mom comes in frantic, saying that she knew that there was something seriously wrong with her son but that others doctors were not believing her?
Meredith Grey, a new mother herself, believed her and ran tests etc and sure enough, there was something serious going on.
Yup. That is something that you can’t get from all the baby books, parenting articles and classes in the world. It’s a gift.
I’ve learned to trust that intuition. It’s that nagging little voice and that feeling in your gut.
It is sort of like a life-hack just for mothers.
It’s how I know when I should wake up and adjust my son’s covers at night because he might be cold, how I know whether or not I should bring that extra sweater on our outing or when I should check on my son when he is in someone else’s care.
It’s great to get educated on certain topics and ask people’s opinions to make sure that we are well-informed.
But, in the end, we have to make that decision and only we have the answer.
2. Each child is different and their own person.
We live in a time where children’s development and behavior has already been mapped out for us. We can get online and read to see what milestones our children should be hitting or what we should be helping them to achieve at that particular time.
There can be an urge to compare our children to others or get obsessed with benchmarks.
But, when we focus our attention on learning our child and letting them develop naturally with little nudges here and there and holding their hand when they need it, it seems to work better.
Once I stopped obsessing over all of this and analyzing my son’s every move, that’s when I started to understand.
I got to know my son’s habits and personality, therefore understanding what was normal for him and what he was capable of. When he is ready to do something, he does it.
He may not do it in the exact same manner or timeframe that another child does it, but that’s ok.
This is the part of raising a child that intrigues me most and I look forward to watching him grow.
3. Flexibility and adaptability are key for keeping stress low.
If you are a mom with a Type A personality and OCD tendencies like me, this is a struggle.
Things are just not going to always go as planned with kids and sometimes you may feel like you have really lost control.
I have learned that it is necessary to calm down, to be able to plan for something, but still be able to go with the flow and be prepared for things to go totally “wrong” or in the opposite direction.
I have a tendency to freak out, worry and get anxious over things, especially with my little one. However, this approach will just cause me to have an ulcer.
Taking the time to breathe, being able to regroup and keep moving is completely necessary.
Parenting would possibly be “easier” if children were always predictable.
But, that would also be very boring.
The moments that are unexpected can be the most amazing or the most trying, but still memorable.
When my son randomly said “Mommy” for the first time while eating, I was overjoyed.
When he puked all over himself repeatedly in the car while I was driving, I nearly had a panic attack because I wasn’t in a place where I could pull over, comfort him and clean him up.
But he ended up being just fine…and I did too.
At the end of the day, all we can do is our best.
The unconditional love and irreplaceable bond between parent and child will see us through the challenges and trials.
One thing I know for sure: Motherhood is a blessing.”
Hanifah Ashry is a Muslim mother of one, originally from New York.
She spends her time caring for her son, building her fashion consulting business Emerald Brocade Consulting and loves food, teaching, music, dancing, traveling and nature.
Photo source:: HERE