The unending phase of motherhood

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So society is more compassionate on the pregnant woman than the one who just put to bed. I wonder why though…

Much as the pregnant woman is delicate and needs to be careful in handling herself. The new mother should also be treated as delicate. What is not known to the public eye is the psychology that goes into child birth itself. You see those labour pains, the anxiety of whether or not she will make it out alive. All of that consumes a whole lot of energy which takes time to replenish. It’s no wonder even the medical practitioners believe a woman isn’t fully delivered until her uterus returns to its place after six weeks.

That’s even minimal…..the workload of attending to a baby is grossly underrated.
You see those people who are quick to tell a mother….”your baby is crying “….. trust me you’re not helping her…she’s not deaf, neither is she uncaring.
Oftentimes she’s engrossed in another important activity.
Alas! the society doesn’t see this as tenable because it is believed that for a new mother, the only activity deemed important for her is the full attention given to her newborn.

Let’s come down to Nigeria where you have daunting elders who go about with the air of ” I had 15 children in my time and I took care of them”.

*clap clap clap* I’m literally clapping for you!
We see and respect the work you did
Wake up elder…. these times are not your times….

Do you know why countries make it compulsory for mothers to stay home with the new born for a period of six months and in some cases one year?

I’ll try to tell you…..
The woman needs that time to regain herself emotionally,Psychologically,socially and all the vice.

It would take time to adjust to the new role and the huge responsibilities that come with it.
From diaper changes to clothes that need to be washed constantly…
It’s why the Yorubas greet “eku owo l’omi” which translates literally to mean your hands are constantly dipped in water washing …


Now to the baby care itself….

From a few days old,the mother startles at every cry. She gradually has to learn to attend to the cries which will come at different odd hours. It is at this times she begins to hear the change story…. “Don’t worry,she will change”
I don’t know if this is supposed to be comforting or soothing for the mother, but she again swallows it in as with all things she has to swallow around her these days. What is not said is that with each “change” the mother has to adjust. So she constantly finds herself in an adjustment cycle. This will go on and on and on. These adjustments don’t come for the mother without some psychological strain, everything that involves change and adjustment comes with some brain restructuring. This restructuring is a strain in the fabric of the woman’s psychology.
Months will give way to months and she continues in the change-adjustment cycle.
The help from relatives will fade away gradually, people have to return to their normal lives. They have been magnanimous enough to render any kind of help they did in the times they could.

Then comes a new phase for mother and child
A new phase to grapple with
A new phase for the wife turned mother
She now has a baby to deal with
She now has a husband to deal with
She now has a new self to deal with
She now has society to deal with in a different light.

In Nigeria where it is believed that the community trains a child, she is soon going to have to adjust to the unsolicited advise that will come from bystanders and onlookers as she begins to step out into the community with the baby.

The new mother never gets used to the process of motherhood as there are constantly series of changes to adjust to.

The cycle just keeps going on and on and she is expected to keep adjusting and remain strong.

The support system often times renders no support unless of course it is support from family in most cases usually the mother of the new mother…

It’s why the phase never really ends for a mother because even as an elder,she is still adjusting to being a mother and a grandmother.

Society should be nicer to mothers and appreciate the work they put in.

The next time you see a mother, give her a genuine smile.



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