Motherhood is wrapped as birthing and nurturing new life; a responsibility shouldered on a woman. In many cultures and religious traditions, motherhood has been painted as a sacred and powerful spiritual path rating her second to the creator by the virtue of bringing forth life. The process of maturing into a new life changes the way she is perceived in society.
However, Just like Eve was created as a helper to her husband, a lot of mothers also play a key role in ensuring a steady supply to their children whether they are married or not. It sounds heroic for a working mother to combine her career with the added responsibility of raising a child. The term working mother can be encompassed into two different categories of working women: the stay-at-home mother who works from home and the woman who works away from home while managing to fulfill her marital duties.
At the young age of 22, just after clearing college and landing myself a well-paying editorial job, I was ushered into parenthood. With no manual or parental classes, my husband and I welcomed our first bundle of joy. We adjusted our lives for the better to accommodate her, and now we were living in a ‘bubble’.
Three months into our bounding and celebrating every minute and smile she gave, duty came calling and I had to painfully leave home to heed the call. The nature of my job at that moment had no provision for working from home. You can’t imagine how uneasy I was, leaving the house because for the 3 months, I had never left the baby. Anxiety, phone calls every ten minutes, and my first day at work felt like a whole year!
“Has my baby woken up? Has she been changed? Has she been fed? Is she crying? Is she comfortable? Will she recognize me when I go home?”….. These were some of the worst fears I had to deal with every day at work. My boss, however, expected me to deliver 101% at work since I had taken 3 months to break from the office. This turned me into a workaholic, not having room to deal with my fast refilling bursts! While trying to meet all these demands, situations kicked me out of the equation. I had no time for myself not to even deal with postpartum symptoms!
Time passed really fast and soon we enrolled our doll in kindergarten. Just before she could recognize the shapes, colors, and letters, we got pregnant again. This time around, a prince came forth with all his majesty! To my surprise, the same script repeated itself and 3 months later, I had resumed work.
At this, point my career and parenting skills were put to test. More responsibilities were added regardless of my abilities. I lost touch with myself to the rapidly increasing demands. I lost the girl who enjoyed sitting in nature, taking long walks while listening to good music, partying, and having a good time. All my free moments from work were fully booked!
As soon as my champ could learn how to call my name, God surprised us with yet another bundle of joy. To be honest, I was so confused, not knowing how to balance work, parenting, and life in general. As we all know you can’t serve two masters, my life was on the rocks. Having a routine schedule of feeding every mouth, preparing them for the day, and just doing the bare minimum on myself was draining.
On the other hand, my journey with nannies had been a roller coaster as no one wanted to take care of 2 toddlers who were not even twins. I remember at some point I could buy diapers of different sizes, formulas of different ages, and bottle feed with different nipple sizes.
I worked with youngsters who had barely started families and most of the time looked forward to Fridays. I could see myself in them six years ago. I could barely rest for the weekend and come Monday, I would report to work tired, sleepy, and fatigued! At this point, my whole being was becoming dysfunctional, and little did I know depression was creeping. I hated myself for the many times I would be told am not meeting the standards at work, the many warning letters I received, and I couldn’t stand a crying baby. I contemplated suicide, but luckily if you are reading this, you know I am still around. A story for another day.
My husband on the other hand was supportive and loving. However, to some extent, he didn’t know how to express love to this completely stressed and negative girl. Many a time he could wonder, “Where did the girl he met go to!”
Life has a way of healing someone, piecing together the broken pieces, and giving you a clean slate to start over again. I met with a long-lost friend with who we had lost contact for quite a long time. She had secured a position in our company oblivious of the fact that I was already an employee there. We quickly bonded together and after several months, we could share our parenting journals. She was already given her life to Christ and served in one of the ministries in their church. After she joined the dots through my journey, she taught me how to pray and talk to God as a friend and a loving dad. Our lunch breaks were our prayer moments where we could hold hands and call heaven. This went on for some time before I rededicated my life to Christ.
Six months on, my prayer life was on point and my prayer requests were greatly answered. I started developing an intimate relationship with God. Before long, my friend’s contract was over and the company had to let her go. Her last words to me in our prayer room were, “Dear girl, you now know how to call heaven, allow me to take up my next assignment.” It was painful to me to let her off but we could make arrangements to meet and pray together whenever we could.
I now see life in a new set of glasses, my parenting life is now top-notch, no one complains to me about my work, I have more time for myself, time to rest, and bond with my bundles of joy, I love myself and I am loving life.
Looking back, I have made it through from the pit of self-hatred, depression, disappointments, and suicidal thoughts, but I can’t tell how I made it through. My kids are all grown now and I can attest to the power that comes with a prayerful woman. Just like in the story of Jesus when He visited the temple and put everything in order, Jesus came to me and put my life in a proper perspective.