The Mommy Wake-Up Call

Ghada Karam Baby

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Once upon a time, a mom gave birth to a baby girl…

The baby was precious and cute, and right away the mom felt overwhelmed with joy and happiness.

She had planned well for the arrival of her baby, with an attention to the smallest details: she had combined a list from the different websites and magazines that she had read which contained all the important items that a newborn baby needs, and before the baby’s birth, all the items on the list were purchased, cleaned and properly stored.

For days, she opened the closets where the different baby items were arranged, to touch them, smell them, and imagine how the baby would be using them, and to imagine how the baby that she had not yet met would look like.

One day, on November 27th 2013, at 5.00 am, the contractions started. The mother-to-be knew that this was the moment that she had been waiting for: she had read all about labor and was ready for the big day… Needless to say that the day went well, the baby girl was born as pretty as the mom had imagined her to be.

The mom was extremely pleased.

Days passed and the mom adapted to her new role. Things went pretty smoothly – much smoother than what she had anticipated, which made her happy and proud. It was, with the exception to some little details, very similar to the nicely-polished-bright pictures that she had seen in the magazines.

However, as days passed, reality kicked-in, and sooner than later the mom had to go back to work.

The maternity leave was over.

But her vision of the nicely-polished-bright pictures that she had once seen in the magazines were still in her mind and, being a good mother, she wanted to keep offering the best to her daughter: her breast milk. So she gave the best she could, taking the breast-milk pump to work, following a strict schedule that she attended to on a daily basis, and for weeks she thought that she had a good control over the situation. The schedule worked well for some time, until the baby got used to drinking milk from a baby-bottle and, despite all the loving efforts of the mom, the baby refused to be…. breastfed!

This was the time when a second reality kicked-in: the mother understood that by having a baby, no matter how strong and perfect her visions could be, things would no longer work as expected…

That mother is me, and on that particular day I had learned what was going to be my very first lesson of motherhood: no matter how hard I tried, when it comes to children, ‘big plans’ will no longer work as expected.

So I received my first wake-up call as a mother and all the nicely-polished-bright pictures that I had once seen in magazines, suddenly faded-away.

In the real world, no mom is constantly smiling, and no baby is programmed to fulfill all the (polished) visions of their moms… Instead, we live in a world of hesitation where mothers are constantly questioning themselves about how good they are, and where the beautiful, precious babies are programmed to constantly remind their moms that they have a life of their own.

In this real world, understanding the rules of the game is very important. We get to create our own bright pictures – not the polished type we find in the magazines, but the real type, that comes after a little dramatic episode with the nappies… the type of pictures that we will get to cherish, for the memories that they will forever hold.

This piece was originally published on Confidential Mommy Talks.



About the Author

Ghada Karam

Ghada Karam is a first-time mom who lives in Bangkok with her husband and her two-year old daughter. She enjoys gossiping about being a mom and about her daughter’s tantrums. She thinks tantrums are great. They spice-up her day. Her work has also appeared on BLUNTmoms, Bonbon Break, BKK Kids, Mamapedia, Sammiches and Psych Meds and Coffee Table Confessions. You can follow her latest news at , or get in touch with her on , and .

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