Keeping up with Motherhood: 5 Ways

K is for Keeping up with Motherhood: 5 Ways

Motherhood is a foreign country I chose to permanently emigrate to …
… a world-wide club I decided to join …
… an outlook that I’m getting my head around …
… an inclination that didn’t come naturally to me …
… a juggling act that I’m not sure I can ever master …
… a word whose definition is hard to capture …
… a reality that billions of women live …

So, how does one keep up with motherhood – this at once elusive word and an actual reality for so many? I’m not entirely sure, but below are 5 of the many ways I’ve learnt and I’m learning to keep up with it.

1. Embrace it to enjoy it

It is hard to enjoy something you don’t really accept.

Motherhood comes with so many responsibilities and changes – physical, mental, emotional etc – and so many unknowns. Multitudes have been on this journey and shared their observations, but each has her own unique experience. There is no firm methodology to follow; it’s definitely not a ‘2+2=4 equation’. It’s a road filled with many ups and downs … peaks and pits … heart-rises and heart-sinks … a roller coaster ride of emotions you might never have even known existed … with (hopefully) mostly more highs than lows. Each day is different and no mothering experience is the same.

I’m finding that the more I accept the bumpiness of this road, the freerer I am in allowing myself to experience all it has to offer …
… the less uptight I am, the more intriguing it is  …
… the more relaxed I allow myself to be, the more fun I have …
… the more wiling I am for it to ruffle my ‘fixed feathers’, the more enriching I find it …
… the more willing I am to go with the flow, the less stressed I feel …
… the more adjustments I’m willing to make, the more empowering it is …
… the more I throw myself into it, the more I enjoy it …

Indeed, the more we embrace all motherhood has to offer – knowns and unknowns – the more it’ll be the making of us.

2. Read, study, and know your child

There are so many guide books out there about mothering and one can get oneself into a right pickle trying to follow all their advice. The best sentence I read on this road is to read my child; boy, has it paid off? You bet it has. I’ve stopped trying to fit into someone’s mould of how and when my child should sleep, sit, eat, do this, and do that.

These books are based on a selection of children, not my child. My child is of course human and has  similarities with others, but each child is unique. What works for one might not work for the other. I’ve been told by those with more than one children that this is true for siblings; how much more for samples of children with different family backgrounds.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that there isn’t value in reading guide books, I’ve read some pages from a few and I’ve found them useful. It’s helpful to see similarities, to know that you’re not alone in your experiences.They can be pointers to what to prepare oneself for and how to manage one’s expectations … or even help one to identify what might be wrong … or better understand what is going on.

However, I have found it less stressful to not try to fit into the concluding mould that different authors and other well-meaning folks suggest based on their experiences. Instead, I see their offering as a buffet of possibilities for me to dip in and out of. I take what works for me … experimenting with ideas … discarding and embracing advice as I deem fit, based on my child.

I continue to watch my baby and learn what makes him tick. Of course, he is growing and changing everyday, and I’m kept on my toes with regards to what I think I know works with him.

So I accept flexibility as a norm; after all, my child is not a robot … he is not fixed … he is human! So, it’s not as shocking when a tried and tested ‘technique’ doesn’t work anymore. We just find another way that works for both us, as he communicates his needs and feelings in the only ways that he can to me.

I’ve also learnt to accept that knowing my child takes time and this varies from one mother to another. I remember one of my mummy friends telling me how I should know the difference between my baby’s cry for food or sleep. I however didn’t have a clue! ‘How was I supposed to know’, I wondered many times. I felt so daft and helpless about not knowing.

Well, I did know in due course, but I still don’t always get it right. Also, knowing doesn’t mean I always act accordingly, or as immediately as I’d like to for a range of reasons.

So it’s important to be patient with oneself, and to give oneself time to adjust and learn to read, study, and know one’s child. It won’t happen overnight, and it’ll look different as one’s child grows. Mistakes will be made, and that’s okay; we’ll learn from them, and they’ll help us to read them better.

3. Know that mum knows best

I came across this idea at the hospital when I had my baby. I just wanted to be told what to do and how to do it. I mean, who doesn’t want to get things right, especially at that stage. However, I was told in many ways that a multitude of decisions was up to me. I had to choose and make judgements about what was best for my child.


After I learnt hospital, the same sentiment seemed to ooze out of many of those I encountered in relation to caring for my child. I was annoyed, and I sometimes felt desperate. ‘How can I, a first-time mum, know best?’, I wondered many times.

Well, I tell you, I think I do now. I can’t quite explain how it happened; but I know that as I journey on the motherhood road, my confidence about knowing best for my child grows.

You’ve probably had moments when you felt something wasn’t right in a way those around you couldn’t see, and it worked out that your gut instinct about your child’s well-being was right.

So, you … mum … does know best for your child. The sooner you grab this knowledge by its horns, the more confident you’ll feel in your mothering. It doesn’t mean you’ll always get it right, but it means that you’ve accepted full responsibility for your child’s welfare. For me, this means having the boldness to stand up for my child and fight his corner in whatever way I can, whatever the situation.

4. Accept that it takes a village to raise a child
(don’t try to go it alone)

I found this really hard to take on board before I had my little one. I like my cosy little life and I don’t like relying on others for help. I was however, dumbfounded by the amount of support I needed after having Precious Sparkle. I went from being a confident professional who relatively had life in hand, to a vulnerable wreck who needed help all the time.

It took me quite a while to see and accept that raising children is designed to be more than a nuclear family’s affair, it’s a community endeavour. Accepting that I need others has been such a blessing … phew, what a relief, I don’t have to shoulder all it means to have a child alone, it can be shared … hooray!

5. Remember you’re a steward not an owner

I believe children are a child from God. We don’t own them, they are a full life in their own right. I have found it helpful to remember that I have the privilege of nourishing and nurturing my child for a time, to help him grow into all he can be. He is not my property or another chance to fulfil my dreams.

Accepting this helps me not to be possessive of him … to give him the freedom and space to grow … and I think it makes our relationship healthier.

There you have it, my top 5 ways of keeping up with motherhood.

How do you keep up with motherhood? Would you add anything to this list?

My April 2015 #AtoZChallenge: Considering my Motherhood journey from A – Z
Introduction || Theme reveal ||
A is for Ardo Calyso Breast Pump: Top 5 || B for Breastfeeding: Top 5
C for Crawling baby Climbing Toddler || D for Dry Skin not Eczema || E is for Exploring Toddler
F is for Frugi: Top 5 || G for
Grapes in Baby Led Weaning || H is for Hiccups  || I is for Immunization
is for Judging and Being Judged: 2 Key Lessons
Linkup: #TheList 32 |#PoCoLo 24-26Apr15 |Mummy&Us 28Apr15 
        #AllAboutYou 28Apr15
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Founder | Writer I Editor I Manager
First-time Mum / Freelance Writer / Thinker / Educator / Business graduate / Improving Photographer / so much more. \\ Recording my mu-m-sings from the South East of England | Sharing lessons from my life's journey to encourage and inspire | Filled with gratitude for my faith, family, and friends.

35 thoughts on “Keeping up with Motherhood: 5 Ways

  1. Love this post, and I really agree that we should absorb as much information about parenting that we possibly can to give ourselves the best chance of success. Between that, and truly listening to my maternal instincts, I feel that I’m in a good position as a mum. Unfortunatelyhubby & I don’t get much help, but we take it when it’s on offer 🙂 Have a fab weekend!

    • You’re doing good; so vital to find the balance between info from others and our maternal instincts. We don’t have much help too; but I’ve learnt to grab it when it’s offerend. Thanks for your lovely comment :-).

  2. Great post and I agree with these. I’ve realised over the last couple of weeks that I need to trust my instincts more when it comes to my children and not bow to what other people think I should be doing. I think we’ve all been happier as a result and I think embracing it also makes a huge difference. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks Louise. At the end of the day, we have to deal with the consequences of the choices we make for our children, inspite of whether we were influenced by others or not. It’s hence so vital that we’re okay with our choices inspite of what others things. Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

    • So glad you found it beneficial; it really is lovely to know. The motherhood road can be very lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. In hindsight, I wish I knew some vital things that would have made my journey easier, especially in the early days.

    • Same with us, but we have our church family who help in different ways. It’s also in little things like someone getting one a cup of tea whilst at a playgroup. It’s brilliant having family’s support, from the stories I’ve heard. Thanks for your linky.

  3. I threw the books away too. It seems that babies don’t read them ha! I struggled a lot with the mother knows best concept too the first time round, but thankfully I was able to fumble my way around and eventually felt more confident. I also agree about the stewardship, I am forever mindful of that with my two girls. Precious Sparkle is lucky to have you lovely xx #MummyandUs xx
    Lisa@intotheglade recently posted…Broccoli, Cauliflower and Pasta Bake!My Profile

    • Babies sure don’t read those books; if only they did, they’ll know HOW TO BEHAVE! Thanks for your lovely comment; the one at the end especially made me smile 🙂 I’m still stumbling through ‘mum knows best’, but hey, that’s okay! Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  4. Great post, I particularly like point number 3 🙂
    Most days I struggle to keep up with motherhood and stay sane so your post enlightened me. I read lots of articles and blog posts relevant to my struggles, it helps me feel that I’m not alone and I pick up useful tips and strategies.

    • Thanks for dropping by. Yeah, parenting is not island and reading blog posts especially highlights that we’re not alone in our struggles and it can be such a learning experience too. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  5. Well, as the mother of middle aged adults, I can confirm I have been through all the above. And survived! It is always so interesting to see new mothers blogging about the experience. When my kids were born, the internet and blogs didn’t even exist! But I still had my network of family, and experienced mums to fall back on for advice. I loved your take on motherhood. And don’t worry, if you do your best, the chances are high that your little one will grow into a well balanced adult! 🙂
    cathy recently posted…throwback thursdayMy Profile

    • It must be an interesting view for you looking to at us newbies. What a different world it is 🙂 Parenting is definitely not meant to be an island and it’s lovely to have a range of support to make it work. Thanks for your comment; our best, if it’s really our best has just got to be good enough 🙂

  6. I remember when I was in the hospital with my little girl and hopping that the nurse would come and give me all the advices that she could, and like a sponge I would absorb everything, but it wasn’t like that, the doubts stayed with me until I left the hospital. I thank God for my mother´s help, because I didn’t know how to bathe that little baby with the umbilical cord, how to dress her without breaking any bones, what to do when she was crying and I didn’t know what to do, was she hungry, was she in pain, was she afraid????
    It was really the best time in my life, but it was so confusing as well.

    Really enjoyed reading your post, thank you.
    x Marta
    Marta recently posted…Excited to be announcing our #muminneed campaign!My Profile

    • I didn’t bathe mine for quite a while. I thought there was going to be a bathing teaching session before I left the hospital but there was none I was aware of. It trully is such a confusing time but definitely a fab time too. Thanks for your lovely comment, it really made me smile. 🙂

  7. Brilliant post.

    Best advice “Mummy knows best”. We are bombarded with so many opinions but that is the one that matters! Have shared.

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