Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On motherhood, heroes and zzz...

Still up at 5:30am. I put my daughter back to sleep a few minutes ago, after feeding her and resting her on my chest for about half an hour to wait for her burp and let her stomach settle. Now I'm listening to my husband's snoring, and the slight rustle of Aria's blanket as she moves her legs every now and then. This has been my routine ever since the little one was born. Early morning feedings that start at 3am, sometimes 4. Oh there are those rare days where she'd go on sleeping undisturbed by hunger 'til 6am. But most days she's up early. My sweet baby Aria. Mum's puyat everyday because of you. But it comes with motherhood, along with all the good stuff like the sound of her laughter, her tiny arms around my neck when I carry her, the big smile on her face when she sees me, and the way she says "mum...mum" when she's crying. So I can't really complain about the lack of sleep. All the wonderful things outweigh the stuff I grumble about.

My barre3 teacher, Joie, shared to me once that good sleep only came around when her boys got older, 2 or 3 years after birth if I remember it right. Aria's 4months old. Must load up on my Berocca then, for the next two years or so. The required 7 to 8 hours of sleep is now as unreachable as the star in that old song, or the dream of winning jackpot in the lottery.

Fellow moms with dark under-eye circles, if this was like a job, we deserve a big raise, yeah? Or an extra dose of affection from our babies everyday, more than what they give other people. (case in point, the dad.) We're like superheroes who stay awake to make sure everything is well in the world. I think we're even more super because we go through this without the help of capes and costumes or special gadgets or a super fast vehicle. Or superhuman powers. We just really do it, survive on sleepless nights.

Yesterday's celebration for heroes wasn't just for Jose Rizal or Ninoy Aquino. It was for every mother in the country. And I'm proud to include myself. The moms who barely sleep to make sure their babies do, comfortably, soundly.

The early rays of sunlight are streaming in as I end this post. Ah. There goes my chance for a nap before I take Aria out for some sun. Sarap maging nanay, ano?

Good morning!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A letter for Aria

Dear Aria,

Mommy has a silly question. Do you know that I'm your mother? Lately I've been wondering about this. If you do know who I am, how'd you find out? People tell me that you already know who I am even before you were born because you came from me, you lived inside me. But I don't want to hear it from others. I wanna hear it from you, which is really quite impossible because you can't talk yet.

So do you actually know that I'm your mommy? Do you recognize my voice? My smell? My touch? I read in books that babies prefer the smell of their mothers. Is that true, my darling? Do you prefer me over anyone else? Oh, that would make Mommy so happy. That's exactly what I want, you know. I wanna be your #1.

I've imagined how it's gonna be as you get older. You'll reach a phase when you'll be afraid of strangers, and you'll always look at me to see if it's safe to interact with these new faces. And you'll run to my arms when you get scared, when you're hurt, or even when you're happy and want to be hugged. You'll depend on me for love, comfort, security and warmth. You have no idea how Mommy loves that. I want you to depend on me for almost everything all your life. (Although I think when you reach your teens, that wouldn't be a good idea. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.)

I can't wait 'til you learn how to talk so you can finally tell me that you love me. That'll make me cry for sure, the first time you say, "I love you, Mommy!" Because you have no idea how much I love you. Even I can't describe the enormity, the greatness of my love for you. I never thought this was possible, to love someone more than anything else in the universe, even more than myself. Maybe it's because you came from me, you're a part of my body, you lived inside mommy's tummy for nine months. It's inexplicable. I hope you can feel it. I hope you can sense Mommy's love. When you're old enough to talk and understand, let's always say, "I love you!" I'll never get tired of hearing it.

Today, you're celebrating your 4th month. Hurray! My emotions are mixed. Half of my heart says, "4 months na?!? So fast!" And the other half says, "4 months pa lang?!?" Eh kasi you're so big! :) You almost look like a 1-yr old, my Baby Chum. But seriously, don't grow up too fast, love. I still want to hold you in my arms tightly, smother you with kisses, smell your breath, smell your butt after you poop, kiss your feet, sniff your hands that sometimes smell like feet, give you a bath, play with you and take endless pictures of you. All those things. I wanna do all those things forever! Well, maybe not forever. 'Til you're 30.

I love you, Aria. Mommy and Daddy are always here by your side, watching you grow, and feeling happy and proud. Remember the song I used to sing to you all the time when you were still in my tummy? "How wonderful life is now you're in the world." That's true. You have made life even more beautiful just by being here.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Parenthood. It doesn't really come with a handbook or an instruction manual. You just learn from each and every experience. You are your own teacher. Sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes you fail. But each blunder makes you wiser and stronger. Each wrong move teaches you to do right next time, to do better. Every moment has taught me this. I fail many, many times in my struggle to become the most perfect mother. I lose my patience, get frustrated, get angry. But I get up again and try, hoping that in time I'll be mastering motherhood. I'll have to learn to forgive myself many times over, find strength in my daughter, and work on being the best parent for her. It's a lifetime job, but I'm up for it!