Human Interest

Motherhood…A Fresh Perspective

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Motherhood… A Fresh Perspective

 

Going into the New Year, resolution free of course, I like to reflect on processes I can improve upon, ways I can become more efficient, and things I may want to do differently.   A Thanksgiving dinner conversation evoked a curiosity that required some further investigation regarding parenthood from the father’s perspective. Not just in general but the early years; conception through toddler stage. Then my long list of rattling questions had me wondering how well was I doing thus far as a mom, was I hitting the mark? There was no better way to gauge this than to get some answers directly from the two who would know best, my girls! So I posed some unbiased open-ended questions and got some very candid response. Our conversation is as follows:

 

Mommy: What is your description of a good Mommy?

Girls: Aniyah jumped right in “I know what’s a good mommy, when we’re happy, we love each other because it’s when you are a family there’s nothing like it, we’re the best family in the whole wide world”. I began to ask for clarification but Amirah chimed in “A good mommy is one that takes you skating, spreads lots of good cheer, gives you presents, plays games with you, perhaps it’s so amazing because I have my sister to share it with”.

 

Mommy: What do you enjoy doing with your mommy?

Girls: Aniyah, “decorate the house”. Amirah, “having vegetables, taking care of ourselves, exercising and doing flips, do a little bit of decorating, crazy stuff and cooking”.

 

Mommy: Do you think you have a mean or a nice mommy?

Girls: Aniyah, “a nice mommy but she has a mean face”. Amirah, “a nice mommy.”

 

Mommy: Do you think your mommy loves you and how do you know?

Girls: Both girls said “yes but sometimes she gets angry”.

 

Mommy: Is mommy doing a good job being your mommy and how do you know?

Girls: Aniyah, “No, because she is not getting us a donut!”

Mommy: Outside of not getting you a donut, is mommy doing a good job?

Girls: Amirah, “Not yet, because we want donuts”.

 

Mommy: Is there anything you wish mommy would do differently?

Girls: Amirah, “Make more projects, have a lot more fun, do more things to bring joy”. Aniyah, “I want to wear my witch costume everyday!”

 

This conversation with my girls probably could have gone on for about an hour or the demand for donuts could have become more intense. So this was the perfect time to move on. Even though I was there with my husband during the pregnancy, the NICU stay, and the sleepless nights it’s easy to get buried in my own feelings and perspective as to how this experience was. I know how I felt during these times, a sporadic range of emotions from being overjoyed by the blessings that were bestowed upon us to being deliriously tired and overwhelmed. I never really considered how my husband felt outside of our general conversations. We did not have a lot of consistent help so I was basically trying to get through the day and enjoy the experience as much as I was able to. But as I think about it now and in the past when we discuss having more children I wonder did that experience taint the possibility of any future offspring? Did I expect too much? Did I thank him enough? Did I assume certain things were just a fraternal responsibility and all a part of the thankless job of being a parent? Does he know how much I appreciate him as my partner in this journey we call parenthood? Then as a mother and a woman my mind starts to react and say but these are things he is supposed to do, right? Who thanks thanked me for carrying our twins or and going through major surgery to deliver them? But I really don’t need words of gratitude, I would do it all over again, in the blink of an eye. I see the fruits of my labor daily and it was well worth it.

But the one way to find out how my husband reflects on this experience is to simply ask him as well. So here are the questions I asked my husband and here are his unfiltered answers:

 

Wife: What’s your initial gut reaction when you found out you were going to be a father?

Hubs: I was mortified.  I thought, here I am 40 years of age and about to be responsible for the development and the raising of another human being.  Even with my personal and professional accomplishments, I know there is no playbook or business plan that could diagram how to truly prepare for these next 9 months. Not to mention the initial shock of one child coming into this world, and later the heightened level of stress finding out we would be having twins.

 

Wife: How was the experience for you during the pregnancy?

Hubs: The experience for me was just as intense as it was for my wife.  Not knowing what to do, but still trying to be helpful during the process while learning how to cope with our emotional mood swings. Yes, I had them as well.  I found peace in prayer also by talking with other parents to try to gain some perspective.

 

 

Wife: What was it like taking care of premature twins?

Hubs: It was incredibly difficult.  Something that I enjoyed in life became a rare commodity…Sleep.   The time and attention required to nurture them was exhausting.  As I look back, we could not have done this without each other and our families. Taking turns getting up to tend to their every need was our saving grace. We had to work together as a team; it was the only way. As our children grew stronger, they did not require as much intense monitoring; it would get better. Watching them develop and evolve into these incredibly talented and funny little people was becoming more exciting with each passing day.

 

 

Honestly, I can say that I expected his responses to be a little different. Now that he’s shared his feelings and I reflect back I could that. It’s funny how you expect for your shared experiences to be similar and actually feel a indifferent when they are not. What is important is that we are in the head space now which is watching them develop and evolve into these incredible little girls whose births were not guaranteed.

The past five years seem to gone by with a blink of an eye. I began to wonder how it would be as they got older. I’ve know a set of twins, since they were teenagers, lost touch and of course through the magic of social media I’ve been able to reconnect with them and their mother. Cholelle, is married and they are awaiting the birth of their son next month she also the blogger of The Wivelihood. I wanted to get her take on what it was like growing up as a twin and now preparing for the birth to her own baby.

 

Samira: As a child what was your favorite thing about being a twin?

Cholelle: Always having a companion was my favorite thing about being a twin when I was a child. My mother moved us around a lot, especially when it came to what school we were attending for the year. Being a new student was always hard but having my twin there meant that I knew at least one person I could talk to, play with, have lunch with until I made friends, and ultimately explore the world with. I’ve always been introverted and my twin is extroverted, so it took me longer to make friends in new environments during my childhood.

 

Samira: What was one of the things you loved about how your mom raised you that

may have been different from your friends who did not have a twin sibling?

Chloelle: Although my mom dressed us alike she always treated us as individuals. My twin and I are identical but my mom always acknowledged and nurtured our different personalities. It’s something my friends wouldn’t have considered, but in a world when people tended to treat you as a package it was glorious for my mom to treat me as Chloe. She made it a point to ensure that we only participated in the things we loved individually, even if it meant it was two different activities. She never forced one to do something because of the other. I still love her to this day for raising us that way.

 

Samira: Were you and your sister involved in extracurricular activities? If so what were

they, what was your favorite and how do you think those activities contributed in

making you the woman you are now?

Chloelle: My sister and I dabbled into so many different things in life the list is long!

Neither one of us stuck with any sport long enough for me to list them.

Overall, each activity I participated in helped shape my character and diligence that I possess today. I learned how to be a leader, work hard, and accept defeat when it came. I also believe these activities not only taught me teamwork but also the lost art of serving others even when you’re the one in charge. Most importantly, all of them taught me that I was able to accomplish my goals if I persevered which gave me the confidence I needed for my adulthood.

 

Samira: What were some of the pearls of wisdom or lessons your mom taught you that you will always remember? As an expecting mother what is the one thing you will do exactly like your mother and what is the one thing you will definitely do differently?

Chloelle: There are pearls of wisdom that my mother gave me and I use every day of my life. The first is to put God first and genuinely love Him; for me not to be religious but have a relationship with Him. Love who I am, including the fact I’m flawed. By example my mother taught me that we all make mistakes but mistakes are not the end all be all. You can get up, dust yourself off, and be better than you were before. I can achieve anything I desire with the right work ethic. She raised me to know there are no ceilings in life and I can go as far as I want, as long as I take all the steps to get there.

Now that I’m about to have my own child one thing I will do exactly like my mother is spend quality time with him. I have a million memories of doing things with my mother. It was when we spent quality time that she instilled some of the most important values, gave me confidence, and cultured my life with new experiences. I want to give my son the exact same thing so when he grows up he can look back and feel the same love for me I have for her. One thing I will definitely do different from my mother is not raise my child as a single parent. My mother did an amazing job raising my sister and I on her own but it had its challenges. Finances were never an issue but there was a lot I saw her go through and a lot we experienced as a result. Growing up she made it a point to keep us on the right path so we could have a family of our own one day. So, I’m proud to know that I can give my son the one thing my mother wasn’t able to-a father. I’m able to give him a family environment I could only dream of when I was a child.

 

Samira: In what ways do you think things would have been different if you and your sister were raised in a 2-parent household?

Chloelle: I believe that we would have had milder personalities, not as overly protective concerning the people and things we love, and would have been less controlling. The absence of a father pushed us to mature faster than many our age including the need to be independent. This independence made us strong but it also took away our ability to trust others concerning our affairs and our hearts.

 

Samira: What is the one thing you want to ensure your husband does as a father with your son? Or role he takes on with your son?

Chloelle: I desire for my husband to be an influential voice in our son’s life. This way he can guide and teach him about how to be a man, a husband, and a father. Also, so our son will always know he has someone he can turn to for counsel or a shoulder to cry on.

 

Being a parent, more specifically a mother is one of the most rewarding jobs and role that a woman can be blessed in her lifetime. While every waking day you may question your capability, skill set, mental and emotional stability, intuitiveness, physical endurance, and nurturing spirit just know that there isn’t a parenting handbook for your specific child. Every day you get to hit the reset button and try to improve upon the previous one, using what God has equipped you with and His grace. Your child is destined for greatness, you just have to keep putting your best foot forward and when the two or three or maybe even four of you fall down, dust yourself off and get back up again!

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