A Simple Experience of Child Care – for Everyone
Child care is sweet; the experience is awesome. It is an experience most women, if not every woman would like to have. However, it can really be so engaging of the mother. The child is completely dependent on the Mother and this dependence feels so sweet.
If you are someone who has a thing for babies (like me – l love babies to bits), you would understand that sweetness in them. Just watching a baby gives me life; their simplicity and gentility is just awesome and I find it inspiring beyond words. On a lighter note, I try not to stare at a baby too much lest the mother begins to think I am “witching” her child.
As sweet as the baby’s dependence is, it can indeed be tasking on the mother and can take a huge toll on her. Here she is with a completely dependent being, yet she still has to carry out other responsibilities within and outside the home.
After a woman gives birth, she is supposed to be recovering from the beautiful and tasking ordeal. This should not be taken for granted.
In the past 9 months (or thereabout) prior to child birth, her body has been strained. She has had to live with that, in whatever shape it presented itself. Some have it rough, while some have it a little easier. Nonetheless, the body goes through some real work and stress, mild as it may seem.
After the baby is born and gets home, a number of things have to be put in place to help cater for the basic needs of the baby. In many homes, the woman takes care of the baby, but also does the domestic chores and even cooks for the entire household.
She prepares food for her other children (if there are others) and for her husband. Interestingly, she is expected to still do all these irrespective of the much needed rest her body craves for.
However, credit must go to mothers, Mothers-in-law, siblings, older children, husbands, house assistants and neighbours who give out a helping hand to this nursing mother and provide her with some relief in her daily chores and other responsibilities. This can indeed be a life saver. I know it is. Yes, I do; story for another day.
Yet, we know women who do not get this support. Sometimes they get it only at the convenience of their husband, and those around them. People do not see the help she needs. So, they give a hand only when it really suits them.
At other times, the nursing mother carries her load, often quietly and suffers her body to catch up with the many little “here and there tasks”. These “here and there tasks” look so simple, easy, ordinary and so little and so, she is not suppose to even complain but just get them done, numerous as they may be. We forget that for a tired body, these simple tasks are not simple.
You may observe that after child births, some women look fresh while some others look stressed and strained. There may be a number of factors, but one common factor that brings about this difference is the level of support they receive after they have given birth to the child.
As a nursing mother, it is inevitable to get involved in the demanding work of child care. However, if the mother gets rests as often as she should, she eats well, has got enough moral and emotional support and has a good mental attitude, she would tend to look relaxed and energetic.
Where she does not have these in place, the strain and stress shows on her face. She tends to look older than her usual self and she struggles with fatigue.
If after giving birth, she again has to bother about where to get money to buy food for the baby, then that really gets stressful on her. It becomes a case of “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”.
It behoves on those around the mother and child to ensure that they give their maximum (Optimal) support to this duo. Just as she inconveniences herself to see to the needs of the new baby, those around her, in charity, need to be more attentive, sensitive and empathetic to her own needs.
A certain woman hugely inconvenienced herself for you and that is why you are alive today to live your dreams and fulfil your destiny. Why not stretch out that supportive hand to your wife today in a consistent way? She needs that help so badly even if she may not say it.
A woman once shared with me that she was pregnant again even though they already had the number of children they wanted. I encouraged her to keep a positive mind and believe that it is all for a great purpose. I asked about her husband’s opinion in the matter. She said he was ok with it and that she would not be going through the experience alone.
She said that whenever she is pregnant, it is as though the man is also pregnant. He shares her life during and after the pregnancy so closely with her. He gets into her daily routine and does not leave his part undone.
This was really great to hear. It was very touching to know that the husband is “so there” with her through it all, contrary to what one may observe in several cases.
So, the simple experience of child care is always an extraordinary and heroic act. It could be graceful or it could be really stressful. Whichever it is, as mother, do take it in as positively as you can. Whining and bitter thoughts only make your situation worse.
Have a song you sing to your baby that puts everything else in perspective. That song you composed or adopted (specially for your baby) will keep giving you a reason that all the trouble is worth it.
And you, if you are privileged to be around a nursing mother, please do your best to be there for her and give her the much support you can. Even the universe will recognize your kindness and reward you.
Love is an active word. If you love her, please show it by lending an actual helping hand around her and the baby.