The one word that evokes countless emotions in me, the one journey that's amazingly gratifying, the one thing that has entirely changed my life.
You know how back in school we always wrote essays that talk about our ambitions? Well, I did write about wanting to become a teacher just because that seemed normal and declaring to the world that I wanted to be a mum at the mere age of 8 wasn't something I was game for.
Especially not when I had a big crush on this boy in my class whom I dreamt of marrying and even pasted our pictures in a heart shaped card which I kept in my purse. So, naturally I wrote about how I hoped to become a teacher and make as many bright
babies students as I could.
But deep down inside, I guess a part of me always knew that becoming a mum was my true aspiration.
In a sense, dreams came true for me and I ditched away being a teacher, a media executive and all the allures of the corporate world to travel to a far away land and start my life anew. Fate decided a baby should come along and shortly, I fulfilled my lifelong goal of becoming a mum.
Well, absolutely. N-o-t.
I'm kind of a happy-go-lucky girl who sees the glass as half full in her life, but to sugarcoat motherhood as all rainbows, butterflies, cute puppies, soft and sweet-smelling baby bottoms, that would just be a big fat lie.
So the truth is:
The rainbows are there but you realise that they only come after the rain. And they often don't stay around long enough.
Butterflies flutter and if you are lucky, they land on your shoulder for a while. But usually, they evade you and you have to run and search after them to witness their beauty.
Puppies are cute, cuddly and lovely to hold. But when they are hungry, tired or agitated, they snap, they bark and some even hurt you with their claws.
Every baby wipe commercial shows how soft and tender baby's bottoms are. Truth is, that happens only half the time. The other half they are soaked in pee or smeared with poo. Plus babies' farts doesn't mean they don't reek.
Sometimes you can't help it but wonder, was this the dream that you dreamt about as a kid? Did you really sign up for this gig and take the road of no return? Is there anything you can do to hit the 'rewind' button and go back to carefree days free of soiled diapers and temper tantrums?
Once a mum, forever a mum. Even if sometimes you feel like you are wiping up the last bit of your sanity from the kitchen floor or scrubbing off the last bit of your self-worth down the toilet sink. You just have to take it in, breathe hard, pick yourself up and know that being a mum has turned you into a wonder woman who's strong enough to lift the world on her shoulders.
You see, being a mum gave me the determination I never had. It made me stronger than I ever was. It showed me how I could love in ways I never knew I could.
Into a new mum, a tougher lady and a better person. I see things from a different perspective and I love my life even more than before.
I love how we hold hands to admire every rainbow that comes after the rain. It's a realization and reminder that life isn't sweet without the bitterness. How would we learn to appreciate what joy is if we have not gone through any hurt?
I love how we play hide and seek with the butterflies and feel a sense of contentment when we finally spot a one resting peacefully in the bushes. She would run after them squealing in delight and all I see is my beautiful butterfly who's here to stay in my life.
I love how we greet the puppies on the streets, how she strokes the tame ones and her face lits up, how she gets terrified by the fierce ones and I stand forward, put on my fiercest growl and protect her with all I've got.
I love her smooth bottom and yes, I've even put my face up there many times on the good-smelling days. To say I love her poo would be pushing it too much, so no I don't, thankyouverymuch. Except on days when she's constipated.
Becoming a mum brought out the best and worst of me, but everything I've felt is real.
I now wake up in the mornings and be greeted by the heartiest smile I can ever imagine.
I enjoy walks in the parks and the vibrant colours of life look even more vibrant.
I shop in the kids' departments and toy stores and surprisingly I'm loving shopping more than I ever did.
I get so used to cleaning up pee and poo that it's become part of my routine. The colour and texture of her poo has even become a common dinner time topic.
I love our hugs, cuddles and kisses so much so that I have to do it a thousand times a day.
I see the unwashed dishes and dirty laundry but would willingly put them aside to read a book to my girl.
I see more, hear more, smile more, laugh more and cry less.
I go to bed so exhausted every night but my heart is full. Of bliss, of joy, of gratitude.
Every day, every minute, every second.