Five things motherhood taught me

2014-08-15 13:45

As we celebrate and recognize the role the women of 1956 played in South Africa’s political history, I take this time to celebrate and recognize the women who labour daily to raise children and communities. Womandla! Doek or no doek, womandla to you.

Over my lifetime, I watched the women in life become mothers, mother and even my own mothers. I use plural for mothers because a fierce family of three sisters who tended to me and socialised me into the woman I am today. These women became mothers and transformed into super heroes who juggled motherhood, work, social life and personal life without visibly breaking a sweat. I'm sure they broke a sweat at the end of each day.

In any case, coming from a family of matriarchs there were many examples of strong women who just got on with life and did things. So when I had my child in my late 20s, I realised that I too had transformed and acquired super powers that enabled me to care for this new being who had chosen me to walk her journey of life with. So here are the five super hero powers I acquired through motherhood

1) My scouting skills became ten-fold. I could immediately walk into a room, assess all the risky areas, potential hazards, emergency exits and develop my emergency evacuation strategy to get my little out of there safely in the event of emergency

2) Whenever I was outside my home in public, my hearing and peripheral vision was amplified. I could have a conversation, be aware of my 180-degree settings while keeping an eye on my infant and holding a conversation.

3) My awareness of time and location of events diminished. I could manage the hours in the day but could not always locate them in the calendar or week. For example, in a day I would get up and do an hour of work, go to gym, drop my kid off at creche, have an 8 hour day, pick up kid and go to the local park for play and walk. Get home, prepare and serve dinner, bathe and help baby sleep, catch up with the day's events and then sleep. So a typical day suddenly had each minute and hour packed full and I sometimes didn't know what day I was in but knew the sequence of things and most days completed all my to do lists

4) Financial planning became a critical area of my life. Suddenly every cent was allocated a purpose and if not used in daily requirements would go into the child's education and health fund. I'm now a financial wiz and advise my other friends on developing budgets and sticking to them, saving even the smallest amounts each month towards an education trust for their kids

5) The realization of dreams and plans I had put off and procrastinated from articulating suddenly because urgent. In the 18 months I've had my child, I started an NPO and business, left my job to pursue a PhD and all without breaking a visible sweat.

 What are your super powers that motherhood gave you?

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