It’s time to take the mask off motherhood and fast. Motherhood has been masked behind the romanticized standard of perfection and it must come off. This is always supposed to be the best time of your journey. As we cradle our bellies and listen for the kicks. And that first doctor’s scan!
These are truly important milestones, but can only somehow be enjoyed by a few. That’s if you tick all the right boxes the eyes of society expects. That you are financially stable, mentally stable. Preferably married and your husband is there every step of the way.
The almost laughable truth is that not everyone can tick all these boxes. All our journeys into motherhood are different. So here you are pregnant and ticking none of the above boxes. You are young and still dependent.
It feels like your whole world is crashing down around you. The growth of your belly is reckoning to your fears. The eyes of society will fall upon your young face, and they will scrunch up their noses at your belly.
You should have kept those legs closed. Why did you not use protection? You liker of things, you. How will you tell your parents? Has anyone started noticing? What about your education?
You bear the changes in your body. You swallow your own vomit till you can’t hold it in. You carry the weight of the growing child, and both your emotions like a sea inside your body. So the baby arrives into your arms and you look down at them. For a long time that is all, you can see and hear.
Their cries, their breathing, and each noise they make, makes your heart skip. You forget to feed yourself sometimes. Sometimes you want to eat all the time. You will never know sleep like you used to.
Amidst all these, the world still turns. You have dreams. You want your education. You have to go back to work. You want to still feel like you. In the mirror, it feels like you are looking at a stranger. The marks left on your soft stomach. Your somewhat puffy face.
You do not remember the last time you did your hair. You wonder if your partner notices the changes. Does everyone notice that your stomach is no longer as flat? Or that some of your clothes don’t fit?
You scroll through your timeline and see a fellow new mom with a lithe flat stomach. You wince at the price of a breast lift on google. There are new boxes to tick now, and even then we cannot tick them all.
It is time to change the narrative of motherhood. We must take off the suffocating standards that hide the importance of individual stories.