Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Great Mother Gene

I get a lot of questions on how I am able to raise Santi without letting go of my principles- no yaya, direct breastfeeding (no bottles and pacifiers!), co-sleeping and velcro babying and babywearing.

Last night a non-mummy friend asked "Don't you get tired of that set-up?!". Last week my sister-in-law-to-be asked, "Aren't there times when you need time apart? Because I certainly do from my daughter!" Two of my good friends are mix feeding their daughters because mummy #1 thinks her boobs are sagging already and she only had a 6-month goal to breastfeed while mummy #2 started mix feeding with formula by her 3rd week of life because she couldn't take the fact that she could not do anything else anymore besides breastfeeding. She told me "We have guests all the time at home. It just doesn't fit our lifestyle!"

While I respect their personal views, these talks with other moms make me wonder... is this style of parenting simply a decision I made or am I truly cut out for this? Do some women have 'it', the great mother gene, in them while others don't? Gosh, I feel like comparable to Mother Mary the martyr.

I am so blessed I am not alone in this journey of the road less traveled. My kindred sister and co-yummy mummy Deng shares my passion, dedication and sacrifice for our boys. We may be a minority but little by little I am certain we are shaping the future through them ;)


KV said...

I wish I could do exactly the same things you do. Though I'm almost always at home, I have a yaya who takes over when I have stuff to do on the desktop or just want some "me time" by having DVD marathons. Ever since though, it's always me giving him a bath :) But I wish I could breastfeed. I try not to think about it, but when I do, I sometimes feel like I'm a bad mother because I'm unable to give him exactly what he needs. I just try to make up :) And I can't wait to wear him! It's too hot so our body heat will just make him sweaty and uncomfortable :(

Frances said...

Ah, time will tell, Monica. My older brother and my youngest sister were breastfed and had no yayas--my mom really devoted herself to them. Meanwhile, I and my younger brother were never breastfed because those were the years mama focused on her career so we hardly saw her.

Fast forward to 30 years later. My younger brother and I are happily married to lovely people and have happy careers, too. My other siblings who had that ideal upbringing? They can't leave the house, are very dependent on our parents kahit na may mga anak na ang kuya ko, and they have trouble keeping jobs or relationships.

Of course, my wonderful hubby was breastfed and had a stay-at-home mom... so how does one really raise kids? Me, I'm scared to breastfeed and stay at home obviously. The hubby, on the other hand, thinks it's the best idea in the world. Of course he forgets he's a complete mama's boy.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that when I'm a mom, the kids will turn out right--no matter what I do or don't do! Scary.

ella said...

You know I've asked that question myself. I always wonderered why it's so easy for some moms to leave their kids with other people or at home, that some moms just say yes to their pedia, that I saw my lack of sleep (when Ryan was young) as a badge of honour. I guess it must be in the genes.

I've always seen it as I've had a lot of time for me, now that I have a baby I should focus on him because of all the things that I can do in my life, raising a great person would be my best legacy. My aim is to have Ryan know that he is and has been loved.

steph said...

i think you and santi are both lucky to be able to do as you do. =) it's important to have the full support of your husband, and close family and friends when you endeavor something like this, especially as societal expectations for women are quite conflicting. i really admire the decision you've made -- and santi will grow up strong and secure because of it.

jencc said...

personally, i think it's a choice. also i believe in the philosophy. my parents were the same to us, and we're pretty okay, so i figure giving my kids the same thing would be good as well.

blissful COW said...

When I learned that I was pregnant, I promised myself that I would NOT have a yaya. I would do EVERYTHING myself. But things didn't turn out that way. I could not breastfeed because of all the medications and being in a coma. I resented the fact that I couldn't even hold my baby and have him beside me at night. But as the years went on and I was getting better, I really tried my best to make up for "lost" time. My son is almost 9 years old and every day is a great blessing, learning and growing process for us both.

A mother will NEVER STOP mothering her child. But we have to let them free so they can explore themselves, be independent and strong and grow. No matter happens, no matter how the world turns, you will always be a mother.

This is your first year of being a mother and yes it is the greatest and most fullfilling milestone in your life. You wouldn't want to miss a thing. BUT (a word of advise), don't forget about yourself, your hubby-to-be, your friends, family, and everything else that made you into you. I believe that it is very important.

You are doing a great job Monica and don't let anyone make you think that you are not. It's your baby and your life. You make the decisions based on your intuition. You know what to do.

rinna said...

Hi Monica,
Got here through momexchange and I've got to say that I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. It's so real and down-to-earth.
I think most moms strive to raise their children the best we could and it looks like you are making loving and informed decisions when it comes to raising yours.
Of course it's pretty typical for us moms to doubt ourselves with the decisions we have made but as you see your son growing up to be a self-sufficient, compassionate and loving individual, I think it will reaffirm your beliefs and your instincts.
I moved to the US when I got married and therefore broke the cycle in our family of babies getting nannies or midwives. Initially, the thought of having no childcare help daunted me but now I can say that it's probably one of the greatest blessings I've been fortunate to have (or not have, for that matter). You could not pay me enough to have a yaya now. Seriously.
While I also respect moms who have different paths/philosophies when it comes to raising their children, I find myself really thankful that I have found one which works for our family. And it seems like you have to and you should feel proud of yourself for all your hard work. :)

Margie M. said...

hi! its great that you have a wonderful relationship with your son. But it is almost always important to remember that the "great mother gene" that you refer to is present in any mom who establishes a relationship with their children. Breastfed or not, with or without yayas, co-sleeping or not. Great Mother Genes are present in all moms I know



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