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Love keep mothers going: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

By Wangari Omondi | October 25th 2015 at 15:40:29 GMT +0300

Being a mother is one of the most joyful experiences one can ever go through. But with it comes inevitable roller coasters. With pregnancy putting such a demand on one's body coupled with the hormonal upheavals, this can leave one feeling a little low. Both my babies were pleasant surprises thus when we found out we were expecting a second we were overwhelmed. The first year of our daughter was quite something. We hadn't slept in ages and had exercised almost every inch of our muscles.

My sister had sent me this wonderful encyclopedia 'what to expect when expecting'. But I have to say that our daughter was following her own manual. None of her milestones followed anything in the encyclopedia. By the third month I tried weaning her but the girl didn't want to eat anything other than butternut and milk. Weaning her to the bottle was also nightmare. So I tried the cup and spoon option and that left me with migraines. It's not like she was a focused feeder she used breastfeeding for comfort.

As for sleep let me just say from the moment she was born she never slept through the night until she was eleven months. For a while I had forgotten what it was like to sleep for more than four hours. As a result I had bouts of serious migraines, black outs and stress. This explains why I didn't have problems shedding pregnancy weight, I breastfed on demand for more than six months. This is enough to burn any calories in minutes. It remains the most demanding thing I ever did and to think another baby was on the way; I wanted to escape to Kalahari.

To save my sanity and prep for the new baby, I had to show my daughter who was the Sheriff. With the help of my nanny I left home for a two-day retreat that I hoped would jolt reality into the little diva. Though I was a little worried about her it was time for tough love. While she spent time screaming her lungs out I had to endure the painful breast engorgement. When I returned home my daughter's little ego had been adjusted when she acknowledged 'nyonyo' had left town. As we both grieved and adapted to the new season, I realized in the end the pain was all worth it.

Back then it felt like that season was going to be forever. During those eleven months my life was a roller coaster of emotions and routine. I was up wee hours of the night nursing, lulling or cooling the little one's temperature. I even had to sing just to get little miss sunshine happy. Motherhood has a way of nurturing skills in you never thought possible. From the moment your baby is born you begin to wear various hats and there's no time for training or rehearsal. You're thrown into the deep end and you discover that there's more in you than you thought.

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You become a teacher, scientist, preacher, nurse, police, and astronaut or fill up any vacant job. No matter the job the mum is always ready to fill the position regardless of the terms, conditions or no pay. And the working hours don't count here; you're always on shift. But as time goes by the mum begins to discover that the best way to get the job done well is to take care of self. Sometimes this is only learned after hitting a burn out like I did when I got a few black outs. I didn't realize how important sleep was until my body demanded it. Though naturally as a mum I'm driven by the gift that keeps on giving – love, I had to learn to take a breather to stay sane.

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