Motherhood is everything! There is no single person who can explain motherhood in its totality; it’s just too pure to get a good enough definition. It is one of the most daunting and all-consuming calling a woman can be blessed with.
As we all know that having one child comes with stress but when they become two, the stress doubles. Mothers of two or more children can relate with this.
In an interview with PUNCH, a new mother and businesswoman, Gbemisola Oni, gets real her journey of motherhood, labour room experience and why she prefers C-section to vagina birth. Enjoy!
What does motherhood mean to you?
Motherhood is all about selflessness, making sacrifices and being a patient individual. It also means that one must also have the ability to restructure things in one’s life and above all, be able to show undiluted love to one’s children.
Can you expatiate more on that?
Mothers are selfless because they put their kids first before every other thing in their lives. In other words, the need to provide one’s child with a new bicycle comes before that Tory Burch Crossbody bag one has been longing to buy. Motherhood also comes with a lot of sacrifice because sometimes, one’s sleep pattern changes and one is no longer in control of one’s time.
Mothers also need a lot of patience because children, particularly babies, are not like adults. One needs to be able to rearrange or restructure some of the things in one’s daily schedule, especially if one does not have enough hours in the day to get everything done. Besides, it is important for one to be flexible enough to change things especially how one sleeps.
Most importantly, the love mothers have for their children will make them to adapt to changes without realising it.
Are there specific things that prepared you for motherhood?
Nothing prepared me for the journey. Apart from helping out with my younger siblings at home when I was much younger, I had no experience in terms of handling babies or kids. I think the fact that one is in a happy relationship could prepare one for the journey ahead.
When one knows that one has the support of one’s husband and that one is not alone, there will be an assurance that all will go well. Other than that, I merely waited for the journey to begin and settled down to enjoy it.
How did you handle your son’s first week?
I have a five year old daughter and the experience of giving birth to her made it easy for me to cope when my son arrived. I was in the hospital for the first three days because I had a caesarean section.
The hospital management and nursery staff helped me a lot. They were happy to keep him in the nursery while I slept or took a shower. When we were discharged, we just took each day as it came.
What was the reaction of your daughter when she realised that there is a new addition to the family. Was she subtly jealous or felt the attention would shift away from her?
I think she felt both ways. Before my son, Folajimi arrived, my daughter told me that after the arrival of a new baby in a family, the parents usually forget about the other kids. I do not know where she got the idea from anyway.
What did you tell her?
Of course, we reassured her that we would not do that and that she would remain our number one. I think she understood that in her childlike innocence.
How supportive has your husband been since the arrival of your baby?
My husband works 12 hours a day but still creates time to help out with tidying up things whenever he is at home. He’s happy to wash the dishes in the sink if there are any, spread washed clothes and does whatever needs to be done. I have been very lucky.
Were there similarities or differences in your first and second deliveries?
I had a C-section in both deliveries. The first one was an emergency because I had contractions for 12 hours and could not put to bed. The second was an elective surgery. I handled it quite well and I thank God that I put to bed safely on both occasions.
Now that you have experienced labour twice, have your views on motherhood changed in anyway?
For me, nothing has changed. I think I can safely say that for most women.
What made you say that?
The real journey of motherhood begins after delivery. It is only then that one would take pregnancy as a phase. However, one does not have to experience labour to be a mother.
Let me explain it this way; some women experience motherhood without physically delivering babies and they end up being wonderful mothers to the children. This is the case with some women who opt for adoption or surrogacy due to infertility issues.
SEE ALSO: Five Nigerian Mothers Share Their Bittersweet Experiences On Motherhood
Can you share any unforgettable moments as a mother?
There are many unforgettable moments. For instance, my daughter and I have been using, “The Oxford Reading Tree,” for about three months so she can learn how to read. Now, she can read full sentences and pretty long words without my help. I am really excited about that. In the same vein, watching my son’s progress as each day passes has also given me a sense of fulfilment. I am extremely glad that my efforts as a mother have paid off.
How did you handle each trimester during your pregnancy?
I think I was more tired in my third trimester. Therefore, I took more naps. I did not handle each trimester differently so it was relatively a smooth nine month journey for me.
What are the things you now do differently?
Being a mother has changed me completely, especially as a mother to two young kids. I have become more flexible with everything. Each day is not the same and that is the truth. I may sleep in three different rooms for the next three nights. Sometimes, I find myself watching a 30-minute episode of my favourite sitcom over a period of two or three days.
Have you returned to shape after childbirth?
I am still on the journey and struggling with my weight but I will get back to shape in no time.
Are you spicing up your diet with any kinds of food as a new mother?
I think I should be eating healthy. I currently eat on the go which means I take snacks mainly.
Do you think as a nursing mother snacks are what you should be taking?
Most times, I do not get the chance to even sit down and eat a proper meal. However, I try to eat fruits and salads from time to time. I also drink a lot of water because breastfeeding makes me thirsty.
What are some of the myths you heard about motherhood?
I do not really pay attention to those things. As a result, I follow my instincts. I do what I feel is right and safe for my kids. If I have questions, I consult a paediatrician.
What is your advice to new mothers especially those with more than one child?
As a new mother, particularly if you are raising more than one child, I will advise that they should be flexible and take each day as it comes. They should not place themselves on unrealistic schedules.
Some days, they may be the perfect mothers with tidy and clean houses with happy kids who have been bathed and fed on time. Other days, their ‘routine’ could be a total mess and that is alright too.
Whatever they do, they should endeavour to enjoy themselves with their kids and spouses. For those who have more than one child, they need to try to identify their personalities and relate with them accordingly.
Since you live in the Middle East, how would you compare parenting in Africa with that of the Asian continent?
It is slightly different in the Asian continent with the way we train our kids and the way parents on the continent train theirs. These are the kids one’s children are friends with at school.
There’s always a conversation with my daughter about how a friend of hers is allowed to do certain things but we do not allow her to. We always explain to her that what is allowed in her friend’s house is not allowed in our home.
How is she coping with the arrival of her brother?
She is handling it very well and loves him very well. He gets a minimum of six kisses and cuddles from her in a day. She does that so much that we sometimes have to beg her to let him take a nap.
The day after we came home from the hospital, she went to school, announcing to her classmates that, “I now have a baby brother and I love him.” I must say that she is quite a drama queen.
Does your husband help out with changing diapers?
He did that once with our son but he did that more often when we had our daughter. I am sure there will be a lot of opportunities for him to do that anyway.
READ ALSO: After Four Cesarean Sections, Desola Afods Is Busting The Myths Around CS
Have you noticed any personality traits in your children?
My son is only three months old so it is still a bit early to tell. However, I can see signs of persistence in him just like his older sister. I should add that they both like food too.
How many children would you like to have?
My husband and I want only two children so we have completed our family cycle. It was a joint decision because we want the best for them. Paying school fees and taking them on holidays do not come cheap.
If you were to choose between elective c-section and natural birth, which would you choose?
I would chose an elective c-section without mincing words because it is quicker but I am not having any more children like I mentioned earlier.
Tags: CS, Gbemisola Oni, Labour room experience, Motherhood, New mum
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