Motherhood: A Journey of Positive Changes
By: Lina Sajdi
As I sit here and ponder the words for this piece, my mind takes me back to the many times I reminded myself to document my experience of pregnancy and delivery while the memories were still fresh, before my baby turned one and all her sweet days of infancy became quickly replaced by the whirlwind otherwise known as toddlerhood. I never made that project happen, instead I kept postponing it. Now she is two and a half, and I wonder, where did the time go?
Let me rewind to the few short years before Noor came into my life. After a year of marriage, my husband and I moved to Dubai. With a background in languages and teaching, I searched for teaching positions, but did not expect to face challenges. The more I searched, the more I realized that Dubai’s market was not only highly competitive, but the concept of teaching a language other than your own didn’t seem to be so widespread. Back home, I led an active life, I was working (I had two jobs at some point), I was volunteering and I was a student of music. This sudden change in my life had caused me some confusion, I didn’t know how I should go about it, but I remained positive, engaging myself in different activities that appealed to me.
In spite of all my efforts, I still felt lost because I wasn’t quite the person I felt I was meant to be. Then, I became a mother to a little girl we named Noor. I felt mentally ready for this, but little did I know then that it was going to be nothing like what I had always imagined in theory. You can read and learn so much (and I’m so glad I did), but nothing can teach you about the unique qualities of your baby. Instinct was more powerful to me in that sense.
I am not saying that everything has suddenly become easy. I am sure that the challenges will continue to present themselves. That said, I never realized that a few simple choices would cause powerful change
In the first few months of being my newborn's primary caregiver, I often found myself questioning the fact that everything changes and moves. Being stuck in a phase of constant exhaustion, I was sandwiched between baby colic and sleep deprivation. The enjoyable moments everyone else spent with Noor seemed so short-lived for me, since I was the one who did the work behind the scenes; the crazy cycle of nursing, changing diapers, bathing and rocking. This is how Noor would grow!
However, in the months that followed, I slowly began to regain small fragments of myself. I started to realize that Noor’s arrival into the world had brought about important change. I knew what type of mother I didn’t’ want to be. I didn’t want to be lazy and uninvolved, I wanted to be influential and vivacious. This continues to be a challenging notion, because I am an introvert by nature. I often reflect upon the drastic effects of motherhood and never in my life did I imagine that having Noor would be the catalyst for change; a change in my life, my perceptions and my nature.
I wanted to become a positive living example for my daughter. I quickly developed a strong determination to become active and to expose my daughter to everything. I was adamant that I was not going to sink deeper into my bubble, because it always felt easy to mope around about how becoming a parent automatically takes away many privileges that are easily taken for granted, like having complete freedom.
I look at Noor and I see reflections of myself in her. I see both the little girl I was as well as the adult I am today. We share some passions, and I feel thrilled to be reliving them with her in a totally new light.
Instead, I became active, I stepped out of my comfort zone and explored the world around me with a little baby by my side. You could say the universe was also kind enough to lead me to people with similar mind-sets and to all sorts of positive situations. The more I was open to new experiences, the more people I met. It was as simple as that. I took Noor to gatherings, exposed her to different scenes like the beach and the park, and I got her involved with animals before she was even crawling.
As Noor developed and thrived, I could tell that she was feeding off this great energy, she was opening her eyes to new friends and experiences and enjoying it all. With the intent of exposing Noor, I realized that I had gained so much from it as well. I now have a number of quality friendships that I cherish dearly. Some are near, some are now far, but I am learning everyday that friendship knows no borders. I have more friends around the world now, and that’s a wonderful thing.
I look at Noor now, and marvel at what she has become. All the early exposure paid off. As I said, while I was on this mission to build an active life for her and myself, I have entered beautiful realms. Apart from meeting great friends, I have become a licensed Kindermusik educator and ever since, I have been reconnecting with my passion for music in a very special and meaningful way. I can share it with people, and learn from it all! Also, my interest in the early years of a human’s life is growing day by day, as I realize how important they are, and how they can be easily influenced, whether by good things or bad. I am absolutely blown away by all the information that I am now learning, I feel like telling it all to the whole world.
I look at Noor and I see reflections of myself in her. I see both the little girl I was as well as the adult I am today. We share some passions, and I feel thrilled to be reliving them with her in a totally new light. I see streaks of Noor’s personality in myself too, and she is the reason why I am back in touch with my inner child. She makes me want to do fun things!
I wanted to become a positive living example for my daughter. I quickly developed a strong determination to become active and to expose my daughter to everything. I was adamant that I was not going to sink deeper into my bubble
I am not saying that everything has suddenly become easy. I am sure that the challenges will continue to present themselves. That said, I never realized that a few simple choices would cause powerful change. I also never understood the extent of my own strength. I feel empowered, and it didn’t come from an outside source, at least not entirely it didn’t.
This is how motherhood changed me. If you are about to become a mother, I encourage you to challenge yourself and expose your child at an early age. It doesn’t have to happen in a traditional way. You’ll never know what change this will bring to both of you, but take a chance, you might be surprised.