As our son turns one today, I ask myself… Why haven’t I written a single blog post yet? I’ve been wanting to start a blog since before Rohan was born, but haven’t. Oh, I got the domain name and a WordPress theme… and I have LOTS to say. And yet, this is my first post, today July 8th — the day our son turns one.
But I don’t feel bad about it. I used to stress over the fact that I haven’t acted on my creative pressure to communicate. And I used to plan to do some writing in the evenings, after the baby was asleep (for a whole 30 minutes before I had to go and re-settle him). I had to choose between 1) spending a few precious minutes with my husband, cuddling on the couch, or 2) writing a blog post. You can guess which one won.
But I still don’t feel bad about it. Deep inside, I felt that it was the right choice to favour family over doing some “work”, when all I had was an ounce of energy. I chose to spend it on MYSELF, and I reckon everyone benefited from it. A child needs a sane mother!
What I did used to feel bad about, is the amount of energy and time it takes to raise a child. We don’t have any family in Australia, and we don’t want our son to go to day care at a young age. So it’s all on us. And of course we want to do the best we can. That’s why we decided to do attachment parenting, and to be fully present with our son. It’s hard work.
In the first few months I literally was not able to go to the bathroom whenever I wanted, or make myself a cup of tea. I mostly held Rohan while he slept, which sometimes meant 2-3 hours on the couch reading an eBook. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it. But not when you really REALLY need to wee!!
Art? What art? Forget about art in those first months. I was just surviving.
Was it worth it? Have I been making the right decision to dedicate myself fully to our son? Or am I being too motherly?
I shared this with my dear friend Cecilia Mok, who is also an artist and a mother. I said, “Well… I could be doing art, or working on an internet business, or doing craft, etc. But instead I sit on the couch and hold my baby.”
Cecilia gave me the best pieces of advice ever. She said, “Do what is meaningful”.
Sounds simple. Yet I spent the next 4 months actually figuring out what is meaningful. And I’ve come to realise, rock solid, that the time I spend holding my baby is unique and precious. And every second, every nap we spend together is meaningful. I can do art later, but I can’t hold my baby while he sleeps later. Only now.
A year has gone by. And as I look back on it, it dawned on me: I wouldn’t ever regret the time spent with my children.
So the blog is starting later than planned, and that’s ok. No regrets here. But remembering the face of our son as he sleeps, and experiencing every stage of his growth to the fullest, is so worth it.