Read Suzette's Story about how she coped with the challenges she faced.
Before I start my story, it’s probably important for me to tell you a little about myself as it may help my story make sense.
I didn’t get married till later in life, 42 years old to be exact. Before that I just lived to play, whether it was sports or just partying with my friends, doing whatever I wanted whenever. It was a carefree life and my poor father had given up any hope that I would grow up and settle down. Okay so I find myself married a year after meeting my husband. Considering my age, I realized it was probably a good idea to try for a child right away to complete my new family.
In all those years of having fun, I never knew that age actually does affect one’s ability to quickly conceive. Lo and behold, we finally got pregnant after a year. My little guy was not really so little, almost 9 lbs and over half a metre long when he was born. Now I’m a pretty short gal so that explains the HUGE belly that proceeded me by a block the whole winter. Before leaving the hospital a lady from “Social Services” stopped by my room to chat with me but against my wishes and insistence, refused to talk to me because my husband and mother were present. The curiosity was killing me so I chased her down and asked her what it was about. Apparently she wanted to talk to me about “Post Partum Depression” as it was very common amongst older mothers. I assured her I would be fine and would have lots of support from all my family members who lived very close to me but listened to what she had to say anyway.
Where did my life go!!!!!!?????? Oh my goodness, NO ONE and NOTHING could have prepared me for the reality of motherhood. I now realize how easy it was going to work every day. All girls/women grow up hearing what a miracle and how wonderful motherhood is. What they forgot to mention was just how hard it is on you for the first few months. Even the preparatory classes we took at the hospital didn’t set me up for the real thing. What on earth did the nurse mean when she said “sleep whenever the baby sleeps”. When the baby slept I was cleaning the house, doing the baby’s never ending laundry, cleaning bottles and making new ones, and on top of it all trying to maintain my home and have my husbands meals prepared.
Being housebound the first couple of months was also a killer. I guess due to my age, I had a very tough recovery. On top of that I developed severe tendonitis in both arms. I’m sure a lot of you mothers out there experienced that too. Now my social life and ‘big outings’ consisted of going to the mall with my husband and baby. I truly began to understand what the nurse meant by post partum depression! My poor husband who married such a laid back women now had a shrew freaking out on him, even though he helped with everything. Talk about hormones gone crazy, plus add to that severe sleep deprivation. Yeah I could all of a sudden flip personalities and it wasn’t pretty. How women who have no close support from family/friends survive I have no idea. All I can say is “hats off to you!”
HOW I SURVIVED
Okay we are now in present day. Obviously I made it through even though I previously had serious doubts.
The most important things I did to get my life back on track and be the best mom I could was:
1) Get mobile. This is so important and I tell all my friends who are new moms that they need to do this as soon as possible.
2) Join a Mom & Tot network. Let’s face it, your life has changed and your relationships with your single friends while still there is now different as your priorities have changed. The advice you get from other new moms goes a long way to easing your mind and giving you confidence in your own role as a mother. These ladies are a lifeline, truly. It’s also great to get your own child socialized while you both enjoy the company of others who are on the same page in their lives.
3) Enroll your child and yourself in classes. The TORONTO FUN GUIDE and the ONTARIO EARLY YEARS centres provide lots of great classes.
4) Story Time at the library is awesome and getting your child interested in reading and learning phonetics from an early age is a win win situation. Plus there are lots of play areas for the kids. My son loves going there to play. We go to the North York Public Library in the North York City Centre.
IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE
If you plan on returning to work, and didn’t apply for daycare during your pregnancy, get cracking! I am now having to resort to a nanny as there is no affordable daycare available in my area for kids under 18 months at this time. Waiting lists are about a year to a year and a half I’ve been told at all the best places in my vicinity.
I’m even trying to find someone in my area to share a nanny as I have to return to work in 3 months.
MY FINAL WORDS
I have a gorgeous, happy, loving son named Rafael and he’s the best thing in my life along with my husband. I wouldn’t trade motherhood for anything.