Friday, July 22, 2011

My new power

Yesterday, I was at a lovely lunch hosted by Estee Lauder (the brand, not the woman!) and I was seated with the gorgeous Agoo Bengzon, beauty director of Summit Media, wife and mom extraordinaire. We were talking about the horrors of pregnancy and labor—making the single ladies seated with us shudder—and someone asked what makes it all worth it. Instead of saying the expected "Motherhood is the best thing ever!", Agoo replied, "Once you survive giving birth, you feel like you can conquer anything. Anything!"

That is true. Since I gave birth almost a year ago, my life has become more charmed and not just because of the baby. OK! magazine is doing so well, I have new and amazing mommy friends, my blogs are growing every month, we launched a bag business, and people seem more attracted to me now--showering me and my family with love and gifts. While I always said it's because Vito is my lucky charm, I think it's really because I changed. Motherhood changed my attitude towards life and infused me with a new power.

I used to have a lot of shit in my life, mostly imagined. You know how the young think everything's such a big deal? "Omigod, my nail broke—my life is over! This weather is totally frizzing my hair! He didn't call me up after our date! Why did she look at me from head to toe? I'm so going to kill myself if I don't go out tonight! If I can't have that bag, I might as well die now. Now!" La di da. So unattractive and such a total waste of energy.

I know I sound like I'm trivializing these concerns (okay, I am!) and that's unfair because to the very young, these issues are really issues. And before I got pregnant, I really did obsess about a lot of silly things. But not over my nails, hair and shopping, ha. I mostly would spend weeks agonizing over the girls hovering around Vince and what to wear and say when I'm invited to lunch with his family. Silly me!

Then I got pregnant. And everything hinged on that little boy's heartbeat. I took refuge in silly stuff like worrying over stretchmarks and looking great while preggy—these all seemed so much more familiar and friendly than worrying about my Jelly Bean's growth and development, and my life and how I'm risking it for this child, this stranger.

Then labor happened. Wow, that really hurt. I felt like a huge knife was stabbing me from the inside. Lots of blood involved. Vince said huge blobs of what looked like raspberry jam was coming out of my vagina and making sick "shplop" sounds as they hit the delivery room floor. He was in shock. Thankfully, I didn't get to see any bloody mess. I just felt warm gushes. Then push push push push push (yep, just five pushes!) and I felt my stomach swoooosh empty and then—most glorious of all!—a really angry squeal and cry rent the room. Vito was born!

Giving birth is such a horrendous experience. It's also quite beautiful, one of the most beautiful things in the world. And when they say life changes after giving birth, I know now the changes don't just involve the kid. I personally have changed. For one thing, I have less patience for the silly stuff. When your vagina just expelled gallons of blood and gore and a child, you really wouldn't care about lipstick on your teeth.

You may think, "Your life has meaning and purpose now!" Nope, my life always had meaning and purpose but before motherhood, I allowed people to distract and prevent me from doing and saying what I really want. I cared about what people thought and would say yes, yes, yes to things I didn't want, like or care for simply because I wanted to be nice and sweet and not ruffle any feathers. Well, not anymore.

I guess I am slowing down to take stock of what really matters in my life. With a child, I have less time now so something better be worth my time. I care less for the trivial. I care even less about what people think.

At the same time, I feel I have so much power now. So much life! I feel I can take on the world and it will bow down before me because I am a mother now. My old self died the day I shed so much blood for my son and a new self was born. And this new self takes no shit. This new self takes no prisoners. This new self has the hands that rock the cradle. And so I rule the world.

25 comments:

  1. I felt like standing up and clapping after reading this!

    You write so well Frances. Very well said talaga. Kinikilabutan ako while reading this blog entry =)

    And I second everything that you said here! =) i love it!

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  2. Frances, I salute you Mommy! I can't relate with the pain you felt, but I know what giving birth felt like. I feel so empowered too, now that I'm a (breastfeeding) mom. I can't explain why - but I do!

    Good job Mommy!

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  3. Thanks, Fleur and Didi! Good job to the both of you too. You deserve my applause! =)

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  4. Am not a mom but I, too, was applauding for it. I can relate sa issues, feel na feel ko yan now! :D Maybe when the time comes, I will also care less about trivial things. Thank you for this post, F!

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  5. this is really an enlightening post. :) thanks for giving out this positive vibes. :) i've always thought of you as a role model, someone I look up to, even before you were blessed with Vito.. :)

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  6. very sincere and moving post!! :) *claps*

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  7. Very well said, Frances. :)
    I am quite teary eyed after reading this post.
    I'm sure that while your mom is watching you from heaven, she is very proud of what you have become :)

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  8. very inspiring!nakakaiyak=) motherhood is amazing.

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  9. I think this is your best post ever! :)

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  10. very well said!!!

    although I gave birth via C-Section 2 years ago, I know and I felt that motherhood changed me too.

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  11. i can totally relate to what you wrote! motherhood has changed me too!

    you wrote it so well.. very articulate, i really love your blog :D

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  12. This made me cry, Frances! It's so true, what you said about motherhood. I'm so glad you wrote this, it speaks for so many women whose lives have been changed for the better by motherhood. Keep on inspiring other young moms to hold up the banner of motherhood! You rock at it. ;)

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  13. Tee and Shen, knowing what I know of you, you are going to be AMAZING moms! As for now, mag-enjoy muna sa pagkadalaga! You both know I put off motherhood for as long as I could. It's also nice to live for yourself, you know =D

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  14. Thanks, fellow mommies and fellow rulers of the world! =D We rock!

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  15. I almost cried. This is exactly how I feel, after giving birth to my twins. They were delivered via C-section but I was in labor for 1 1/2 days. And that's what I always say: Kung nakaya mo yung labor pains, you can conquer anything!

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  16. wow. this kind of put words in my mouth. i know becoming a mom also changed me - while reading your post, it hit me... Yes, it did make me feel like i can conquer anything!

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  17. Beautifully said/written Frances! :-) After giving birth to both kids naturally in Timor, I totally changed my mindset/concept about what women can do, and was totally amazed at how we were actually MADE to nurture life!

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  18. Thanks a lot for sharing this revelation. I really appreciate it especially since I'm in my 6th month of pregnancy and I'm starting to feel nervous during some of my more candid moments. This change is something to look forward to.

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  19. yes, being a mom will change you forever. you'll be like one of the "Cullens" who fall in love permanently to that one person :) my son is 6.5years old and i still can't keep myself from staring at him and kissing him, trying to see if he still looks like that newborn some 6years ago. some of my friends who are still single often tell me i've changed a lot. they didn't understand when i started wanting to get home as soon as work is done, not wanting to stay out too late whenever we would go out, whenever i would get impatient listening to their "trivial" worries. i told them they'll understand when they have a family. everything else i used to worry about when i was single now seems so "high school". when you're at that HS age, you feel like your worries are so huge it's the end of the world! then you become a mom and realize there are so much more important things to worry about...like being responsible for raising your kid the best possible way you can and balancing family and work at the same time, putting food on the table and keeping bills paid. that doesn't leave much time anymore for worrying if you're having a bad hair day or if you have nothing to wear while looking at your full closet. having a child is a full time work from waking up til going to bed or NOT going to bed at all...it's not work you can take off of your mind when you leave the office. it's the MOST REWARDING unsalaried and hardest job in the world...well, at least you get paid by giggles, hugs and kisses and unconditional love...priceless! ;) a lot of times you'll also find yourself needing those hugs and kisses to lift you up and make you smile when you're down :) yes it does gives you a new kind of power or strength within you that was dormant before, lets you go for days with almost no sleep if your little one is sick. kicks your bottom off of the couch to prepare food and clean the house even when you're dead tired from work, even when you're sick too. i also try to be nice whenever i can even if i don't wanna be, but when it concerns my son, i couldn't care less what anybody else thinks as long as i do what i think is best for my son. happy for you France that you have this "job" now ;)

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  20. Thanks, mommies! I'm glad I was able to express what you always knew =)

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  21. Thank you for this post, Frances! I'm a mom, too, and I feel reaffirmed of this power that we have as mothers! Thank you for inspiring me to keep conquering the world.

    I've posted an excerpt of your blog, by the way on mine, giving you full credit of course and linking to your blog: http://thecatonhernthlife.blogspot.com/2011/07/this-new-self-takes-no-prisoners.html

    I'm no pro-blogger like you but I like to write about my thoughts from time to time. :)

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  22. Wow!!! I'm a new mom, 6months to be exact so i felt everything that you've written here! Very well said...Thank you for expressing it!

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  23. No worries, Joan. Post away!

    Cherry, congratulations on the new baby!

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  24. very inspiring!! I am a mom of 4 boys and I know how you feel!! After giving birth, I’ve given up life as I knew it and moved on to greater, yet completely unfamiliar things. my life has changed significantly and I am loving it!!!

    Lovelots!!

    `Joan

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  25. Best post on your blog! I think I just became a follower.

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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!