To All the Women Who Became Mothers Before Me

I want to say two things. I’m sorry, and thank you very much.

Ever since I posted our battle with infertility, I started receiving tons of messages from women who are still struggling with getting pregnant. Most of them would tell me, “I hate the fact that my friends are having babies effortlessly while I drain my finances just to have one,” or “It pains me to be a ninang to all of my friends getting pregnant without even trying.” Had they said such things to someone else, I know that they would be judged for being so harsh and insensitive. But I refuse to throw the same judgment to them for one reason – I, too, felt the same for years. I was surrounded by wonderful women who turned into amazing mothers. But I will be a hypocrite if I don’t admit that for years, envy and bitterness clouded my heart. I am just human after all. I have friends who had unplanned pregnancy. I have a friend with a husband who only comes home from the US once a year and stays in the Philippines for less than a month. That friend got pregnant before I did.

All of them made me a godmother to their children. For a time, I somehow accepted the fact that I would be ALWAYS A NINANG, NEVER A NANAY. Don’t get me wrong, okay? I loved all of them dearly. I treat their kids like my own. Isinapuso ko ang pagiging ninang sa kanila. Haha! But again, I felt a kind of pain that only women battling infertility can understand.

When I saw your pregnancy announcement, I felt sincere happiness for you. But again, a part of me somehow felt like life was being unfair. I’m sorry for feeling something negative in a time that was supposed to be filled with happiness. And thank you for being happy for me when it was my turn to make the big reveal.

Each time I would buy gifts for your kid, an unexplainable feeling of sadness filled my heart. Although I make sure that the gifts I gave your kid are packed with genuine love, care and generosity, I’m sorry if there were tiny pieces of negative feelings that came with my presents. And thank you. Thank you for spoiling my kid now.

Each time you posted photos of your little ones with captions like “Please don’t grow up too fast,” or “Thank God it’s Friday,” I cringed with these thoughts running in my head, “They are human beings, of course they grow up! Do you expect them to stay babies forever? Oh yeah, it’s Friday. We all work the same number of days in a week. What’s so special with that?” Again, I’m sorry for being such a bitch! I finally get you now. They really do grow up too fast. And yeah, Fridays become extra special when you become a mother! More importantly, thank you for being emphatic each time I say the same words now over and over again, because seriously, babies do grow up so fast! And why is it not Friday yet?! Hahahaha!

Each time you posted videos of your kid’s accomplishments, I would raise my eyebrows with nothing but disbelief in my head. “Duh! Your kid got a perfect score in his exam! So, what?” I’m sorry for raining on your parade. And thank you for liking all of Zayne’s videos, including the one when she was just blabbing some nonsense noise with saliva coming out of her mouth. Feeling ko kasi at that time, napakahusay na talent na ‘yun ng anak ko! And I finally get you now. I felt like my daughter was such a genius when she learned to do CLOSE-OPEN using her hands! Hahahaha!

For years, I secretly hated you when you posted nothing but your babies. I thought that the world should revolve around me. I felt that you should have been mindful of how I was feeling at that time. How can you post how cute your baby was while I sulked at how I was failing with my fertility workups?! I’m so, so, so sorry for my overwhelming sense of entitlement! Why on Earth would I think that your life should stop for me? And thank you! Thank you very much for continuously rejoicing with me as I enjoy motherhood every single day through my social media posts. Please don’t block me! Hahaha!

Each time you told me how tired you were for taking care of your baby, I would silently judge you for overreacting. “Teh, hindi lang ikaw ang pagod! I work more than 8 hours a day, too. I brave traffic just like you do! Echoserang ‘to!” What was I thinking?! I’m sorry. I really am! The exhaustion I felt before was INCOMPARABLE to yours! I became a mother, and I realized, “Yung pagod ko dati, isang malaking arte lang! Ngayon, totoo na!” Hahahahaha! And thank you! Thank you for making me realize that motherhood equates to patience and hard work. Thank you for making me appreciate more all the mothers that I now work with. And thank you for lending me your ears when I constantly complain of how tired I am! Hihi!

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And now to all the women out there who are feeling the things I used to feel before, I am not judging you. I’ve been there. I definitely know where you’re coming from. But believe me when I tell you that these women who you’re currently jealous of will be the same women who will stand with you, most probably battle with you, when your turn to motherhood comes. The women I envied before are the same mommy friends who made my life as a mother much easier! (Believe me, Google is good, but asking a mommy friend in matter-of-life-and-death situations is wayyyyyy better! Haha!) The women I despised before are the same women who prayed for me and with me as I faced the difficulties of motherhood. The women I secretly cursed before are the same women who celebrated with me as I delight with my child’s milestones. The women I hated before are the same women who paved the way for this clueless, first-time mother, and they all made sure that I feel nothing but love, support and empowerment. :)

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