It’s stated by many sources that Malcolm X, an American Muslim minister and human rights activist, was a man who considered intelligence and articulation to be important things. Even more so, Malcolm X was quoted to have said, “education is a passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”.
Having always been someone who has continuously planned and thought about the future and had a realistic idea of where I would be in five years’ time, I didn’t think the timing would happen so quickly. Because of how fast time is travelling these days and the various lessons I am discovering with each new day, my ultimate fear has arrived on the back of some known and slightly less exciting news than I had originally hoped.
While education is considered to be a luxury, something to be valued and treated respectfully in my family, my six month hiatus that I had originally taken from studying to become a Registered Midwife in Australia is slowly closing its final page in the chapter. As a result, I am staring down the barrel at having to pack my university school bag, pick up my textbooks that have spent the past few months being glanced at and yet, not touched one bit and return to university in the hopes of passing the semester.
Although I happen to be writing this post well in advance, as I have been given the luxury of spending a few hours by myself without Baby O’Chunky suggesting when its feeding time, I am saddened that ‘our’ time has somewhat come to an end. Please don’t get me wrong as Mr. Darcy has ample shares in raising and nurturing Baby O, especially when he walks through the front door and is presented with a baby who needs a nappy change, a bottle full of expressed milk so I can go to the toilet in peace or have a five minute shower in silence.
Though a part of me acknowledges that it is only one day a week that I shall be on campus and Baby O will be able to spend those hours being lavished, pampered and kissed a thousand times by his Nelly and Aunty Kaffy. Like any parent who is and isn’t studying to better themselves for the future, we all experience countless moments of an overwhelming feeling of being seen as a shitty parent, who isn’t raising their child/ren right in society’s eyes or we, as our own society, are constantly evaluating, critiquing and belittling ourselves into being a carbon, industrialised power machine.
In my case, it’s the overwhelming feeling of no longer being the sole parent (during work hours of course) to provide the comfort a baby gets from their parent. As well as being able to breastfeed at the drop of a hat, see the endless array of baby, gummy smiles and more importantly, enjoy the moments of simply being able to ‘be in the moment’ and not feel guilty because an assignment is waiting for me.
In the past six months, each minute and hour of the day has been spent in awe of my body as it heals from the major operation I had when having a caesarean birth and the small bumps in the way. I’ve also spent those moments trying to find ways on how I can appear like I’ve got my shit together as a solo flying parent during the day as I weave in and out of stores, my second home in the baby feeding and change room at the shopping centre and overcoming the urge to smack people when they stare at me while breastfeeding in public.
It has also been an endless rollercoaster as I’ve been living in a world that entirely revolves around demand and feed routines, changing nappies that should be purely identified as biohazardous material and a sperm suit should be provided at all costs and overcoming society’s view of appearing like a “Super Mum!”
These moments of passion, wonder, lust and astonishment have created an array of unlimited moments spent staring at my son in amazement because I created him, with my own body and an egg from my own ovary! This feeling has created hidden moment spent in the bathroom as I stare at newborn photos of Baby O and try to figure out where time has escaped me because I swear it was only yesterday that we were putting him in the car seat for the first time and going home.
I have also spent an alarming amount of time going through my checklist of ways on how I can prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) from occurring and as such, spending those hours while he sleeps, continuously checking on him, rearranging his blanket/s so they’re nowhere near his face and trying to memorise every little thing about him.
Probably sound like a stage 5 clinger and Regina George’s mum but when you’ve been in my shoes and have heard countless times that you will never be able to become a mum is disheartening and cruel; you severely cling to these moments and will forever spend your life, trying even harder to prevent your baby at various ages from being hurt or even worse. It has become this routinely thing I do every day and that is to take a photo of Baby O because I am frightened of waking up and realising it has simply been a dream.
Although, I’ve discovered with the biohazardous nappies and clothing that it is not a peaceful dream but rather a nightmare containing bleach, a large enough bucket and the need to have a twenty minute shower.
During this time, there hasn’t been one or any moments spent thinking about the various subjects that remain between me and graduation, the nine women who will allow me to follow them throughout their pregnancy, birth and postpartum cares and the sinful amount of assignments I shall have to find time and dedicate those hours to writing, researching and highlighting.
More so, because I am a sadist and masochist at heart, try and find time outside of raising and attending to my little family, spend copious amount of time wishing I could drink alcohol and huddling my form over a computer keyboard to finalise my wedding and perfect minor details of my upcoming nuptials.
Which is why I now understand as to why brides hire the professionals and they kick back with the intention of relaxing.
Like anything worth alongside the insatiable need to have a firm and secure hold in it, the time has come and I find myself facing reality of having to pack a bag, schedule in times for study, assignment writing and undertaking the various ways of trying to connect with a pregnant woman. All the while, trying to banish the constant fear I have of never being enough for my family, my son, myself more importantly and if I should wait, just that little bit more.
While it is tempting and oh so delicious, I suspect I will be saying that little catchphrase for the rest of my life and I won’t get anywhere. Until one day, I shall wake up and discover that my children have flown the coop, I have a little wood panel containing various heights from the years gone by and my internal voice going, “what if?”
And that, is a scary question for any woman, man and child on this planet. However, I’ve decided to stop thinking about the ‘what if’ moments and start focusing on the ‘I can’ moments. Such a contrast as to where I had originally thought this post was going to but I guess, fate can work in mysterious ways.
I’m just hoping that Fate and the God for education will look down upon me this semester and bless me with positivity, a knack for balancing my countless flying balls and learning the art of taking time out for myself. All the while, rejoicing in being able to breath in that delicious smell of honey and milk scented baby skin, continuously feed my son on his demanding schedule and enjoying the fact, I get to make something of myself.
Until next time,