The Day I Became a Person and a Half

It was around six in the morning when the nurses came and wheeled me to the operating room. After waiting for over 38 weeks, I was very excited to meet my little girl...and, quite frankly, also looking forward to relieving myself from the weight that has been causing me sleepless nights and lower back pains. After a little over an hour, our beautiful baby girl was born. 72 hours later, i felt pregnant again.

Being our second baby (technically 3rd but that's another story), we felt like seasoned parents. We knew how to fix our breastfeeding schedule and prepare ourselves for the midnight shifts. But my daughter was different from her brother somehow. She was so attached to me (and no one else) like a stick to a glue.  When she cries in the middle of the night, she only wanted me to carry her. When i let her co-sleep with us on the bed, she'd prefer to sleep on my tummy instead. When we're out, she'd cuddle inside the sling 99% of the time. It was, in a way, easier for me since she was quick to pacify. The only problem was, the only effective pacifier was me.

Almost three years later, nothing has changed. Last December we had a 2-week vacation abroad and my daughter only wanted me to give her a bath, feed her, brush her teeth, carry her [sling or no sling], and even push her stroller.  That's right, push her stroller!  She'll check the back every now and then to make sure no one else has 'taken over' the stroller. I must admit feeling so loved and needed by your child is awesome in a lot of ways. But during those times when i just wanted to rest, it can get pretty stressful and literally back-breaking. Like i said, with the sleepless nights and backaches, it didn't feel too different from being pregnant.

I remember trying to shop in H&M with Dawn. I didn't want to let her walk around (and have to run after her) so i carried her most of the time.  There was an ongoing sale so the crowd was tight and the lines were long.  It was challenging to say the least.  So one afternoon, Dens decided i needed a break.  He took Dawn from me - amidst the tears and all (Dawn, not me) - so that i can go shopping for an hour with my sister. We excitedly ran to the nearest H&M to continue our shopping - leisurely this time. When i got there, the excitement started to fade away. I saw the clothes that i tried on when Dawn was with me and remembered how excited she looked when she said 'Mom, you look like a princess!' Then i saw the little hair accessories that Dawn diligently collected the first time we were there. She said some of those were for her and some were for me. Suddenly, my afternoon of leisure shopping wasn't as fun as i thought.  It truly felt like giving birth. Once the baby is out, you somehow feel like a part of you is now missing.

This made me realize to enjoy the present. Being a mom will surely limit my shopping habits once in a while. I may not be able to shop to my heart's content in factory outlets anymore. I may need to say goodbye to a  restful 8-hour sleep until they're all grown up. I may not always get to enjoy my meals as I make sure the little toddler is eating enough. But that's all right. The perks of being a mom far outweighs the challenges. The smiles you get each time you open your eyes in the morning. The embraces at night before you sleep. And the 'i love you's' that they so sincerely say.

I wonder how long my daughter will be this attached to me. But i will stop analyzing how to 'detach' her anymore. I will embrace this moment for as long as i can. Because not too long from now, she will have her own life...her own schedule...and she may not need me as much as she does now. And i will look back to this day with fondness and a deep sense of longing. Hoping that time did not have to move so fast.

Anonymous –   – (February 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM)  

Do you have a yaya? That is also my problem din kasi. I'm a SAHM and my son is SUUUPERRRR attached to me!! Sometimes I cant even pee or leave him out of sight just for a few mins w/o him wailing for me (he's a year old). He will play with his dad for a while, but after a while he'll look for me again. He also lies on my chest while sleeping (we co sleep) and I HAVE to be by his side when he wakes or else!! Minsan nakakapagod din. I wonder if it's because I'm his primary caregiver as I didn't get a yaya for him. Sometimes, I despair when will my husband and I ever be able to go abroad together again, things like that

Patty B.  – (February 4, 2014 at 6:47 AM)  

How I wish my soon to be 18 yr old was a toddler again. I really her being clingy. It's the total opposite now ... except when she wants to go shopping because she says she always needs Mommy's opinion. Enjoy the moment while you can. Time isn't always our friend when it comes to our children.

Michelle Aventajado  – (February 4, 2014 at 9:04 AM)  

Living in the moment is probably one of the harder things to do as a mom. We are constantly making lists, checking things off, and making sure everyone has everything they need. But Patty is right Tiff :-) Enjoy the moment. It passes by all too quickly. I blinked and my little monchichi of a daughter who was born with a full head of hair is now almost 15 and doing many so many things on her own... *sigh* Yet, another stage of parenthood that I will embrace and try my best to live in the moment as she explores adolescence.

cheekeegirl  – (February 4, 2014 at 2:21 PM)  

Oh ! Truly! My 3-year old too is very clingy to me. every move she requests it has to be me. Now I should savor every moment to be with her and to allow her requests for soon i know she'll have her own way too. ayokong mag regret

Tiffany B  – (February 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM)  

@anonymous - Yes, i have a yaya and i work in a corporate job during the day. I'm sure being your child's primary caregiver contributes to him being very attached to you. But trust me (as you can see in the other moms' comments) - enjoy this stage as it will not last forever. You and your husband will have more chances for dates in the future. In the meantime, hope you also get some help so that you can have a break once in a while.

Tiffany B  – (February 10, 2014 at 10:27 AM)  

@Patty - been thinking about what you said. i wonder when the clingy-ness stops. I hope our daughters will still enjoy spending time with us as they continue to grow up.

Tiffany B  – (February 10, 2014 at 10:27 AM)  

@Mish - will surely enjoy this moment. I'm learning from seasoned moms like you and Patty.

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