Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mommyfication

It has come to my attention that the girl I once treated like a little sister is four months pregnant. Her younger sister whom I also treated like a younger sister got pregnant, I think, a year or two ago when she was around 16 years old.

I’m disappointed, to say the least. I know I’m not in the proper position to give any reaction about it, let alone a negative one. But I can’t help it if I shrug at the thought that these kids whom I used to know—or thought I knew—are having their own kids.

On some level, I’m happy for them. At least they know that their reproductive organs are working. I mean, now they can prove that the mess and the pain they have to contend with on a monthly basis has a higher reason behind it. Child bearing.

Still I think they are too young to have babies. But what bugs me is that they didn’t seem to have learned from the consequences of the wrongs done in the past by those who came before them. There is a reason why we have to witness other people commit mistakes. I guess, these girls just watched and forgot to take notes. Too bad they failed to benefit from others’ faults and instead plunged into the same blunders as if they have no idea what they were getting themselves into. Tsk. Tsk.

I have my personal list of requirements a woman should satisfy before considering a change of lifestyle not just for nine months but, oh, forever.

I’m not quite sure if satisfying at least one or two will do. Perhaps you can check them out:

1. Financial stability. More or less, you should have graduated from college thus ensuring the ability to get a good job for yourself and your baby. “Financial stability” doesn’t mean mommy and daddy are rich. You can’t have babies then let your parents save you from the financial perils of parenthood! You got yourself a kid, you go find ways to support that kid. Plus new papa can always run away from you and your baby that’s why it will be safe for you, the person who’s about to give birth and raise your child, to have a lucrative means of livelihood.

2. Sound maturity. Baby = responsibilities. It’s some sort of a combo. You can have fun playing with your baby but there will always be realities to check. And you have to be there all the time in case of troubleshooting. Maturity means you won’t run. Maturity allows you to handle situations parenthood and those in between bring.

3. A tight partner. In our day and age, I don’t really think a husband is a requirement but if it is a husband you have then congratulations! You are one of the lucky ones. In any case, having a decent, responsible partner in rearing your baby is a total gift from the heavens. You’d have someone to assist you in your child’s financial needs. There’d be someone to balance your misgivings or perhaps overgivings—if there’s such a word—which will ultimately be good in the proper character formation of your child. And finally, you can count on someone can take over whenever you are sick, absent, or temporarily crazy. One thing to take note of: You will always be better off alone with your child if it means living with one lousy partner who beats you emotionally, physically, financially, and whatever other means he could and would.

4. A good sense of selflessness. Once you give birth, the world is no longer about you. The center of your life’s gravity shifts from you to your child. It takes a good sense of selflessness to put the new creature you brought into this world first despite your personal needs. Great mommies are hailed for their abilities to put their children at the top of their priority list whenever the situation calls for it. They do this without without actually wanting to be hailed. And their good sense of selflessness is perhaps anchored in their willingness to do things for their children out of love and not out of obligation. If you can do that, you can do every good thing to your child.

5. Mommy knowledge. Yes, there’s no such thing as school for parents, let alone a mommy course. But mommy knowledge is still a must to avoid parenting faux pas which may leave your kid damaged. Bear in mind that children don’t come with warranties. Once you drop them, you're toast. Unfortunately your baby will be more toast than you. So it is best to read books, magazines, journals or web articles that enumerate tips in child rearing. You can also solicit parenting whatnots from those who have been there and have done it. You’d at least know that you have to be extra careful in touching your baby’s undeveloped skull, the part called fontanel; otherwise things will be irreversibly bloody.

6. Open, flexible mind. As a mom, you have to admit that you are work in progress. Therefore, never stop learning to become the best mom from all sources possible and do your best to limit the blows of your mistakes. Although, there’s always hope after screwing up. Part of being a good parent is acknowledging the things you’ve done wrong and making up for them. Doing good at the making up part makes you better at it.

7. Model-material human personality. If you find anything redundant about that, then well and good. That means you noticed how being a respectable human being is emphasized where becoming a parent is concerned. Your offspring will initially look up to you for guidance and eventually put you on a pedestal. You ought to be deserving of your child’s belief in you. For heaven’s sakes be a good role model first before attempting to give birth.

That’s all I can think of for now. But I am aware that there are more prerequisites to being a good, deserving mother. The bottom line really is, it’s not easy. Being an accidental parent will make the ordeal much harder than it already is. But even then, you have nine months to complete your requirements. Nine months to prepare for the impending life-altering moment. Nine months to grow up and acquire the mommy qualities you need to posses.

All for your baby’s sake.

So good luck.

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