Written by Taleszia Raubenheimer
My beautiful daughter, Ray Kyra, was born on the 7th of January 2021. She was a week “late” and her birth was like something out of a movie scene! I was in active labour, on route to the hospital, and every bump in the road felt like it could be the catalyst for her imminent arrival.
After four months of maternity leave, being completely absorbed by this creation of the Divine and only just getting to grips with how utterly exhausting being a new mum can be, it was time to go back to work to care for my other baby – Happy Earth People. My baby, who had so patiently allowed me to take the time to embark on yet another transformation, this time as a mother.
Being an eternal optimist, I tried not to allow the sleep deprivation of a snotty 4-month-old to get to me on my first week as a working mum. I had missed my team and was looking forward to engaging my brain in a different way. As I left on my first day, with a bounce in my step, a little frantic, admittedly, I realised not only was my sweater on back to front, but I had also walked out of the house forgetting my keys. I was locked out!
All I could do was laugh. Because if there’s anything the introduction into motherhood has taught me, it is to maintain a curious sense of humour about it all.
It overwhelms your heart with love, to the point of disbelief that it was even possible to love so much. It’s powerful and utterly terrifying. The moment your children are born they begin to move further and further away, flowering into each stage of their existence. It’s beautiful and will also make your heart ache with pride.
It’s about relinquishing control because you will go mad as a box of frogs if you don’t make letting go your mantra. It’s accepting that you will probably have an audience when you pee and the likelihood of eating a meal that is still hot won’t be a part of your reality for a long time.
It’s waking up in the middle of the night, half-asleep shouting to your husband: “It’s a wind, it’s a wind, it’s a wind!” And as the two of you look at each other in the depths of the trenches, you surrender to just making it through the first three months with your sanity intact.
The transformation is unending. Like a snake that sheds its skin and will shed that skin again and again. The identity of the woman that once was, is stripped to her very core. The most primal, introspective time – nakedness in every sense. And there, as you stand with your heart now outside of your body, you do your best, not only in caring for this tiny being that needs you for survival but also in rediscovering who you are.
Trying to be gentle, as all the noise of the world bombards you with “dos and don’ts” when the magnitude of information on the internet will make you want to weep with worry. There’s a voice that wonders how we did it before all the how-to books? And then you realise that how picking up a baby-grow with your toes, happened without a thought. The nurturer was in you all along, the capacity for unconditional love didn’t suddenly come to fruition. It is who you are.
A selfless warrior, with a heart so extraordinary you mama, enliven the world most wonderfully. Of course, it’s easy to forget when the only thing that wakes your baby is the sound of you sitting down with a cup of tea! But, as someone in the very wise sisterhood that got me through this crazy time once said: “If you love your baby, that is enough.” so the next time you have one of those days or switch on that light in the middle of the night, remember you’re not alone.