How many children do you have? How old is your child?
1 daughter Simara and she is 17 months (when the heck did this happen?)
If you could tell your pre-baby self anything to prepare for motherhood, what would it be?
Everyone has said it. But I will repeat it. Sleep. A lot. Nap when you can. Because you will never experience sleep again. Sometimes it’s not even the baby waking you up but it’s the worry in the back of your mind that is going to keep you up. All of a sudden, you have this tiny person that is solely your responsibility and doesn’t even know it. Is she breathing? Did I hear her cry? Etc…
The times are definitely a-changing. The stay at home, betty crocker-esque archetype of motherhood is being redefined. In what ways do you think you are re-defining mother-hood?
I admire all betty croker-esque women as this is by far a tough job. I’m not sure if I’m redefining motherhood but I know that I’m making it ok to have someone else watch over your kids. I go to work, I do my best and go home and take care of my little family to the best of my abilities. Some days I cook. Some days, I let hubby know that we’re hungry and that he should probably get on it.
What has been your greatest challenge as a mother?
Letting go. Trying to adjust to the idea that I can’t do it all at the same time. If laundry is not done this week, it will get done next week. Dropping off Simara and hearing her cry when I leave and resisting the urge to run back and stay with her.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of motherhood?
The unconditional love that you get back. That little person wants to be around you, is always happy to see you, gives you kisses and hugs, mimics you just because you are their world. They ask nothing back. They don’t question your look of the day. They don’t care if you’re broke. They just want you.
What do you wish the most that your child cultivates and keeps in his/her adulthood?
Confidence. Nothing beats confidence in yourself. I have been natural for 4 months and dealing with post baby body issues. But no matter what I’m feeling in the morning, no matter what my hair is looking like, I put on a big smile and walk out and take on the world. I never realized how much confidence can be a determining factor in obtaining a job, building good relationships until I saw how the opposite affects people I know, people I meet. I am Haitian and the more I realize what that means, the more I keep my head up high. She is a descendant of fighters, of winners, she should always walk as such.
How do you maintain your sense of self against the constant demand for self- sacrifice and constant vigilance as a mother?
I get a pedicure. By myself. I find a sitter or sneak out of the house when hubby is doing something with her. Nothing beats the little massages to your deserving legs and the pretty toes that go along with it. Happy mommy, happy everybody.
Do you have anything to share to the anticipating or new mothers out there?
Enjoy every single moment and keep on laughing. They will eventually walk, so let them crawl. They will eventually speak, enjoy the babble. They will eventually feed themselves, enjoy feeding them. Enjoy every kiss. And when you’re not there to witness certain firsts, it’s ok. When you get to witness them, they will be first to you and you’re the only one who matters. You have incredible instincts that you never knew you had. Trust them and trust yourself. One day you will wake up and catch your baby before she rolls out of bed. One day, you will pick her up and cuddle her because you feel that she’s a little upset and needs some love. She isn’t speaking but you will just know. People (specially Caribean people) will tell you that your little milk (if you breastfeed) can’t possibly be enough. Nod and keep it going. And proof that there is an incredible bond between mothers… One day, you will need your mom and her advice badly. And you would pray, and think and work on a way to reach her. Your phone will ring and your mom, while at work in Haiti, will let you know that she was thinking about you and had to call you.
Love to see the daddy getting some play in this submission. What a gorgeous family you have Ms. Deodat!
It gets no sweeter.