Musings Of A New Mum

It’s just a little after 9:30 am, and already, there were 2 diaper changes, 3 Zoom meetings, a bowl of breakfast on the kitchen floor and a hefty laundry list of to-dos. One of which – Do laundry!

At 9:45 am, as we sat down with Meg for our Zoom interview, she was taking her first sip of morning coffee while breathing a long audible sigh of relief as she panned the camera over to Lili so we could say hello to her while she’s happily playing by herself on the floor. Yes, Lili woke up this morning and chose cuteness.

That pretty much sums up most of Meg’s mornings – a flurry of activities peppered by a couple of surprises along the way. But for a first-time mum, Meg seems surprisingly unfazed by what would have been considered a chaotic morning for most. “Well, the calmness you see now wasn’t always there. It was mostly born out of necessity.” After maternity leave, Meg decided to return to work. The decision she made with her husband to return to work was a tough one because it meant juggling career and family responsibilities, and more importantly, time away from her newborn.

Being OK With Good Enough

As any new mum would be, the late-night feedings, incessant cries, exhaustion and more leads to stress, frazzled nerves and simultaneous feelings of lack and overwhelm. Pair all that with a constant sense of self-doubt, and not doing enough can really start to take a toll.

“With a finite amount of time and energy levels, I came to the realisation that there was only so much that I could do. Even maxing out every waking hour would not equate to better results. I had to learn to be ok with good enough because I had done my best. My priority is my daughter, and that alone means that my default mode is always doing my best for her. Good enough meant being gentler and kinder with myself regardless of the outcomes because I know I wouldn’t have given any less. So, if some things didn’t turn out as I had pictured in my head, it’s ok because it was still good enough for that moment.”

It truly does take a village

Meg and her husband acknowledge that the reason why they were even able to consider this massive juggling act was simply because of the support from their parents.

“My journey as a first-time mum has thankfully been manageable despite having Lili during the pandemic and at a later stage of my life. In Japan, there are strong expectations for mothers to be stay-home mums.”