Resilient and balanced motherhood
What is resilience? Why is resilience so important in structures? What happens if a structure is not balanced? What about when it happens to a person?
Resilience and balance, two qualities that I find are directly related to motherhood and life in general.
It is said that a structure is resilient when after receiving an earthquake it recovers the deformation energy, that is, it returns to its resting state; during the earthquake it deforms, but then everything returns to normal. In that same way, motherhood came to me like an earthquake that shook me physically, emotionally and spiritually, that has made me learn more than I had learned in my whole life.
Without realizing it, I was acquiring new opinions towards everything around me, my priorities changed, I became more sensitive in matters of babies, education, parenting, humanity and a endless list of related things. After that earthquake, I did not acquire the balance immediately, in fact, I am still balancing.
As a human being, as a woman, as Syanya, I have many interests, dreams and activities that I love. With a baby that goes to the side, at the beginning, but little by little I have sought balance, finding it at times, having my feet very well-founded and letting the top of my body deal with the jerks, until they cease. As is like a building after the earthquake.
Whenever I imagined having children, I saw myself taking care of them. The closeness of the mother in early childhood is very important for me; that’s how I lived at home with my mother and I think it was and has been very enriching for me and my siblings. Dedication, attention, the bonds that are formed are crucial. Thanks to that we are what we are now and seeing them, I feel very proud, as well as my parents.
Why do I mention this? Because it is something key in the dynamics that I have in my life right now. Being pregnant I continued working as a structural engineer. In the whole process of my pregnancy my partners, even my bosses, were very aware of me, they fulfilled my cravings for pregnancy. I don’t remember exactly what stage of my pregnancy I was when I talked with Federico Alba about my future job and he was always willing to adapt to a new way of working or to special schedules. I was not surprised, since I am not the first mom in Alba Proyecto Estructural and the managers have always transmitted to the team the interest and concern about that we feel happy and do not neglect our family and / or personal life. Therefore, Federico proposed to wait for Ikal to be born, to spend my quarantine and inability in order to decide my future job at ALBA.
Around the sixth month of pregnancy they detect that my baby had excess cerebrospinal fluid in a cerebral ventricle, with the possibility to develop into hydrocephalus. My medical checkups became more continuous and I always had the hope that it was a medical misinterpretation or that in the end it turned out that this liquid magically decreased.
Ikal was born on a Friday, a week after my disability began. I received it with feelings of deep love as I had never felt before, with tenderness, fear, uncertainty and much affection, and, I must say, a little stunned by the local anesthesia of the caesarean section. That Friday, July 28, 2017, the doctors involved decide to schedule his operation the next day to place a ventriculoperitoneal bypass valve and drain the extra fluid. The joy of receiving Ikal turned gray with this imminent operation. Fortunately it turned out without inconvenients, but my little warrior was left 10 days more in intensive therapy for observation and more studies, detecting a coloboma in his right eye, a malformation that is the cause of his strabismus.
All this forced me to have strength and put a good face on the future. The doctors recommended me to take Ikal to early stimulation, to help him in his development since, with a little uncertainty, he was predicted learning difficulties and autonomy.
With this situation I spoke with Federico again and in my desire to continue working we agreed to a new position working from home for part time, to be able to keep an eye on my baby. I felt deeply supported and fortunate, because it allowed me not to disconnect from my career and at the same time take care of my baby full time, something that few companies do and so many women are forced to leave their babies in nurseries or leave their careers sideways, at least a while.
It is important that more companies have a change of conscience and culture, as we are more and more women professionals and it seems fair that we can have flexible schedules and other facilities for mothers.
A little more than a year later, I felt the need to return to the office, so I spoke with Andrés Sánchez, my direct boss in turn, and they just had a vacancy for the coordination of the RETAIL area, which I took and I currently occupy.
While working at home, I took on the task of informing myself about early stimulation by taking a small course and I was applying the exercises Ikal learned for a while. Then we pay for therapies at home and finally he entered the CRIT where he takes language, physical and occupational therapies. On the outside we also take it to visual therapy.
The earthquake I mentioned has had many aftershocks, but we have adapted to these shocks. I have learned not to compare my baby’s development with that of any other, to respect his learning pace, but always encouraging him to keep moving forward, to value each achievement as minimal as it may be and sometimes make me shed a tear of Mom proud of her baby. I also learned that the time dedicated to a child, who feels loved, listened to, supported and valued, is very important because their self-esteem is built since childhood, to teach them that everything they can do can be done through perseverance and effort .
Before being a mother I had more activities in my daily life, one of them is dance. Happily I have taken it back: it is so part of me that I had to add it back to my life.
I am balancing every day. We all have different areas of our lives that we need to satisfy, they are the forces that keep us in balance, that keep us happy and full. I see it crucial that being a mother I did not stop being what I already was. I did not abandon myself, I did not neglect. It may sound selfish to some that the fact that a mother thinks about it, but if one wants to, is organized and has the support of the couple, family and friends, it can be achieved.
I think it is more valuable for Ikal to grow up happy by seeing me happy, because besides being a mother, I can continue being a professional, working in my work, dancing, sharing a taste for art and a sense of responsibility. Sometimes I think it’s a bit ambitious, but at the same time it fills me with energy having a thousand activities in the week, new challenges with Ikal and being able to see his smile, that smile that melts me every day.