Ksenia Wagner tells BeautyHack how children inspire us to change, why they prolong our life and how they make a woman more beautiful.
A tiny head and wet hair - they put a newborn son on my stomach. Exhausted, exhausted, dull from the epidural, I do not immediately understand that this pink animal is my new universe.
In the hustle and bustle of doctors, under the cold medical light, I feel only one thing - relief after the most difficult physical work in my life. I don’t cry with happiness (after the second birth, without anesthesia, by the way, I will), I don’t want to shout: “I am a mother!”, The only thing I want is to close my eyes and turn off my body, which has been working at its limit for ten hours.
But a few seconds pass, and I, feeling this tiny creature on me, its timid, helpless movements, realize that this is a part of me, MY child, MY son. And from the warmth of his tiny body, suddenly, at one moment, I feel such a surge of tenderness that I have never felt for anyone in my entire life. Animal, physiological joy of intimacy.
I can't see him completely, I can't even see his face - only those wet hairs like seaweed. They will remain in my memory for a lifetime - as the first, most powerful injection of happiness that motherhood gives.
In the following months, happiness hid like a mouse in a burrow from the big and gluttonous - everyday life. I made all the mistakes of a young mother - I fought with my grandmothers, tried to be perfect in everything (how it all ended, read here), panicked because of every baby pimple, and even combined motherhood with work, without letting go of my iPhone (once he fell on my son's head, and I burst into tears with shame that I was a “terrible” mother who, instead of enjoying feeding, sticks out on Instagram).
Several months passed before I exhaled and rethought my new life. I gave up striving for the ideal, perceiving the child as work, freed herself from the influence of relatives and began to listen to "I want" instead of "I must."
And when this happened, motherhood opened up to me in its entire rainbow palette. I began not only to understand its advantages - but to feel how they make life happier.
What was revealed to me?
First, a child is happiness that does not depend on circumstances.
Happiness that has no end point - your little person makes you happy every day, at every stage of his development.
And unlike many others, this joy is not an escape, not a fragile leaf that will tear it off with the wind. It is a strong root hidden somewhere in the very depths of your nature.
So he smiled for the first time, but he grabbed your nose in his fist and said "ma-ma", crawled, got up, ran - all these victories are also valuable because they are not repeated. You can buy a hundred bags, travel the world twice, get a promotion ten times and a pay raise thirty times - but only once will your child say the first word, take the first step, and for the first time say "I love you."
The pride, tenderness, tenderness and gratitude of life that the mother experiences in these seconds is not just an endorphin flash, as from a delicious dish or a vacation dive into the sea - but something so instinctive, bestial and at the same time angelically pure, which is impossible repeat or copy.
Second: children make us stronger and … more mature.
Even the bloodiest work conflict seems like a trifle when your child has 39.5 for the first time. With the birth of children, you understand the true value of things and you start looking at them without a magnifying lens in your eye.
We become truly adults not when we achieve success in work, recognition in society or financial independence, but when we separate from our own parents - and take responsibility for our children. Because no other responsibility requires so much courage and care at the same time.
Third: having children does not mean the end of a career.
Psychologists recommend staying with the baby "body to body" for at least nine months - this period (equal to being in the womb), in their opinion, is physiologically necessary for the baby for health and subsequent harmonious relations with the mother.
What are nine months compared to the years of your entire life and career?
In addition, personally, having children made me a much more flexible and productive leader than I was before.
No corporate training has given me as much of the managerial skills I need as motherhood.
A good parent and a good leader (think about the phonetic affinity of these words) are always similar. Both are reliable partners who are able to set an example, support and guide, but at the same time give the child / employee the opportunity to develop and move forward.
Fourth: a child is the best way to know yourself.
Before the birth of my children, I didn't really know myself, but this knowledge was incomplete. For example, I considered myself tough because I could work in the office for 15 hours. But after giving birth and two months of practically sleepless nights, I realized what REAL endurance is. And at the same time - what resource of love and self-giving is hidden in me, and what miracles my body and consciousness are capable of.
If before many of my actions - at work, in family, in relationships with friends - were dictated by habit, selfish desires, or, on the contrary, by the formula “this is how it should be”, then other mechanisms of motivation began to work with children. Children make us more aware, sincere and emotionally generous - because they are our reflection.
And no one wants to see something unpresentable in this reflection.
When I realized that my son felt and reproduced my anxiety, I began day after day, methodically and persistently, to get rid of the neurotic in myself, whom I had stubbornly ignored before.
A small child is your online broadcast, he not only repeats your actions, but writes them down to his memory card, fixes them as a picture of the world. And this awareness of responsibility for his future perception of life (that is, in fact, for his happiness and well-being), like nothing else, stimulates to sow the best in himself - and weed out the bad.
Fifth: a child makes a woman more beautiful.
Extra pounds, circles under the eyes, dry skin and hair problems - young mothers know what I mean. But all this passes - at most in six months or a year. And a new, special femininity remains for life. Each segment of a woman's life has its own breath, its colors and temptations. Flower-bud girls are beautiful in one beauty, thirty-year-old hetairas in another, but maternal beauty is beyond age and time. These are different eyes, intonations, movements, and most importantly - a special energy, molecules of love.
As a mother, I gained confidence in myself, which does not depend on the number on the scales, the number of wrinkles, hairstyle or cost of the dress. I am proud of my body, which gave life to new people, and I love the face they kiss. These caresses are my best rejuvenating elixir.
Sixth, children inspire us to change.
Today many people work for wear and tear, sit in the office for hours, and watch at the computer at home at night. For some it is an escape from reality, for some it is a form of masochism, someone is substituting a career for personal life. One way or another, by filling the world with new meaning, children save us from the labor self-immolation.
When you want to spend more time with them and be an example of happiness, not neuroticism, you start looking for a balance between work and personal - and doing this sincerely and consistently, you will definitely find it.
One of my acquaintances on maternity leave realized that her former profession did not make her happy - and when her son went to the garden, she went to study to be a designer.
Another started baking cakes for children with allergies, giving master classes to their mothers, and soon - without any astronomical investment - opened her own small bakery.
The third one left a high-paying job with a frenzied schedule - but a year later she found an even higher-paid job with an adequate schedule.
And my closest friend, who left Moscow for Tbilisi for her husband, after the birth of her daughter, began to keep a small blog about Georgia. In five years, he turned into a successful travel agency, and his friend gave birth to two more children, moved to a new apartment and launched a cool Instagram.
You can't earn all the money, success is a relative value, fame tends to dissolve in time, and life pulsates here and now - it's good that children help to understand this faster, as long as there is courage and fuel for change.
Seventh: children prolong life.
I've had a difficult period of depression in my life - and I'm not talking about stress, but about a specific medical diagnosis. Any depressive disorder is accompanied by thoughts of death. And I physically felt the fear of eternity, I rethought my life, my tasks, opportunities and purpose (I talked about this here).
At some point, everything, the whole big, motley, polyphonic, such a complex and patterned life seemed to me like something empty and random. I myself was an empty, hollow, wooden, doll whose factory ran out. I crawled day after day with the question "why is this all?" At one of the meetings, I asked my therapist:
- What does everything matter if everything is of course? Everything ends in one second, you disappear, you are no more. Even the greatest achievements are erased by time, everything that you have done is obscured by the new, you are forgotten, everything goes into oblivion. What will remain after me?
A few seconds passed and my doctor, a strong woman without craving for sentimentality, a successful teacher and also a mother, said quietly and simply:
- Your children will stay.
Depression is a hormonal disorder, an imbalance of certain hormones in the body. Probably, it was on that day that my hormones, like living soldiers, finally gathered in a line - and, albeit at first slowly, but still they walked in unison.
Something big and important in me responded to this simple phrase - it got warm on my chest and remained there, like a healing mustard plaster.
Of course, motherhood is woven from a thousand multi-colored threads and sometimes you find knots on this canvas, which are not easy to untangle. It is work and responsibility, and those who say that children deprive us of our freedom forever are partially right.
But they also give us freedom much more important than the opportunity to go to the theater or fly to Paris - the freedom to be ourselves and love without footnotes or restrictions. The way only mothers can.
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