Hibo Elmi is the youth advocate at RBAC; she is responsible for ensuring youth and others know about RBAC and the community. She has recently taken on a bigger responsibility. Motherhood. Here are her thoughts.
What has motherhood been like for you?
“For me, I mean, everybody is different. It has been overwhelming but also very; I don’t even know the word to use. I don’t want to say happy, but something strong; the emotions are powerful. You see your child smiling in your sleep, and you’re like, This is why you do this. This is why I’m up every night. This is why you know, it’s all worth it. I get support, you know, people support call checkup or check up on me check in at the house. So there has been mentally good for me to know I have a support system. There helps a lot because nobody can do this alone. It’s very hard. Motherhood it’s been excellent of all the bad and the good. I’ll take it all. I’ll do it all over again. It’s a blessing.
On the other side. It can be challenging. I have nights where I’m like, just go to sleep because I have been up all night. Like there are nights while you’re like, why did I do that?
What is it like working full-time and being a mom?
Hibo is very grateful to RBAC because it allows her to work from home while also caring for her child, and many parents don’t have that option. RBAC has been a great support system from pregnancy to babies.
“Sometimes, there are meetings that I can’t make. Sometimes working full-time and taking care of yourself full-time can be challenging. So it took me a lot to get a schedule figured out. For me to organize myself better my schedule better, it was a very difficult thing that took me three-four months. The reason why it’s difficult is because his schedule is changing while he’s growing. So, he’s doing something different every two weeks if he sleeps well this week. The next week his sleeping schedule like all over the place. So that affects my work when having to get up. You know, I work in the morning. I haven’t set that alarm. There are times when I don’t even hear the alarm. So it kind of affects me getting up in the morning, but also that was when he was younger. Now his sleeping habits are consistent. Now, I can plan better and be at meetings better. It’’s all about adapting to your child’s needs because if your child is not, you know, he’s not the best he can be. He’s not doing well at the moment. You’re not about to be present at work in meetings because you’re worried about your child. So I always make sure, like, my child is good first. There’s nothing wrong with him. So I can be present.”
What’s your favorite part of motherhood?
“It’s the little thing they do from when they learn to smile. It’s so precious. That’s what it’s more or less why being a parent is all about, like when they just look at you, and you’re feeding them. You’re breastfeeding them. My favorite part is when I’m breastfeeding, and he’s looking at me like he feels safe, secure. That warms my heart. That’s my favorite part of my day when my son looks at me and feels safe, comfortable, and happy, putting me in a place of peace. That’s the best part of parenthood for me.”
Do you have advice for new parents?
The big advice I would give, especially for the moms, would be you’re doing a good job. You know, there are times when you feel like, oh my god. Is he okay, am I doing this right? Am I a good mom? You know, you’re doubting yourself. So I’m learning to tell myself every day that I’m doing a good job. Be patient, you’re still learning. Especially if you’re a new parent, always be patient. Be kind to yourself, it’s easier to put yourself down rather than pick yourself up. It’s easier to say oh my god, you know, I’m a shitty mom. I’m not doing this… The hard part is, you know, telling yourself I’m a great mom and doing the best that I can. The first couple of months have been very depressed and I thought I wasn’t doing anything right. Even though my husband tells me you’re doing a good job, everything’s good. He’s fine. He looks good. You know he’s healthy. You know, you always feel you’re not doing enough for your child. Sometimes you gotta stop yourself and say he’s good. He’s happy you’re doing a good job. You know?”