Columnist Japke Janneke (31 years old) loves jogging and cycling and is the mother of son Lynn (7 months). She lives in Harlem with her boyfriend Kai. Before family Japke Janneke writes an honest column every two weeks about everything she encounters in motherhood.
“There we go! My first column for family. If you missed my introduction, I suggest you read this interview. Other than that, just briefly: I’m Jabek, I’m 31 and the mother of a seven-month-old son, Lynn. I live in downtown Harlem with my friend Kai.
light and dark
When I was asked to be a columnist, I didn’t have to think twice about it. After all, there’s a lot to say about new motherhood. In addition to my sports and personal life, I now also share a few things about being a mother on my Instagram account. The big question is always: What am I showing? With over a hundred thousand followers, that’s a basic question anyway, because tall trees pick up a lot of the wind.
However, I think it’s an important question for any parent. Because what do you share as a parent and what do you not? Can you show the beautiful picture? Or are you basically telling us how heavy they are? Let’s face it: fatherhood is like life. It has peaks and valleys, there is light and darkness and it is beautiful and loving and sometimes very sad, insecure and full of fear. Sometimes it seems light, but sometimes it is very heavy.
What do we say to each other? What do we show each other?
When I was pregnant, my friends who had kids would often tell me: “Enjoy it for a while!” or “Now it is still possible!” I always thought this was a crazy statement. Like you can’t have fun with the kids? As if things are no longer possible with such small things? Of course I realized that a lot would change, but didn’t we consciously choose a child? Actually we couldn’t wait!
Now that I’m older, I understand the phrase. Because it’s true: spontaneous dinners together, the weekend or going to the movies (mostly) aren’t possible. However, I will not pass it on in this way to pregnant women and expectant parents. Make sure to only enjoy the time you (still) have with the two of you, but there are also endless opportunities to enjoy this with a child. All you have to do is make a change in the way you think and look at all that is still possible.
During pregnancy, I also noticed what was in common and what was not. Partly because of the stories being told, it made for a very romantic picture of pregnancy. Walking around proudly with a growing belly, that’s a known pregnancy glowEat it all without feeling guilty, shop without shame and imagine the little one with your loved one. and yes; Some days it felt like a big pink cloud. But there were also a lot of days where I was in tears, didn’t feel safe about my body changing and doubted if I’d be a good mom. I have generally found pregnancy to be particularly mentally difficult because of this.
I have publicly shared my insecurities about my growing body online. There were many reactions. Many women realized this and felt more ugly and fat than a sexy pregnant woman. They were so glad I talked about this and I no longer feel alone with this feeling. On the other hand, I’ve been told many times: “Be glad you’re pregnant and have fun!” I’ve talked a lot about this with my environment. I was so grateful for that baby in my tummy and I definitely enjoyed it. After all, this is not self-evident. However, feelings can coexist. Even if you are pregnant, you may experience feelings of insecurity and fear. It is part of life. Light and dark, right?
Like this pregnancy, parenting varies from person to person. We have (so far) a very happy guy, who sleeps well and is easy to get along with. However, parenting is not always easy for me. As I mentioned in the interview on family Already involved, the maternity period began with postpartum psychosis. I am still processing this, both mentally and physically.
If you take a look at my Instagram account, everything looks rosy (though). Beautiful and happy pictures. Lots of pictures and Stories From our happy lane. Fortunately, it often feels that way. At the same time, by sharing my postpartum psychotic for example, I try to be very realistic and open. Sometimes it’s hard to find a balance. Then she returns to this question: What do we show each other? What do we say to each other? Not only online, but also as friends, family, neighbors or in the schoolyard. Can you tell me how much fun this Christmas was last weekend? Or are you also talking about your child’s tantrum, or a troubled infant, or your broken nights?
It’s so beautiful that we show each other different sides of pregnancy and parenthood. Not only beautiful things, but also less beautiful things. Just as it is. Just like life: light and darkness.
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