Baby D celebrated his first birthday last weekend and I am still oh so excited about it. The same day also marks my first mommyversary, a feat that should be truly cherished and celebrated.
From being a prudently watchful, helpless first-time mom, I gradually transformed into a more confident, mentally stronger super-mommy who never hesitates to experiment and adopt various parenting methods learnt from the web and the actual world around.
The currently surviving one year old mother in me is entirely different from her nemesis, who is none but her old self – the frightened, insanely insecure, depressed soul that struggled hard every microcosmic moment and piously prayed for the postpartum phase to get over just like that. Prayers are not always answered. Atleast to me those days. The first six months of being a mother is the longest period of time I ever lived in my life. I wonder how and why other moms often let out a mutter of grief about how their child’s first year passed so quickly. Must be quipping, I am sure. Or will the upcoming days turn crazier than what I’m venting now? *puppy eyes* *facepalm*
Ooh wait, this is supposed to be a cool post. Or not.
Okay. Okay. Time to recall the mindfulness scriptures and get back to being the best mom version of me.
So here goes a summary of my transformation:
- Acceptance: I used to brood over baby D’s unfriendly sleep cycle and delayed milestones to Dr.H all the time and even made several attempts to change things. It only added to my agony. Later I began to accept things as they are. It has drastically changed my perspective of life, with respect to rearing the kid. We don’t even dare to sleep-train baby D these days, let him play as long as wishes to and put him in the bed only when his eyes shrink. Every child is different. So is the occurrence of their milestones. The neck will strengthen, the legs will stand firm, the child will babble, but only when their own body is convenient. Their clocks are different from what parenting apps teach us. I understood this only after six months of my baby’s birth and life has become much easier thereafter.
- If I could, I would. But I can’t, so I shan’t: I always dreamt of emulating the techniques our grandmothers used to raise their babies. I desperately wanted to show the birds and feed baby D, use soft saree cloth for cradle, place him on the feet to bathe and potty-train, show him the joy of living together with a million family members under the same roof and what not. Sometimes dreams never become a reality. The nuclear setup requires a different style of living, for which shooing the crows won’t work. I am looking after my kid all alone for most of the time and after the traditional baby-rearing methods had failed, I half-heartedly resorted to utilise the baby gears in full swing. They are something that we can’t live without and together they do the job of a might nanny who has never let us down so far. In the first few months, nearly three-fourth of our income periodically disappeared in the investment of baby essentials. This is probably the only wise decision we made that helped us from the beginning till date. If you are sailing in the same boat as mine, I insist you to invest in durable baby gears to make parenting less stressful. Always remember, happy parents make happy kids!
- Ignore the opinions: “Give curd. It has probiotics”, “Curd? Who on earth gives curd to a baby?” “You have a boy baby. You should breastfeed him for two years”, “Give biscuits. When you were a baby, we always fed you biscuits”. “Give gripe water.”, “No gripe water.” “Why no holy thread around the waist?”, “He is noisy like your father.”, “He is mischievous like you”, “he is old enough to walk. Did you get his legs checked?” As many gifts you receive for the baby, you are bound to get double their amount of opinions for free. The pain of squeezing another human out of us is nothing when compared to the endless opinions (especially negative ones) bestowed upon the inexperienced mommy brain. Here’s a funny quote I always remember when I am over-exposed to unsought opinions, “Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them and most of them stinks.”
- It’s okay to fall: It’s okay if the baby hits its head, it’s okay if the baby falls from the cradle or cot. It’s not just mine who frequently tumbles down, but every tiny toddler who explores the big world around them. (Rhyme unintended, but it does sound nice 😉 ) When baby D had his first fall, I almost lost few minutes of rhythm in my heart. Governed by a guilty mind, I ran around the house letting a hysterical cry that unfortunately made the situation only worse. After talking to my friends who have bigger babies, I understood it’s nothing but a part of the growing phase which leads to greater milestones. Unless blood oozes out or the bump doesn’t go off for days, babies are just fine. They are guarded by invisible fairies of God, after all.
(Photos from unsplash.com)