Sunday, March 04, 2007

I have been a Mom for 6 months now....

This is March 2007, this time last year..we moved to Delhi.... I was three months pregnant......expecting JOY.....

I am a woman, a daughter, a sister and a wife... and six months ago... I became a mother...!!!!

This is one experience no one is ready for ... no one knows what to expect.... no one knows NOTHING ... not until you have become one yourself...
and ...
It doesn't stop there.....
Everyday...I learn something new about myself....
.... be it patience,intuition,foresight,tenderness ...
not everything is good...
.....I have also learnt that I can be and am very short tempered,a nag,irritable and sarcastic...( all the latter am sure The Husband will vouch for ..) ( My reasonning.... anybody will be all that... if they are sleep deprived...harrassed...lack adult company for 20 hours of the day( except for the maid).
For those who have read my earlier posts on pregnancy.....will know I spoke about the myths of pregnancy .... the myths and the reality....
Well !!! Being a mother is completely different ball game....
Oh! yes ... the advice from all over still flows in... on any and everything.....and yes... most of it .. helps.... experience does count... but still every child is different and every mother is different as well...
more so every parent brings up their child with best intentions and each style of parenting is unique and different..
Keeping in style with my post of myths and reality.... i shall try and sort through some of ther advice given and taken.... as well as put down some pointers for future parents ( mind you - this is not ADVICE) .

1: Don't leave home or even better your room for 40 days..... O-k-.....What about those who need to go back to work?.... What about those couples who don't have a support system?... There are some chores that need to get done like bank work...bills.... provisions....doctor visits....who will do those? Some fathers may need to travel on work or otherwise....so then who will hold fort....? ( Don't tell me that the father needn't travel.... well he has to work... of the mom is at home or on leave....some one has to make the money.... and don't tell me .. money isn't important.. IT IS ... we have to eat....we have to live.... our lives have been turned topsy turvy as it is with the new addition..... so some sanity and semblence is needed...some stability...hence daddy has to go to office...) So basically.... 40 days of quarantine....may be good for the child..may be good for the mother as she gets to rest....... but doesn't always work....

2: The mother should eat bland food.....the reason given is that the milk should not get spicy and harm the child....well...My doc categorically told us that the food I ate would not harm or affect my child.... he said ..however some foods could be avoided coz they might cause indigestion ....for me.....Anyways... in the first month or so... the new parents are so awkward.. and don't have a clue about a thing....so eating themselves is the last priority.... however... once a routine sets in.. and you start to treat your lil angel like a person and not a porcelain doll....gorging starts full time....it did for me... I was feeding so often... that I was perpetually hungry...if there was anything edible in front of me... I would eat it .
I met a few friends last night who are reed thin.... after babies... unlike me....who said that their hunger pangs had not happened... and that they hadn't felt the urge to gorge.... well...that didn't happen to me... Joy got a few stomache aches.. but not due to my food... but just colic... something almost all children get.

3.You will become slim if you breastfeed :Ahem!.... no such luck... am breast feeding and am FAT.

4. Don't worry about your figure.... running behind your child will be exercise enough... : What exercise...? Ok.. I do almost everything for Joy.. from his feeds to his maalish to his bath and cleaning routine and putting him to sleep.......my maid.. organises and arranges everything.....before I start the task.... so its not much of an effort.... Its something like someone cutting and washing the vegetables and arranging all the spices and masalas before the actual cooking begins.... then all one needs to do is stir.... easy.... not much effort... So similarly... not much effort....
also....
what running around....?....Why should I run around... when one has two part time and one full time helper in the house.. why should I need to run around?...so I don't.... hence no exercise in that way... hence am FAT....

Ok! ok!....no more cribbing......



I will however also talk about some of the good advice I got and took....

1.Sleep whenever you can : Well initially I thought that was easier said that done... how can one just go and sleep whenever your baby sleeps... doesn't one need to run the house.. supervise the help.. run errands etc.....? Well.... in the past month I have realised that everything is possible if one tries.... I was lucky I went to Kolkata to my in-laws for 10 days ... over there I didnt need to do much ..so whenever Joy slept I did too.... and boy did it make a difference... Not only was Joy sleeping longer...maybe it was my body warmth that kept him asleep.... god knows..! Now that am back.... I have been maintaining the sleep cycle for Joy and even though I can't sleep al the time... I do make it a point to sleep next to him in the afternoon... the two hour nap.. does me a world of good and gives me the energy I require for the night.

2. Make a routine and try and stick to it..: Another pearl of wisdom....when I had mentioned this to another cousin... She laughed at me and said "with kids you can't have a set routine"....BUt another knowledgable sister.... urged me to try and make a timetable.... and follow it ... Ihave and I found it amazing. It takes a while to set.... It took me a week to formulate .... lots of trials and errors happened..now we sort of have a routine... we have also been able to identify .. signs given by joy which indicate sleep, hunger and uneasiness.... as well as tantrums , potty , and jealousy( the last one has been quite an eye opener). So Now Joy has set feed timings and sleep timings as well as a set time for his bath... This has not only made life better for him but also for me and the rest of the household.

3. Both parents must reach a consensus on parenting technique : It is very important for both parents to agree on what has to be done and what should be done... they should be in sync about parenting techniques and strategies. It will be disastrous if one parent says A and the other says B. Kids are very smart .... they know exactly what to do in such situations and how to play up one against the other as well as .. which parent to go to in which situations. This consensus is also important when it comes to dealing with unsolicited advice and opinions expressed by elders and other nosy and know-it-all family members and friends.


4. Look for the most convenient methods and not be too demanding :We were told that diapers should not be used... we didn't listen...we tried all the age old methods of cloth diapers and all.. but it drove us nuts.... we ended up changing sheets and clothes through the night.... and in the bargain were exhausted and got no sleep ever... and also.. our son was fed up and cranky. We decided to use diapers and keep him in the diapers through out the day.. changing him completely every 4 hours... and also changing immediately whenever he needed it. Ok! so we spend a lot on diapers... but the money spent becomes irrelevant when you consider the amount of relief and peace it brings you. And yes ! our son did get a nappy rash once a week after being born.... we used a good nappy rash cream and that was that.....

5. Do not bundle the baby up as if he is in Antarctica : Our good doctor..was very good....he said the baby should wear the same number of layers worn by the parent and especially the father....along with one wrap.Children are heaty as it is... they sweat a lot and feel warm all the time. So if we go over board with the warm clothes.. the chances of the child getting a cold are very high..not due to the exposure to the cold but because of catching the cold due to over sweating and staying in damp clothes.








Now to give some general pointers....





1) Chill!!! Every mother is a first time mother at some point of time.....so everyone learns what to do and what not to do..... either through mistakes or just by chance and instinct.





2) For both parents the rule of the thumb should be follow your first instinct.... usually gutt feeling is the right feeling





3)Take time off as a couple even if it is for a walk or a cup of coffee or just sit in another room and chat...watch a silly film or just sit together in silence and read your own books or read a book together.





4) Try and get a good support system in place..be it helpers around the house...parents and family close by.....medical facilities within 10 minutes.....a good and reliable doctor.





Ok! I think I have cribbed enough.... given a lot of "Gyan" ( despite vowing not to give any advice).....etc..


So let me now change the topic and write another post.... and leave you with a few photographs of Joy..

Joy sitting up in his cot....He is the future rockstar in the making or so his T-shirt says..




I love this picture......round face....and toothless smile..and still very little hair

5 comments:

Diligent Candy said...

A very sensible post...

The Mad Momma said...

:) God yes... all those and more... I went bloody nuts with that not eating spice rule. am linking up your post.... and helli was out in a cycle rickshaw on bumpy roads with the brat at 15 days... wish i could have slept when the baby sleeps.. that is the best advice.. but i had all the housework to do at that time...

abt the breastfeeding and weightloss.. i think its part metabolism.. i lost 10 kilos in a week .. so it cant be all just breastfeeding...

but here you are.. 6 months down the line.. doing fantastically well!!! congratulations momma...

The Mad Momma said...

PS: check this out! http://twinkies.bastetweb.com/2007/03/08/did-i-mention-before-that-breastfeeding-is-the-worlds-best-diet/

Tharini said...

:)....cute post Tina. As a second time mom with a newborn I can relate to all that you wrote and more. Tell me abt the breatsfeeding vs losing weight thing! It ain't happening anytime soon, not at the rate at which I am hogging. :) Very cute picture and pictures down there of Joy. Loved the Santa pic for the beautiful colour composition.

Mona said...

i love the pictures, your baby's a doll!
i can't wait to see my own, few weeks to go.