Motherhood is an experience just as old as your oldest child and is therefore something you are forever learning as your children grow.
Six years back in time when I was expecting my daughter,I thought motherhood was going to be just another part of my life. I had survived marriage,how difficult could this be?
When my daughter was born,I realised that marriage was the simple part, being a mother was not only life changing but a new life all together!
There is a long way ahead but the past six years have given me many sweet and sour, happy and teary moments that I shall treasure forever.
A few of them that I shall always remember are…
My daughter and sleep were two eternal enemies. They simply could not co-exist. I am not particularly fond of sleeping but I do need my share of 6-7 hours of sleep to function. Baby S entered my life and sleep vanished. She started crying the moment we tried to lie down and sleep and kept it on till wee hours of the morning. I tried feeding her,burping her,giving her anti-colic meds and what not but the crying did not stop.
Initially , I tried a lot to console her, convincing myself that it was just a phase.
Then the insomnia started getting on my nerves….
I was tired,bag eyed and feeling utterly useless.
I thought there was something seriously wrong with me or my child.
Now the moment she started crying, I started along too.
So much so that my husband took us both to the pediatrician and asked her if this was normal(P.S. not to forget,I am a medical doctor but trust me, nothing works when you become a parent)
The pediatrician just laughed it off and said,’Give it time. It will be ok. Every child is different.’
I did not find it amusing. It looked like a part of some evil plan that my baby was happy throughout the day and changed into this bundle of cries at night. I eyed her with suspicion the moment darkness descended,even tried to sleep with the lights on to fool her but nothing worked.
This went on for almost four months when one night,she just slept peacefully. Thereafter,she never woke up in the middle of the night and slept continuously for 7-8 hours at a stretch.
I have no idea what I was doing wrong or what I did right that night…but as I said…no guides work! Your baby is the ultimate authority and the only deciding factor of how your life as a mother shall be.
The toothless wonder
Baby S decided to scare me once more. She just did not graduate to teething. Milestones vary in every child and she had started smiling,sitting even walking so I thought it was ok that she was lagging a little behind in one aspect. Then came her first birthday and she was still in her toothless avatar.
Now I was worried. You know how everyone is eagerly ready to advise?
‘You young people think you know everything. Give her calcarea-phos.’
‘Being a doctor,she thinks she knows all. Massage her gums,it will strengthen the roots.’
I was irritated but since my knowledge had been proven otherwise by Baby S, I reluctantly agreed to try everything. Baby S had other plans. I checked her mouth everyday and she chuckled but there was no sign of any teeth.
I called up my father’s sister who is a dentist and asked her if I needed to get Baby S X-rayed.
She laughed,’Don’t worry. Have you ever heard of someone who never had any teeth?’
Again,according to whatever ‘shubh-mahurat’ she was waiting for, one day at one year and three months of age, Baby S took my finger and bit it hard. I shrieked in pain and excitement as a spotted a tiny white speck on her lower gums.
Now how do I explain that?
Food-the best toy
The cutest memories I have are of Baby S wanting to do things on her own when she could not. When she was a year and a half,she insisted on eating a bowl of curd herself. She managed to eat a couple of spoons and spread the rest on every body part and on everything within a radius of one foot. She looked cute enough to be eaten.
I went easy on her this time,knowing well that it was not going to go according to my plans based on prior experience. I totally gave in to the highly gratifying temptation of using a diaper for her till she was two. When she was about to join playschool,I decided to give it a try and brought a beautiful potty seat shaped like a duck and made her sit on it. I must have had some amazing stroke of luck or might have evoked the sense of love for her mom in Baby S…she pooped. Though I wasn’t that lucky in the later attempts and was mostly running after her and putting her back on the seat, yet she wasn’t that harsh on me and was potty trained soon.
First day of school
The day Baby S went to play school, I realised for the first time that she had existence beyond me and this was just the beginning of her independent life. She was scared and apprehensive but I was scared more. It took some time for the feeling to sink in that she was growing up and stepping out. I will always be scared and worried for her everytime she walks out the door,waiting for her to be back home safe but the fear is a part of being something I can give up the world for-a mother!
Being a mother is taxing yet rewarding
It is scary yet fun
It makes me laugh the hardest
also makes me cry the most
But it is the best possible feeling in the whole world
to love a child & be loved back more!
So to all you mothers out there, I give no advice except to cherish every moment as a mother and not to compare yourself with anyone. There can be better moms than you…but there cannot be a better mom for your child than you!