“Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease. ~Lisa Alther”
Looking back on my early days of motherhood, there are a few things I wish I knew as a new mom. While expectant moms and new moms often receive advice on common subjects like nutrition and rest, there are some aspects that no one really talks about. These are the things that affect moms everywhere, and they certainly deserve a mention. As I approach the 9-month mark with little Rajveer, I find myself reflecting on the haze of those initial months and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
5 Things I Wish I knew as a New Mom
1. Post-delivery is just as hard, physically.
The first few days are going to be incredibly challenging – once the baby’s out, you’d think Mommies could catch a break and get some time to recover right? Unfortunately NOT! It was almost the opposite for me. The first ten days were SO hard. It’s hard to poop (Piles is something most women develop. I was told), and it hurts to sit, which ironically is what you will do about 17,450 times a day. It was hard for me to not be as physically fit as I wanted to be. And I wish someone had told me that the first few days are going to be difficult. And that’s okay. I just wish I had been prepared.
2. Babies don’t care about toys.
You don’t need a truckload of toys – hard for first time Moms to understand, but it’s true! Babies are pretty simple, and nature didn’t design them to be drawn to materialistic pleasures, unlike adults! So mommies, don’t stress and buy every rattle, car, doll, or product that the media says you MUST have. All that talk of cognitive development and motor skills can be achieved with simple things you already have at home. Trust me, the baby will be more thrilled with the box itself, rather than the toy.
3. Take it easy on yourself.
There’s a lot of pressure on Moms these days, so it’s natural to be too self critical. But take it easy and don’t be so harsh on yourself. Do not beat yourself up every time you do something that’s against a norm. Trust me, it says a lot about the person judging you, than it does about your parenting. We all do our best, and it’s important to raise our babies in loving and caring environments first. So if you formula fed one night, relax. You’ll settle into a great routine that’s perfect for your baby and you. That’s all that matters anyway.
4. Save the memories.
Don’t forget to write stuff down; it’s important to put pen to paper and write down all the amazing stuff that happens, even the painful things. Whether it’s how your baby smiled at you today, or how you and your partner bonded post baby, or when he first bumped his head. It’s just one of those lovely little things that make life beautiful. Like I mentioned earlier, you’ll be in such a haze the first few months, you’ll be glad you kept a journal later! It’ll help you and your partner reflect on these exciting times with gratitude and love 10 years from now.
5. You will LOVE your baby.
Movies and advertisements have this image of perpetually smiling mothers, but don’t worry if your feelings are in the opposite direction! It’s okay if you don’t feel that instant, glorious, all-encompassing bond, the minute you push your baby out. Your mind and body is going through a lot during and right after delivery, so it will take a while for everything to settle so that you can recognize your true feelings. Those motherly feelings of love and care don’t come in a sudden burst for everyone. So relax, take a deep breath and know that you are soon going to be madly in love with this precious new person in your life. And there’s no better feeling in the world!
Chandni Bhagat is a new mommy who is also a Child Psychologist. She runs a popular day care chain Jumping Genius in Bombay. Her blog covers her take on mommy-hood and life between three cities- New York, Bombay and Dubai! She’s an enthusiastic, avid reader and loves spending time with her two main men! Read more posts by Chandni at www.raiseamommy.com.