Another post by the mommy, for the mommies :)
The need to be a good parent is a disorder. Some women just let their kids be , assuming the child knows what’s best for him/her. Others obsess about what to do , how to do, when to do and why to do – in spite of whether the kid likes it or not . And they do that seriously , round the clock. Over thinking and maybe ( honest confession ) over doing it !
Am sure there’s no rule book to good parenting. And raising up a healthy , active child is what every mother aims to do. But some maniacs like me also want to raise a well behaved , non-fussy child. Now , THAT’s the challenge. I mean both the intention and the expectation of a conducive result.
And when one’s following this pursuit relentlessly , there are chances that one may run out of steam ( or motivation or conviction – coz mostly its a one person army fighting this battle). Just about then its easier to define what your baby should NOT do , and maybe there in lies the secret of good parenting.
So if you don’t want your 1 year old to dance on ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ – screen the media he’s exposed to .
If you don’t want him to watch doremon at 1 : 30 in the night or 8 : 00 in the morning – don’t let him watch TV at all till he’s a certain age. And then too , restrict the content and screen time he’s exposed to.
See , it works like a magical cause & effect template – that’s as commonsensical as it can get .
Good habits are not built overnight . It takes a lot of example setting , context setting and constant corrective steps ( with acknowledgment of course ).
So its wrong to expect your child to have veggies and fruits when he sees you living on junk food day in day out. And obviously using ice-creams , chocolates as bates to get something done automatically elevates its value in the kids eyes.
So don’t be surprised ( that is if you care about it at all ) if your toddler survives on chips , cookies , chocolates , soft drinks and ice creams By the time he’s 2. We don’t need research to show how bad they are for us adults. For kids eating junk food as staple diet – that’s a carnal parenting sin as far as I am concerned.
I have a long way to go before my little baby becomes a little person with his own opinions on what to wear and what to eat . But I want to add value to his life ( which I guess is my biggest job as a mother ) I need to start from now . I would rather be the mom my kid wants to trade with someone else than be the one whose okay with his thumb-sucking/tantrum throwing/ food wasting/junk food eating / tv watching and lack of discipline.
That’s the choice am making . For the both of us.
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.
This post is strictly for moms, the newer the better and those obsessive women (like I was) who start wondering about good parenting the day they decide to be a mom!
Being a mom is about always being prepared.
Your little one has no way of expressing his discomfort or displeasure other than crying out to get your attention.
And no matter how much you take care he’s bound to get that dreaded Diaper Rash or feel a bit under the weather.
While you tend to a cranky , dull or sad baby – you have to be patient, very very patient. The only mantra that keeps you going is – “Its going to be fine”. For the both of you :)
Here are some experiences that almost every mother would go through at some point of raising a new born. I know iron-lady you only want to hear – ‘its fine!’ So here, I said it!
Infections / Allergies :
My 13 day old wasn’t wetting as many nappies as one would expect a new born to do. And then orange stains started to appear on his nappies. Post an ultra sound and numerous precautionary test that were more difficult to go through than bringing him into the world – we found out about his UTI . As scary as it may sound – its an infection that’s very common esp in baby boys.
The cause – he had starved himself and the ammonia content in his bladder was too high. The solution – drinking more milk , wetting more nappies and keeping him super clean.
Cough / Cold / Chest congestion:
No matter how well you cover up and keep you baby tucked – cold , cough,fever and chest congestion can happen irrespective of the weather. What’s worse is that one is linked to another .
Crocin drops , cough medicine are not as bad as they sound . Even if you are the types whose anti-medicines . What really helps clear out your baby’s chest is steam. So invest in a good steam apparatus . Do take him to a doctor if fever , cough or cold persists .
What we thought was just a bad bout of cough due to cold/chest clogging was actually bronchitis for our 4 month old. Again – something very very common for small babies how much ever earth shattering it may sound.
Even though you might have people around you keeping a track of how many times your baby pooped and discuss it colour , frequency at great lengths ( don’t stress yourself) , its a parenting thumb rule – bowel movements are not an indicator of your babys health! Infact I agree with my mom when she says – constipated baby is better than the one with loosies! ( Enough potty talk I guess).
But if your baby is having a problem with BMs when you’ve just started solids – it can be an indicator of something that you are doing wrong – over load his digestive system.
So take it slow . Don’t get ambitious . Start with fluids – mashed curd , sooji kheer , daliya and move to banana’s in curd and boiled veggies/stewed apples.
If relooking at what he’s eating doesn’t help – add a little more sugar to him milk than normal . And watch your baby “relieved” :)
There will be times when your baby would have a minor redness here and there and then one fine day you ll see his bottom going a colour of fiery red!
Diaper rashes obviously happen when the diaper is worn for too long or its poopy and you didn’t realize it.
But let’s not question your judgment and skills as a mom! Just a word of caution- its pretty common when babies start solids so don’t beat yourself down! Stick to your routine – powder /pat dry your baby’s bottom, cleanse it often , avoid soap unless necessary , let him go diaper free when its safe and yes , use rash-free a magical cream available at your neighborhood chemist or coconut oil to watch it disappear !
This list if obviously WIP and so is the task of being a perfect mom.
But if you are happy doing everything you can – even when the going gets tough – you’ll see how its not as tough afterall.
Being a new mom I was told was a roller coaster ride. There are moments of mind numbing guilt , heart wrenching in securities , millions of uncertainties and obviously a lot going on outside and inside your head.
So its not often that one kind of wonders that apart from the occasional ‘up’ mostly you are dealing with ‘down , down , down’.
The joy of watching your little one cross one big milestone after the another – expressing his feelings , discovering the world around him , learning new skills & growing up to be one with the world are definitely there.
But in between these little moments are questions that loom large . And then there is a huge multiplier – if you are a working mom .
So you ll need to be prepared to miss out on a lot of the ‘happy moments’ since you can’t constantly be there at his side.
You need to lose your sense of control over all those notions/opinions about your baby’s upbringing since your instincts/ borrowed wisdom on what’s right / proper will have to fight a constant battle with someone’s experience that you can never match up.
For a long long time ( read that forever) you’ll wonder if you are doing justice to even one aspect of your life – work or home – coz you’ll be constantly hanging in the middle of nowhere.
You’ll need to stay calm. It’ll be perhaps the most difficult thing to do considering the world will be falling apart around you on a daily basis.
But at the end of the day – you’ll have to keep your head high and take pride in giving your best shot to the toughest job in the world.
Take a moment when the going gets tough. Gather your wits. Give yourself a pat on the back for the strength & sacrifice.
And then the ride starts again.
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.
There’s something quite unnerving , bordering to infuriating about watching a toddler pull down his shorts to pee right in the middle of a residential market place .. Worse .. In the presence of a much elder person accompanying him.
So the question is . If we can’t teach our sons to control their bladder in public .. Can we expect them to control their language , temper and raging hormones when they grow up?
Need to start putting together a list of things I must teach my son — before I expect him to respect traffic rules , right to choose or for that matter women !
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone
Deep deep inside .. We all are hoaders .
Clothes that don’t fit . Shoes that we don’t wear anymore . Junk from our last workplace . Emails / SMS that date ages back .
Grudges that we hold long after we forget the reasons causing the unpleasantness .
Perceptions that we formed that nothing can change anymore.
we hold on to the things , images , visions , feelings from the past as a part of who we were .
But as we grow older , wiser , better errr or lets just say different from who we were . We need to sometime let go of those ‘things’ what made us what we were back then , so that we can make some space for the ‘things’ that we have today that make us what we are now.
So sometimes , we need to stop clinging on those redundant things hoarding up the precious space in our homes & in our hearts to breathe a little easier and feel a little lighter.
So Today .. Maybe I ll clean my wardrobe . Make that call to clear some air . Pack some old stuff in a bag and put it away forever . Wipe my mind clean of some old junk .
Today I ll come out of my little corner of solitary confinement and join the world feeling lighter . afterall , isnt de-cluttering the best therapy?
We love milestones.
They represent joy, celebration and little pieces of past glories that we carry forward to the future.
That’s why perhaps they stand for hope . And certainty.
Birthdays , Anniversaries , First Job , The day we joined our place of work. The day our kids are born so on and so forth.
When you mark a milestone , you celebrate today something that happened at a predefined time ago – that you are sure ( or you rather hope ) will happen at a predefined time in future.
And when you hardly know what tomorrows gonna be like – that’s like a big thing to look forward to and hence celebrate.
But as we grow older , and a bit wiser – some of these ‘happy recaps’ become vaguely forgettable . So the day you met your husband – might be etched in your brain like a 3D image – but you might not consider it as important as say your baby’s ‘weekly birthday’.
Simply put – your priorities change . And Valentines day is now not as important as say your anniversary which isn’t as significant as your child’s Birthday.
But that’s quite sad . Coz one lesser milestone – means one lesser reason to celebrate. And who needs lesser reasons to be happy honestly speaking.
February most definitely is favorite month . There’s the mushy Vday , The day I joined my current employer who welcomed me back like a forgiving parent and ofcourse my Birthday. But I found myself being excited about the day when my baby turned 3 months old! I mean that’s hardly an event. Or is it?
Milestones are good. They are important . But what I discovered is – we keep yearning to find newer ones. At the cost of neglecting those many old ones that stood by us , giving us a bit of hope and a bit of faith in the goodness of life when we needed some.
Is that really fair? To those special days that lost their sheen like old pennies . Or to us , who now have one lesser day to mark on our calendars.
Coz happiness like misery needs company. And Milestones are the trusted friends that age like wine how many ever new friends may keep coming along . These old ones hold mirrors into the past ‘us’ that we should definitely keeping taking a look at before we change completely.
So here’s to more celebrations. Old & New. May I identify more reasons to celebrate and remember the old ones to make a note of too.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone
For some it’s the idea of giving birth, for others it’s returning to work or getting their pre-baby shape back – becoming a mommy has its anxieties and dilemmas so don’t be fooled by the angelic calm & poise of the TV mommies in the baby product ads. No one can tell you how good , bad or ugly the whole experience can be – in fact , I stand corrected – plenty will tell you how it can be , but there’s only one person in the whole wide world who’ll ‘know’ how it is and what to make out of it. And that person – that fabulous lady of motherly grace on the outside and mixed bag of emotions inside is – you. A brand new mommy.
My biggest fear whenever I saw myself as a mom – was the ‘parenting phase’. Those knee-high feet thumping, tantrum- throwing little devils we all see creating a ruckus everywhere. I am scared to bits of the day when I realize I am ‘ the mommy’ everyone’s cribbing about who can’t seem to keep her kid in control in a movie hall / restaurant/ mall etc . Likewise As a new mom many of us have plenty of other fears and dilemmas.
There’s no rule book to ‘becoming a good mom’ – just like there’s no rule book to life. But it’s always good to have some mantras as ready reckoners to pull out in a crisis situation. You may use these or throw them out of the window –but as a brand new mom of an almost 3 month old – I wish some- one sat down and gave me these pearls of wisdom. So here goes my list.
Count your blessings:
Before the baby arrives or as you watch your little kid give you his very first smile. Be very very thankful for everything that’s going right in your life.
Haven’t been puking your way to the washroom or your bladder is behaving well? If things are going well, thank your lucky stars, tap your head and keep reminding yourselves how lucky you are. As someone who breezed through her entire pregnancy without the ‘classic nightmarish side –effects’ I didn’t realize back then how difficult the entire experience ‘pre-baby’ can be. So now, on days when my baby sleeps through the night and has an almost clockwork pattern to his feedings, changing and playtime – I am glad & you should be glad too for everything that goes right. Coz it’s only these little things that really matter.
Take everything with a pinch of salt:
Slightly miffed coz your husband called you again to check if you’ve changed the baby’s nappy ? Well welcome to this world where everyone seems to ‘know more than you do!’ You’ll get plenty of parenting suggestions / advice – especially if you are in a joint family. There are definitely people around you who ‘know better ‘ coz they have ‘ more experience’ . Develop the habit of listening. Even the most patient of the lot might curb under the stress of soaking in so much ‘criticism masked as advice’ – but we live in a world where everyone wants to ‘participate’ and ‘contribute’. So let them. At the end of it all – it’s finally up to you to know whats the best for your child – so do as you please.
Don’t lose your sense of ‘me’:
I am not just talking about the very important me time. That is needless to say and that you should anyways do inspite of the kid before, after and forever. But right from the day you know that you are ready to be a parent – you should find your own space, form opinions and have a voice. Right from shopping for the kid to ‘knowing’ what’s right for you and your child. You don’t want your child to even look at the TV screen even if he’s a few days old, say it. If you think phones aren’t for kids – say that too. Feel your kid is suffocating under the layers and layers of clothing he’s being put under – go ahead say that. Motherhood can make the most confident orators suffer from the ‘unsure silence’. So right from your decision to feed or the kind of clothes your baby should wear –take calls, express opinions and trust your instincts. You ll feel much better and raise a much happier kid..
Fight the green devil- it’s not worth the heart-ache:
This one is as tricky as it’s obvious. Women are anyway over ridden with guilt. When the kid arrives – the green monster of insane jealousy messes your head a notch further. Most days you’ll be grappling with guilt in one form or the other, you’d want to also do everything possible for the kid on your own. And that’s why – incase you fall short of your own personal ‘perfect mommy benchmark’ or there are people around you ( and trust me there are always people around you who don’t know their boundaries ) who invade into ‘strictly mommy space’ – do whatever but don’t lose your calm. Afterall , you are the queen of the mommy-land . And guilt , jealousy and temporary invasions will come and go -but you my lady will always wear the crown.
Take it easy – on yourself:
This one’s THE most important one. Being a mother isn’t just a biological process – it’s about ensuring you not only bring a new life into the world – you make a sensible, responsible person out of the child. Taking care of the baby , inculcating good values in a child and bringing up a healthy happy adult – is perhaps the most crucial ‘projects’ you’ll ever undertake. Even the most phenomenal boardroom queens can falter a bit here and there – so on bad days , when you’ll wonder if it’s the most thankless jobs ever – take a look at your baby to see him smiling back and as ‘cliché’ as it may sound – it is definitely worth it , if you enjoy it instead of beating yourself down.
80 days into motherhood isn’t really an eternity – but then again who really has an eternity anyway. Life is always ‘work in progress’ and so is being ‘the perfect mom’ .