When you’re a new mother or even an old mother, there are a million doubts and questions that crowd your mind. You know the kind I mean? Where you wonder if the decision you took that day is going to be dissected by a therapist years down the line…
A lot of us turn to elders, friends and of course, the God of all things, the Internet. A multitude of blogs, social media groups and influencers tell you what all you should and shouldn’t do. The amount of information out there is mindboggling. Sifting through it is a full time job.
Adding to this absolute chaos is my little five pointer below:
- Always carry a change of clothes.
I read this on practically every site/post/forum I’d visited when Z was born. Being ultra cautious, I often packed three to four changes of clothes for her when we headed out. I might have permanent shoulder pain from carrying that bag. And it worked. Until the day she overturned an entire cup of water on my lap. I had a meeting ten minutes later. I spent nine of those minutes using the handdryer in the office bathroom to try and dry my jeans. It didn’t work. Not one little bit. I spent the entire meeting with my laptop in my lap. I took the word ‘laptop’ quite literally that day. So, my tip? Carry a change of clothes for yourself too!
- Sleep while the baby sleeps.
This one is invaluable or so you’d think. But, you know what happens when the kid finally goes to sleep? That’s when you grab your phone to check Whatsapp and Facebook, pick up your kindle to read a book, switch on Netflix to see what’s happening in the outside world…or on a less exciting note, fold the laundry, prep for the next meal, dust a little, the list is endless.
Also, has anyone else noticed that the minute you slide into bed next to your little one, their eyes pop open? Or is it just me? Am I sliding wrong?
- Model good behavior.
What this essentially means is that you cannot squeal, ‘Oh fuckity fuck fuck’ when you burn the toast or poke your eye while trying to get your kid’s arm into their shirtsleeve…Truly, you can’t. Even a muttered ‘shit’ can be held against you for perpetuity. You don’t want to be that mom whose kid yells ‘Oh shit’ in the middle of wedding festivities or worse a silent movie hall.
- ‘My kid, my way.’
Sigh. I wish it was this simple. I love the sentiment. I practice the sentiment and I urge you all to do the same. Even when you want to strangle the person giving you advice at that moment. You know the type? Why are you breastfeeding? The kid will grow up obsessed with boobs. Why is the child on formula? Imagine the chemicals you’re pouring down the baby’s throat. Why is the child so thin? Aren’t you feeding him/her properly? Why is the child so fat? Are you feeding him/her only sweet? You can’t win. I suggest you stop trying. I did. Your kid. Your way.
- Take the win.
Parenting is scary. You spend a lot of time second guessing your every decision. It’s important to remember that you’re there, you’re showing up, you’re doing your best…Enjoy the wins, smallest to largest. I don’t mean the science trophy your kid brings home or the prestigious college he/she get into. I mean the fact that they run to you with their arms wide open after school. Or the fact that they say ‘I know, mama. I know I have to be careful. You’ve told me a hundred times.” See? They learned that from you even if it’s being tossed in your face with that condescending tone. My greatest win till date is that my daughter turns to me and says, “Mama, you’re my best friend.” This is bound to change in a few years or months, or in the case of my precocious tot, days, but for now, I’ll take the win!