When a woman becomes a mother, all she wants is to be the best mother and enjoy the phase of motherhood. To ensure everything goes fine, she gets into action much before the delivery. She spends hours researching on the internet, immerses herself in parenting books, attends hours of prenatal sessions and becomes a total sponge each time someone drops advice based on their experience.
Finally comes the phase she had been waiting for nine months – to hold her little one in her arms and bask in the joy of motherhood. But, with the bliss come many surprises that the new mommy couldn’t have imagined in her wildest dreams. To begin with, the sheer number of guests paying family sized visits to the hospital, despite knowing how susceptible a newborn is to infections carried by visitors.
While all that a mom wants is a bouquet of good moments and cooperation from people around, she is often left to deal with eyes scrutinizing her abilities from all directions – beginning from the weight of the newborn to the favourite discussion topic of been there seen it all aunties – “Modern girls prefer to play convenient with a C Section.” No matter how much she tries to educate about advancements in medicine, they have their verdicts ready much before they enter the baby’s room. It wouldn’t be incorrect then to say that being a mom these days is often about walking a tightrope.
As if the souvenirs of judgements aren’t enough in the hospital visits, the real tightrope begins when the new mom comes home after delivery. Dealing with a sea of changes during pregnancy, delivery cuts still afresh, she is just about struggling to get the latch right when she is bombarded by judgements and suggestions from all sides. Just like contestants of a beauty pageant, the new mom is often judged on parameters set by relatives and neighbours – “She couldn’t get a simple latch right?”, “We never had issues with breastmilk supply”, “Our baby’s birth weight was 4.5kgs!” and so on…
As the baby grows up into a toddler, almost everyone fond of dropping unsolicited advice comments on one common aspect – “the health of the child.” No matter what the doctors say about development milestones, for most relatives and neighbours the definition of a healthy baby is a plump child, even if it means feeding the poor child unhealthy fats. God save you if you are a mom of a child who has fallen sick. Irrespective of what the doctors diagnose, often the mother becomes the scapegoat for being careless, and in the case of working mothers, she is termed ‘too ambitious’.
Surprisingly, the people poking their noses and passing judgements the most are the ones who have the least involvement in helping the new mother. Most often, these are neighbours and relatives, who turn a blind eye to empathy and leave no opportunity to portray themselves as parenting experts. Like most people, I too believe in listening to who and what matters. However, the fragile being that a new mommy becomes, all thanks to postpartum depression and an overnight change in routine, she is unable to turn a deaf ear to everything said around her. All that a new mom wants to tell these people is:
“I am just a mom, I ain’t any God. To err is to be human, and perfect, well nobody is. I may not be perfect, but my love for my little one is. I may not get the perfect latch, but it is only against my chest that my baby feels most secure. I may not feed my baby till he resembles a plump teddy, but mommy knows what is healthy for her child. They notice when my child falls sick, but do they know I am up and running for him even when I am sick? My baby is the sun of my solar system. And each moment is about his happiness. So stop judging me for I may not be a perfect mother. But for my baby, I am the best mother and mommy knows best what her child wants.”
Shaivi says – Banker by day, blogger by night – that’s me. After a decade of dabbling into hospitality, corporate communications, training, employee engagement and banking, motherhood is the new role that keeps me on my toes! Nothing gives me more happiness than bringing a smile on someone’s face and learning something new each day; and blogging provides me a platform to do that. I blog at Shaivi ka funda. So here I am, to share my experiences as a new mom and get insights from experienced parents.