The inspiration for this post came few days ago after a telephonic conversation with my mom in law. As I was discussing my daily challenges faced while managing the baby and the hacks I have developed, she chuckled and said, “I am very impressed with you and your little one. I am glad he has been able to teach you overnight, what I had been trying for 6 years!”
My initial reaction was a mix of shock, anger and confusion, for I didn’t know whether to take it as a mere compliment or a backhanded compliment. Since I have a great rapport with her, I dismissed the latter option however, it was too thought provoking a remark to be forgotten.
And so, I began to think what is it that motherhood teaches us, that nobody else can.
Priorities and altruism
Being the youngest of four children in my family, altruism was always a distant concept. My wishes would literally get fulfilled before I even completed the sentence and the whole family doted on me. Since I was the first daughter in law of the family, the trend continued after wedding as well, as everyone showered me with gifts and attention. There are things I could never have compromised on – sleep, my blogging time, that favourite TV show and even my favourite dish. Many people close to me have been victims of my ire the few times they mistakenly disturbed me in the middle of writing a post.
However, the baby changed it all overnight!
Motherhood has taught me the real meaning of altruism and the immense joy it brings. No matter how much I love watching my favourite sitcom, the yell of my baby from the other room makes me forget everything and dash to be with him. Blog posts are often saved as draft when the little one demands my attention, and are completed when he dozes off. Earlier, I would pick up a fight even if my brother took a morsel from my favourite dish. But as I start semi solids for my 6 month old, often when he looks at my plate with interest, I feel like giving it all to him as that would make me feel fuller. Sleep and laziness go in the bin and motherhood takes over, the moment my son cries to be fed in the middle of the night!
We all love to read and say good words on discipline. However, the truth is, when it comes to discipline, for most of us, practicing what we preach becomes a big challenge. I have often seen parents pressuring their kids to follow rules they themselves hated in their childhood. So, when my baby was born, I decided to lead by example. Step by step, I am trying to imbibe habits I would like to see in him, the first being staying away from junk food. My mom in law is super impressed with the way I keep his things in order, be it his medical file or clothes. No matter how lazy or cold I am feeling in the middle of the night, I would always wash my hands before the feed and sterilise the bottles even at 3 in the morning! My father often jokes how I had to be tamed into following a timetable as a kid. And here I am, diligently following the food time table for my 6 month old!
Motherhood is a sure shot mantra to shed away laziness from your life!
Not be scared of injections
Most of you would smile at this one, but honestly, until recently I behaved like kids whenever I had to take an injection. I remember, shortly after marriage, I had to undergo a root canal and the clinic staffs still remember me for the drama that took place! I can do anything to avoid an injection, literally! During the initial days of my pregnancy, I often fretted at the thought of delivering normally, or even getting an intravenous. Blood tests meant Mr. Hubby diverting my attention as the lab assistant did the needful.
However, something magical happened to me by the time I hit the third trimester. The sense of responsibility motherhood brings along can magically ward off any fear or apprehension. So, by my third trimester, I was going alone for routine blood tests and vaccinations. Nothing mattered more than the welfare of the little life inside. Mr. Hubby and mom in law still proudly tell relatives how I didn’t fret or frown even once before getting that intravenous or before entering the operation theatre!
Thinking out of the box
While this is a jargon mostly confined to the corporate world, this comes most handy in the path to effective motherhood! Each pregnancy is different, as each baby is. One may read umpteen literature, How to’s and listen to never ending advice from well wishers, but the best results come when one thinks out of the box and develops her own hacks to simplify things – be it tweaking the traditional baby recipes to suit my baby’s tastes, or devising new ways of multitasking, motherhood is surely helping me grow and evolve as a more efficient person.
Young and impatient, that’s how most of us are before life decides to bestow us with responsibilities. Patience has been the biggest lesson motherhood has taught me. Few days ago, the little one was very cranky and wouldn’t just go to sleep. My sister who was visiting us asked me how I got so much perseverance, as she saw me singing to him repeatedly to soothe him. Surely, nobody other than my baby could have taught me, for he is too small to understand anger, language and frustration. The only language a child understands is the language of love and compassion.
The biggest compliment came my way few days ago as I overheard Mr. Hubby talking to his friend. “I wonder where she gets so much patience from, for I could never have managed the baby the way she does”, he said. To me, that meant happiness even an expensive gift couldn’t buy!
What are the lessons motherhood has taught you? I would love to know your experiences.
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.