Tricks of the Trade
Updated: Apr 11
Day 17 of the lock-down and we have had a wearisome night. My 5 month old decided to sleep at 5 am in the morning. What kept him up? This question always leaves me in a quandary. I mean, I am a mother to three children. I spent the last decade birthing, feeding, burping, potty training, swaddling, lullabying and doing all of the other million trivial things in between .I earned nothing less than a post doctorate in the field of Parentonomics. Now I have put in grueling hours of study into this field and yes they should formalize the word Parentonomics. Why? Because it is a whole new branch of knowledge, concerned with the exchange, barter and trade of emotions.
Having deemed my self an expert on the subject, I mean, how many of you can lay claim on doing it 3 TIMES OVER? :) I am still stupefied at the question. Why do babies just refuse to sleep nights? Never, not once in my last decade of being a mommy, have I come across any mother who has admitted to her child sleeping through the night.
Now, I know most of you, my friends especially, have been there done that and couldn’t care less anymore. It's all water under the bridge. But just for a few minutes try and reminisce those days when your children were just babies. Let us share the precious knowledge, we have all so meticulously gained over the years. Let us allow these to-be parents to learn from our experiences and reflect on our expertise. Let us empower, these newbies with all our erudition and parenting skills. Enlighten them with all the ebb and flow that this journey of parenthood brings along the way. Parentonomics is the study of the trade of a million sentiments, that are exchanged between the parents and the children, albeit forever.
This blog is about all the trickery that got me through the first one year of parenthood, with each of my children.
So after a 12 hour of gruesome painful labour, you have earned your life's most acclaimed reward, that you are oh so dearly holding in your arms, and Khanna aunty decides to waltz in at 3:30 pm in the hospital to share your joy. This is precisely the time you have put the baby down after trying to nurse the baby for the 30th time since morning and this is also the time that aunty has finished her chores and thought of nothing better to do, but pay you a visit at the hospital. ”Ek kaam nipat jayega, lifafa de dete hain.” Now I have been guilty on a few occasions of having done the exact same. My apologies to all the new mothers whose peace of mind was disrupted by my apathy. So soon to become mommies, please have your husbands, mom in laws whosoever is attending to you, politely refuse the people who are trying to rob you of this much needed me time in the hospital. Let them abide by the rules of the hospital visiting hours, rather than gallivant in at their leisure on the Attendant’s Pass.
Once home, you will start looking at things from a different perspective. The once upon a time, 25 minute beauty bath will now be reduced to a quick 2 min dip and out because, well you are a mother now, your mind is attuned, programmed to think of your baby and baby only. Trust the baby to start wailing the precise moment you have decided to sit on the commode to attend to nature’s call. If you have the luxury of a Japa maid or a mausi who comes in for your and the babies maalish, get your’s done before the baby. Trust me I have tried it both ways and this is the best way. With the baby in the mausi’s hands you get uninterrupted 20 minutes in the bathroom and come out feeling like a new person at peace with yourself. Get someone at home to supervise the mausi while you are revelling in paradise.
You are a sleep deprived, hungry insomniac. The baby feeds on forever and sleep is now a fairy tale. To add to this every time you put the baby down, if you have survived the burping which inevitably,wakes most babies up, I am guilty to have let my babies sleep through the nursing sessions- No burp for me please if the baby has fallen asleep! Your husband or older kids if you have any, announce their arrival with a thud, bang or a stomp. My advise, announce yourself out before they announce themselves in. Tell your partner or children to keep the decibels low and then start the cycle of nursing, burping, pooping, changing, nursing again, burping and thereafter napping. See ,nothing to be intimidated of, it’s all easy if you follow the umpteen steps that lead your munchkin to the paradise of sleep.
There is no such thing as, less milk or poor milk supply. Now I can assure you having nursed and still nursing my youngest ,I can state this with full conviction that nature has equipped you with this propensity. I have heard so many people come and tell me, that the baby is waking up constantly because he is not getting enough milk. Unless you have been diagnosed with poor milk supply, something that only your doctor can validate, you have the ability to feed your child .Breastfeeding is HARD. It needs commitment and resolve. It needs your dedication in the first 3 months when your supply is getting established. It's all about enduring those sleepless nights, painful cracks and the pain of the stitches. Once you are past the 3 month hitch, half the battle is won. Its a small price to pay for a lifetime of benefit to your child.
Once the baby has turned 6 months old, you can give solids. There will be mothers who will bully you into thinking, they are the walking encyclopedia of what’s best for their and your child. They will stare, stalk and show unabashed disregard for your choice in food. Pay little or no heed. You, the mother will always know what is best for your child. It does not matter if their child has started walking 15 days before yours. There is nothing they can provide to their kids that you cannot. Focus on your traditional eating habits. Pick up healthy cues from what your family has been eating traditionally and you are good to go.
Becoming a parent, is God being very very kind to you. He is entrusting you with his most beautiful of creations. Don’t mess it up with self doubt. The very fact that you have become a mother has raised your self worth by millions. You are officially the most important person for the most important person in your family.
Feel like ending this one with a few lines from a song I love
कोमल है कमज़ोर नहीं तू
शकती का नाम ही नारी है।
जग को जीवन देने वाली
मौत भी तुझसे हारी है।
A Mommy 3 Times Over.