Last week a friend cum ex-colleague delivered her cute bundle of joy in a private hospital. We all went to see the new mommy and wish her heartiest Congratulations! Though she looked happy holding her little prince in her arms yet something was wrong. She looked nervous, just like any other first time mom! I saw myself in her as I remembered the time when Hiya, my daughter was born…
As my due date was drawing near, I felt the first pangs of fear as to what will happen. I felt nervous and lonely. When the D-day (or rather night came), there was no room for any realization, only my shouting in the labor room, my husband standing beside me (yes, nowadays many hospitals thankfully allow the husband to enter the labor room and be with his wife), the doctor and the nurses. When Hiya arrived after hours of labor and I held her for the first time, I was both crying and laughing at the same time. At one point of time, a question popped in my head, “Now what?!” I became a mother right from the time I conceived my baby but now I am actually holding her in my arms. Will I be a good mom?, I asked myself. There was a long pause as though time will answer that for me.
Life changed little by little right from the time when we first brought her home to the present and I know it will be like this always. Like many daughters, I didn’t have the privilege to fall back upon my mom as she is a brain cancer patient but her mere presence that time worked wonders in my life. I don’t know from where I got the courage to fight all odds but I did fight oddities like nosy relatives telling me how to bring up an otherwise underweight child (Hiya weighed 2.4kg), how to follow certain rituals and what may happen if I don’t follow them etc. I even remember how a so called close relative had the audacity to express her doubt about whether I will be able to give my daughter a proper feeding time or a bath, what if she slips down from my hand. All these she did because she is my ‘well-wisher’, because she has more ‘experience’ than me. With all due respect to her many experiences in life, I would like to say to her that no one has the right to belittle anyone, especially a new mom. Perhaps, extending a little more compassion and understanding to her would be nice.
Thus to all the would-be mommies and the new mommies, here is my take on motherhood- be strong and rely upon your instincts. Be slow and kind to yourself and you will be the master of the game soon. When you are a mom, you know best…that’s the bottom line, though you are still learning and un-learning loads of things each day. What works for me as a mom, may not work for you, so push aside all speculations and countless ‘suggestions’ from friends, friends of friends, from the neighborhood aunty etc. Remember, when you are a mom, everything is just fair (in love and motherhood!). There is only one correct way- your way.
Don’t crucify or punish yourself for not being able to do a particular job, just try (I know you may be wondering it’s easier said than done but just try. I have been there-and-done-that-mom) to relax and everything will be fine, really. Listen to some music or talk to a friend to de-stress yourself. Do whatever it takes to enhance the feel-good factor. These helps to bond better with your new born.
We are moms. We are humans too, and thus we are not perfect. Yet, we are the nicest things that can ever happen to our children. So, love life, love yourself too. Live this slice of life (as a parent) well and say cheers!
I hereby take leave with a note from Hamlet. As Polonius said to Laertes, “Give every man thy ear but few thy voice. Take each man’s censure but reserve thy judgment.”
This was first written for (as part of) Mom & Me project.