Saturday, September 8, 2012

An open letter to Moms-to-be...


Dear Mom-to-be,

Congratulations! I am a working mother of a one year old, with my husband by me and all my folks back in a different country. Needless to say, I am pretty much pulling it off on my slender shoulders.

When I announced my pregnancy, I got three types of responses from my loved ones. The first, were the ones who said ‘Yipee my baby is a Mommy!’ and blew kisses and wishes to express their joy. The second, were the ones back at my hometown who expected me to be pregnant the next day of my marriage, but are nevertheless relieved in some way. The third was a weird kind who exclaimed…’what the hell! Are u mad?’ making me feel like a teenager.You may get more responses which don’t fall under these categories, but the idea is to stay normal and smile, which is very difficult to do, with all the hormones playing havoc in your system. Nevertheless do not judge me as a person born to be a mother, because I was the one who never touched or held a baby before. I was that kind who stayed away from them due to possible risks of mishandling, as babies are soft and unstable and I believed it took professional training to hold them properly without hurting them. But let me tell you, once you have one of your own, it just comes to you.

The next stage after the announcement of pregnancy was to tackle free advices flowing in plenty from friends and relatives across continents. For me this was a tricky part, as a few people who already have kids’ resorted to scare me about how life will be a total mess once the child is born. Then they went on to say how they couldn’t go to the toilet because the toddler is uncontrollable even for a second, and about the infant who cried all night. They also talked about cancelled vacations, flight charges that kept increasing, expenses, deteriorating health and figure, and whatever it takes to make me regret it. These are basically sadistic people who aren’t happy how their lives turned out to be after their baby arrived. The idea is to ignore these comments, it’s not bad after all, there will be sleepless nights, but you can always sleep when the baby sleeps and bring her to a routine in six months. Babies fall sick, like we do, and it is a passing phase as they recover faster than us. All the more babies are fun, and in a strange way we wish that they slept when they are running around hyperactively, and when they are asleep we wait for them to wake up because it just gets plain boring.

Then came a time when I was overfed by random people. This comes with respect to a traditional belief that a pregnant woman should eat for two. Any vulnerable woman believes this, as she doesn’t want to take any risks when it comes to the health of the baby. But here is the jinx – a tiny little baby is not going to eat a plate full of rice and curry. Eat a bit more than what you normally eat, avoid eating out, include more vegetables, oats and milk, and you are done. Try to include spicy food as well during this phase, so the baby will be tolerant to it. Avoid the ghee roasted stuff which is lovingly brought by your Indian relatives, because you will not see them around when you are crying on the weighing machine, looking longingly at the wardrobe of beautiful clothes you will never fit into. These ghee roasted goodies are a brutal attempt to make you fat, you know:-P

I had this rare blessing to be pregnant almost at the same time when some of my closest friends were in their family way as well, so our skype discussions, emails and long chats helped us immensely. In fact we had similar ‘situations’ and even had solutions for each other. This camaraderie was a boon to us when we almost turned mini gynecologists ourselves. Sometimes people who are at the same phase as you can help you more than your mother who was last pregnant almost three decades ago. The labor remains the same, they may say, but everything else is different, I can guarantee. However there is no one but your mother who will understand your deepest feelings.

Later, you will see people showing fake interest about your due date, diet etc which till date has no explanation, and there will be no shortage of free advice. Pick a person – friend, doctor or your mother and go by their opinions whenever you have a query. Like they say, too many cooks spoil the broth, so gracefully ignore the rest.

You will always have an intuition as to how to deal with a situation in motherhood. It will be unique to you and your baby and should shake up the courage to follow it. It will always be the right thing to do. Because when a baby is born, a mother is born as well.

Have a safe delivery and a healthy baby J

With love.



24 comments:

  1. Anita,

    Very sane advice. It is choice of a couple when to have baby. One needs to have some reliable person to seek advice.

    Take care

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  2. Actually you know, I have a few advices to give... Or maybe not. :D

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  3. You basically covered it all Ani...though I'd say being on your own is not such a bad thing with a baby. You get to manage things your way and stay away from expectations from others that inevitably get broken.

    Plus you've been working which makes a huge difference-staying away from the baby for a while in the day makes you look forward to sleepless nights but wailing ones all day n all night can lead to a different story.

    Everyone learns from their own experiences-mine says not to cling to them too much or then they'll cling to you too much! The rest, with time you get used to :-)

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    1. Yes about the last line.I know it is the right thing to do, bit I pretend not to know it. Some day I am gonna learn it the hard way.

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  4. Nice one Anita .. though i have to admit I have starting doling out advice( based on my experience) to moms-to-be now as well ;)

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  5. Anita, I loved your post so much that I forwarded it to a close friend(she is expecting too). Normally when people blog about thier pregnancies encounters, its always scary and at the end of it, you really dont want to go through it. So i avoid sending those posts to be friends who are expecting. But this was awesome :-)

    And yes, its not going to be easy, but its not all that nightmarish also, and there are also so many good things too. You know, as you said, when the baby is asleep you want him to be up and vice versa :-) I totally loveddd the post!

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    1. Thank you so much Jenny...U made my day...I am so overwhelmed. Noone should ever regret motherhood...because everyone tends to scare and complain !

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  6. Nice post Anita.. I could relate to you as I am mom to a 8-month old :)

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    1. Thanks Deepa. Glad that you could relate to me :-)

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  7. This is such a realistic post. I have been guilty of giving advice even though I'm not a mother yet. I'm sure those women must have laughed in their heads.
    I find it funny when people crib about vacations and expenses. If they were so worried why did they have a child in the first place? It's the worst thing to blame your child for your troubles - and this is exactly what you hear when parents crib.

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    1. Cant agree more.Parents should be aware of the responsibilities that follow once a child is born and should have the heart to welcome it that way. Just for the sake of having a child, one should never go for it and crib later! Rightly said.

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  8. Nice post Anita. Definitely helpful for the soon-to-be moms :) The line you mentioned abt kids should sleep when they are hyper-active and you wait for them to get up as its too boring is what all my friends (who became parents) tell me.. :)

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    1. Hehe seriously that is a strange thing, dont u think ! :D And it is true to most parents!

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  10. awww., that is soo nice., makes me feel like having a baby noooowww..

    and love the lines.,
    "babies are fun, in a strange way we wish that they slept when they are running around hyperactively, and when they are asleep we wait for them to wake up because it just gets plain boring."

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    1. Lol Dipthi Somesh...from that first line I am gathering that the post made you feel good about that :-) That was the intention. Thank yoo so much for the second part of the comment!

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