Are you or have you been a first-time mom? You will totally identify with me then. Because being a mom for the first time is equivalent to being in a soup. Seriously. If this doesn’t befit the situation, then I don’t know what phrase will come a wee bit closer to it. Not that you are inept at motherhood. But the fact that the ‘first-timeness’ makes it a bit difficult can make you get overboard. But that’s not your fault. There is a first time for everything. And just as it gets hard without experience, the same holds good for being a first-time mommy too.
I will be surprised if you can take care of your newborn baby (or infant), your husband, your home and then of yourself all at one time. You will not be a woman then. You will be a multitasking programmed robot. But if you do turn out to be a robot, I will be surprised at your super deftness only if you are a first-time mommy. With the second, the third or the fourth, it will be no surprise you could juggle so much without faltering for a moment. It won’t be just as perfect as a new mommy, so you might as well want to:
1. Seek Help:
Don’t hesitate to ask your family or friends to help you. You might want to have them take turns with the chores. While you spend most of your time nursing your baby, most of the chores remain undone. Here’s where they can be instrumental in keeping your house in order. While you spend quality time with your child, nourish him, and take all the time to rejuvenate, rest of the things are being taken care of by them. There might be people you know who could voluntarily offer you help. But some might have to be asked despite their best intentions. Seeking help this time around is your ‘right’. So just ask.
2. Get Ready With Bouts Of Unnecessary ‘Doctor Visits’:
Your baby is new to the world. His body will respond in different ways to the surroundings and the environment. A minute change can have him catch a flu, or wail for no reason, or burp like an old man, or poop out in different colors (remember babies can poop in five different colors, and this wisdom came after I had one of my panic attacks of a mother), not pass stools for three days or over. At other times he might seem gassy, and you wonder if you are passing on something unsuitable to him through breastmilk. But before your common sense can guide you, you would have already swaddled him, got baby needs ready for the next 24 hours and dashed off to the doctor. And embarrassingly he would have passed stools after so many hours at the doctor’s table. Funny as it may seem, but babies do have the knack of embarrassing you at oddest of times!
3. Be Prepared With A Roller-Coaster Routine:
Routine? What’s that? This is how you will start sounding like a new mom. For one, you would have already lost sleep in nursing your baby in the nights. And that means falling asleep during the day. And as you stay up in the nights, you also start getting hungry. So, you nibble into just whatever you can get firsthand. Then you can imagine what it would mean to have a ‘routine.’ Untimely food and sleep explain how things can fall apart.
4. Breastfeeding Isn’t Easy In The First Few Days:
This is especially true if you don’t know how to hold your baby in the feeding position. On the other hand, there are babies who don’t know how to latch on to other’s bosom and start suckling in the first place. As if this exercise was easy, some of you may not even produce milk that is copious enough for the tiny being, and you might have to put him on the feeding bottle. It could be a bit painful watching your child suckle a feeding bottle but not your breasts. And all this woven together can call for an emotional drama centered around breastfeeding.
5. If Only You Have Anything In Your Power To Ward Off Those Accidents:
Yes, rolling out of the bed will top the list. I know you have been watchful, even if you had to leave the baby for a moment, you would cordon him off with a circle of pillows. If he is in his cot, you will make sure it is latched well. And it is one of those times that he will realize you are not around, will try crawling out, sometimes succeeding in the first attempt and fall off with a thud that will have you run back into the room and start screaming if he is ok. An instance of its sorts. There is more to come as the baby grows. So there is always a ‘take-away’ from the experience, but you never know what you will have to brace yourself up against as he gets playful in the growing age. Mind the electrical points, the door hinges, the windows, the wardrobes, your Modular kitchen, and just about anything.
6. Stop Being A Self-Critic:
You may not have ‘the’ perfect body now. But you are grabbing more respect now as a mother! Celebrate the stretch-marks and belly-flap if they are stubborn enough to go away. Let them be your friends stay on with you. And stop getting critical of how you are treating your baby, how you are doing things for him, how you are juggling with the affairs of the household in the meantime. Every mom has her wavelength and limitations, so comparing yourself to other women is inappropriate.
7. Above all…relax!
You badly need it. You have given out enough energy. Save some for yourself. Your sustenance is just as important for the long-term well-being of your baby too. Put the chores aside if they aren’t urgent. Your washing machine or the Hoover aren’t running away. They are automated, true, but they function at your beck and call. Get them to stick where they are, hold on, watch a movie, or play your favorite tune and bask under the sun sipping your fav beverage. Then you will come to say, “Ah, never knew being a mama was so wonderful.” Amass these times.
Being a perfectionist mom is quite desirable, but it is not expected of you as a new mom. Stay calm and poised until you have some hands-on.