What I Would Tell The "New Mother" Me
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
One of the things I did most as a new mother was taking millions of photos and videos of my baby. Over a period of time my phone started bursting with too many images and I had to store them all elsewhere to keep my phone and myself sane. That is when Google Photos came in handy. Google has this amazing way of reminding us of our memories. Every day it posts memories and unlike the Facebook memories that leaves you thinking “Seriously who posts these on Facebook” at your own posts, these are just photos in a neat collage. Today it surprised me by showing me a video. A cute montage video titled “They Grow up so fast”. No prize for guessing what it was about. The video got me thinking how much my baby has grown which led me to think how much I have grown as a mother.
I am a strong advocate of the phrase “A mother is born when a child is born”. Because no book or no amount of research prepares you to be a mother. So, two years down the line when I look back, I have grown up a lot from being a mother who frets every time my baby sneezes to a 30-second-rule following mother. (For those who are not aware of this, whenever something edible falls on the floor, as long as it is picked up before 30 seconds, it is perfectly okay to eat it. This rule applies only to your home which you carefully swab with an extra dose of disinfectant). Down the line I've done some truly crazy motherly things.
Here are some of the points I would like to tell the new mother version of myself:
- Stop Fretting: The baby is definitely more resilient than you think. So do not worry about something happening to the baby when she so much as catches a cold. It is absolutely okay if you are worried about your baby’s health. You are the mother and your job is to worry. But do not push yourself to the extent that you are constantly fretting about everything.
- Leave the pediatrician alone: I know this sounds weird. But my baby's pediatrician was always on my speed dial and I took his friendly “Please feel free to call me if you need help” a little too seriously. I still remember waking him up at 2 AM when my baby was crying incessantly and telling him “I don't know what to do”.
- Stop using Google Doctor: While Google has simplified many things, it is not advisable to use Google Guidebook for treating or getting parenting tips. There are some exclusive websites that provide good advice and are great sources of help. However, you may never know which one is a good one. Unless these are trustworthy sites, it is not advisable to take these seriously.
- Understand your body: One of the first starting things you realize after your baby is born is that your body feels alien to yourself. You still look round and it might be a while before you lose those extra pounds. Don't be hard on yourself. Your body has undergone a major change. Allow it some time to rewire itself.
- Take Breaks: I love my baby to bits. However, there were times when I felt like I needed a bit of time for myself. If you feel that way, seek support from your family and take a break. Go for a walk or read or listen to music or do whatever it is that makes you feel better.
Keep everything aside and enjoy spending time with your baby. These little bundles of joy will not be little for long. Cherish the time you have with them now!
There's no such thing as a perfect mother or a good mother. You're perfect for your baby and that's why you should never doubt yourself.
So if you are a new mother reading this, know that you're amazing and enjoy motherhood!
Srividhya is a full-time mommy to a naughty two-year old. After having professional experience of 12 years, she quit her job to become a mother. A freelance writer and a part-time educator Srividhya is a self-confessed coffee addict and a bibliophile. She enjoys playing with her toddler and watching Netflix whenever there is time.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store