Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Category: MommyT time (page 1 of 2)

My Parenting Mantra – Trust & Faith

All aboard, My Parenting Mantra! Hop on to the Blog Train and come along with me and my fellow mommy bloggers as we share My Parenting Mantra. Some super mommy bloggers will be driving this train over a month. We promise to bring you some enriching insights into our lives and maybe some that will add to your own parenting experience.

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Before that, a big thanks to Misha who captured her Parenting Mantras at Freshly Baked Head for introducing me. Meet all the blogger moms who are part of this blog train here.

My Parenting Mantra – Trust & Faith 

Like most first time parents, we entered the world of bringing up babyT with a blank slate. Sure we had read all the What to Expects, and Dr Spock from cover to cover and waited for the weekly updates from BabyCentre. But we did not really know what lay ahead of us. Or how we would fare in the practicals.

And to top it, being a mother makes you super paranoid.  You are always concerned whether your child is weighing enough, eating enough, developing enough, learning to walk, talk and the whole shenanigans that come with.  But this is where I learnt a big lesson that nature is bigger than any of us put together.  And that we must just TRUST Her to do Her job.

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The first and foremost lesson I learnt was that if Nature intended for you to have a child, she also made sure you were capable of looking after and nurturing it. Enter breastfeeding! Only doubts existed in my mind that I would ever be able to breastfeed my child. I mean I was in my mid 30s, battled infertility and had consumed a lot of medicines to try to conceive. I was sure these factors had made me incapable of breastfeeding. In fact when my mid-wife told me to start feeding babyT within hours of his birth, I told her “No. There’s no milk.” She laughed and said of course there is and proceeded to show me the milk (or colostrum as it is in the early days) A real eye opener for me.

But that was not half the battle with respect to breastfeeding. Growth spurts, marathon feeding sessions, people advising you that breastmilk is not enough to fill their tummies, constantly threatened our breastfeeding relationship. There were times when my back was breaking, my stitches were hurting like hell and I hadn’t slept in days and it all seemed just not worth it. But then I remembered what the good ladies at the mom support group BSIM say – Never give up on a bad day. Mommy don’t you quit, my little baby who couldn’t speak yet seemed to say. I learnt that breastmilk was pure demand and supply. The more baby suckled at the breast, the more the body got a signal to produce milk. A big lesson in self-trust here.

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Along the way we busted quite a few myths. One such was that medicines (for colic, teething), gutthis, herbs and herbal powders are to be used for babies for internal consumption or for massage purposes. I don’t intend to disregard centuries old wisdom of our forefathers. But I simply am of the opinion that nothing is pure and natural as it was in the days of yore. Some of these unregulated formulations and DIY solutions may end up causing more harm than good. I am proud to admit that we didn’t put anything in babyT’s mouth, apart from breastmilk, till he turned 6 months. An exclusively breastfed baby, his vital stats and growth charts were always very satisfactory. His health too, touchwood, has been good. He has got a few viral infections, but has much better immunity overall.

Hell, we even beat colic and set it fleeing with its tail between its legs. Colic can be a very unexplained and painful period for babies & their caretakers alike. Colic medications like gripe water is recommended. But I chose to believe that if it is a naturally occurring phenomenon in babies then it must have a natural remedy. We tackled colic with lots of tummy time (to eliminate gases), lots of tummy massages with asafoetida paste and distraction. Save 2 to 3 episodes of bad colic, we managed with just these techniques. My parenting mantra won the day for us time and again.

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Tummy time also is a big contributor to developing core muscle strength in babies. And this helps achieve all other milestones like holding the neck, sitting up, standing and walking. Most people are of the opinion that babies must turn on their own and should not be rested on their tummy. We started from the time babyT’s umbilical stump fell off. 5 minutes at first and then going up to almost the whole afternoon on his tummy (as he grew.) BabyT turned over at 4 months, sat up at 6.5 months, stood up at 9 months and was cruising holding all the furniture in the house. And all this without the help of walkers or any such devices. I really have come to believe that babies achieve their milestones when they believe that they are ready for it. We the adults, only need to aid the situation by giving them opportunities to develop their skills and then leaving them in that environment. In this case – lots of tummy time and on a hard surface like a floor rather than a cushioned bed or mattress.

His only delay was walking which he achieved at exactly 13.5 months. It was not even a delay per se, but we expected him to walk much earlier because he was already standing. The delay was actually somewhere on my part, because I would hold his hand within the house and help him walk. One day I decided not to do that anymore. I knew I needed to display more TRUST. He was cruising and he could very well do that to walk around the house too. BabyT did stumble, fall and cry. But he walked within 1 week of me stopping the practice of holiding his hand. This was a big lesson in TRUST. He needed the trust and confidence that he could do it on his own and he did.

What does this lesson of TRUST mean for me as a parent?

It means resting assured in the fact that babyT will talk (he already does a lot) when he is ready. He will stop breastfeeding when he is ready. Potty training will happen when he is ready. As he grows up and his needs are less physiological in nature, it means that I will trust him to choose the sports he wants to play. The educational subjects he would love to dwell on. He gets to choose his friends and if he wants to spend time at grandma’s house every weekend or not. He can choose to help out his dad in the kitchen on Sunday’s. Or he could spend it entirely in front of the TV. But he needs to know it comes with a curb from his parents when they feel he is pushing his privileges.

I know I am saying this in a very 2 dimensional world. I have not accounted for a hormoney, awkward teenager who may think his parents are uncool people. 🙂 But I am hopeful, because parenting has not been about us teaching babyT a thing or two. It has been about us learning a great deal.

My Blog Train has arrived at its destination. I am now making way for Snigdha of Beauty Obsessions and my dear friend Jasmeet from Mommy Voyage to share their Parenting Mantra.

Review: Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal – Write

When a fellow mommy in our Mom Blogger Chatter group told us about the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal review contest I was intrigued. What a lovely way to market a product? But that was not all there was to it. The journals themselves were breathtakingly beautiful. I was truly spoiled for choice to select one, but finally settled on the Write series. The deep red colour with the golden polka dots and the feather plume on the cover page felt like the right choice for me and my new avatar as a blogger.

So I signed up for the contest. And we mom bloggers made a blog train out of this review contest. I am following in the footsteps of my fellow mom blogger friend Swati Verma Do read her review of the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal on her blog. And don’t forget to follow her on Instagram for some lovely insights into her life.

The Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal is available in four types:
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4 choices of Matrikas Woman’s Journal to choose from

  • Blue – Fish – Glide
  • Red – Plume (Feather) – Write
  • Grey – Dragonfly – Fly
  • Hot Pink – Butterfly – Dream

I chose the Red Journal – the Feather Plume for Write. I wanted a planner which would help me keep up with the growing demands of my role as a blogger. As I mentioned earlier too, I was really drawn to the deep red & gold designs on the cover page too.

I signed up on the Matrika’s Paper Products Facebook page for the Scribble Your Heart Away review contest. The journal arrived promptly in a few days. There was also a personalized letter by Team Matrika’s which thanked us for choosing them and explaining the way ahead with the contest.

The Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal is a fun to use journal for a woman who uses the diary to write her dreams and escape to a different place, says the welcome note inside the journal.

The journal itself is easy to use and has an uncomplicated format. It has a set of ruled sheets which are undated which makes it a charm to use a page for any day. Sometimes I don’t get time to plan each day, or there are not enough items on my to-do list.

Undated day pages, means I can start off my day plan/ writing from any day

Having an undated page format is lovely because I can start off from any day. This also saves paper. How #ecofriendly is that? Also you can really set soar on your creative journey. I used the ruled sheets to plan my blog posts. Here is a post I am planning about teaching colours to my little boy.

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Blog post planning in a creative way

Trust me when I say this. I am not a very creative person when it comes to actual drawing, colouring etc. But Matrikas Creative Woman’s Journal has really inspired to do something like this.

When I received the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal, I was so impressed by its design and pages concept (as you will see shortly) that I went and bought a lot of stationery. Coloured pencils, stickers, colourful post-it notes and gel pens. Together they really brought out the creative genius in me and here is my visual representation of the same. My blog posts are no longer just in my head. I have a reference point and it makes work so much quicker.

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Adult colouring page – so therapeutic at the end of each day.

After each section of ruled paper sheets, it has a beautiful adult colouring page. I indulge in this every night, after #babyT has slept. It is a big stress buster for me.

This particular colouring page was my favourite. I would colour the leaves as per the mood of the day – joyful green, happy red, upset orange or just feeling low blue. I am happy there were so many joyful greens here.

 

 

 

The adult colouring sheets are then followed by plain doodle sheets. I used these sheets to list down some important areas which I need to work on but which have been pending for long. I also used this page for a Today I am grateful for section.

Being a mother has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The joy and love I receive everyday is unparalleled. However there are also trying times. I am not ashamed to say that there are days when I feel I have failed at being a good mother. There are days when I feel guilty for reacting in a particular manner with people around me. I also feel like motherhood was not meant for me, I am doing such a bad job of it. But I also know that I am doing a fairly ok job of raising a good, happy, healthy and content child. I had no prior experience but this is a job which I am learning on the go. And rocking at it too. I juggle so many roles and responsibilities and I still stand tall at the end of the day.

But this is something which I need constant reminders of. I also need to be thankful for all the love, support and encouragement I receive from my family and my friends. This is why I started the Today I am grateful for section. I look back often at this page and feel reassured that All is Well.

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Stickers. Who doesn’t love stickers?

My task for starting this section was made easier by the special feature in the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal – namely the stickers section. Yes, you heard right?  The journal has a separate section with 4 pages of thought provoking and inspiring stickers. You can stick these on the regular ruled sheets or on the doodle section to give a kick start to your thoughts and plans.

The last few pages of the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal are list pages. Here you can list the books you want to read, the places you want to visit or simply important phone numbers and addresses. Isn’t it wonderful that the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal is really a one-stop place for all that you need in a mom journal?

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Sleeve to store small notes or cards

There are also some add on features in the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal like this sleeve to store small stationary or notes. I use this section to store my visiting cards. How do you like my cards? Bright and colourful just like my Instagram feed. Follow me here: MommyingbabyT

As with all my reviews, what I loved about the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal is:

  • Bright and eye catching cover
  • Page concepts – ruled undated, the colouring sheets and the stickers really impressed me
  • Quality of materials and paper used – the cover is special fabric bound. The inner pages are also thick.
  • Place to store my visiting cards is really handy
  • It is available at a great price of Rs. 450

What I felt could be better? Nothing really. I loved how the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal gives me structure by way of the ruled sheets and the list sheets at the end. I equally loved how it gives me freedom to take wings and soar with creativity with the blank doodle sheets and the colouring pages. It is perfect for a mom. I have tried to plan my life on paper, many times before. However I lose steam soon enough. But when you have a beautiful and inspiring journal like the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal all you want to do is plan, write, dream and soar.

I am now handing over the baton to my fellow Mommy Blogger, Vasantha Vivek. Do watch out for her review on her blog Mysweetnothings.in And follow her on her Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

<< This review is a part of the Matrika’s Stationery Blogger Outreach Program and contest. The journal was sent to me for a review. I have used the journal over the course of several weeks. All the viewpoints mentioned in the review are based on my experience. 
This post contains affiliate links. >>

10 things no one told you about being a mother

Last weekend #BabyT’s daddy and I requested my MIL to take care of the little tyke and we sneaked out for dinner. The real reason was my husband wanted to buy some office wear. I decided to invite myself to the event. 🙂 I made real effort to dress up for this mundane task of buying crisp, white shirts & socks (bleh). I dug deep into my closet and yanked out a short dress which, wait for it, this is going to be Leg-En-Darydid not open from the front. No baby in tow, no breasts need freedom. Hurray!! Small joys. These are the things no one told you about being a mother. Why, kind pregnant people, who went before me, didn’t you tell me I will never wear a simple dress with no buttons, zips or loose fits in the front? Why will I spend the first year or more of my life as a new mother in loose fitting T-shirts or ugly looking maternity gowns with frills & flares & just ugh.

But the dress is not all there is to it. There are many things no one told you about being a mother. So here I present to you, the other side of being a mother.
  1. You will never wear a dress – You will never wear a dress which is closed from the front  and doesn’t release your breasts with minimum effort. Breastfeeding is not easy. But when you want to stick it out for the bare minimum and then want to continue with extended breastfeeding, remember you will never wear any outfit where it is a task to feed baby. As it is, fashionable maternity and breastfeeding friendly dresses are a rarity.
    So it has been 18 months of wearing nothing but loose T-shirts for me. Shopping for me means buying yet another T-shirt, maybe in a new colour.
    breastfeeding, nursing gown,nursing dress, things no one told you about being a motherWhen the cold shoulder trend hit the catwalks and the high street stores I could do nothing but cry. They are so gorgeous. I so wanted to try one, but no – breasts did not come out. So all I could do was sulk. Until a dear friend decided to design some beautiful nursing friendly dresses just for me. 🙂
  2. Going out to dinner – We were very particular that babyT develop a good sleep routine. So right from the time he was born till he was about 1 year old he was put to bed latest by 8 pm. His bed time was a religiously followed routine of warm sponging, baby lotion massage, diaper change, story and nursing to sleep. He then slept only to wake up hourly or so to nurse in the early days. This meant we never went out anywhere in the evenings. Even if we were out we would be back home by 5. The first time I was out after the sun had set (somewhere around when babyT was 11 months) I felt a new sense of joy of seeing the twilight skies. It was surreal. I am sure this is one of the things no one told you about being a mother.
  3. Enjoying a leisurely meal – All meals are gulped down these days. Irrespective of whether babyT is awake, sleeping or with someone else. Adult meal times seem like a chore which must be completed rather than savoured. This is because there are usually ten things lined up to do and eating is the least of the indulgences I would like to spend time on. Oh and beverages are always had only cold. 🙂
  4. Bathrooming in peace – Just this week, Facebook Memories threw this post from last year up for me to see.
    So yes ever since I have been managing babyT on my own to this day, going to restroom in peace has been a forgone conclusion. I really don’t know what it is with babies but the moment their moms enter the bathroom they get so insecure and will bang endlessly on the door until she is out.
  5. Doing laundry all the time – Morning or night, rain or shine I am forever doing laundry. There is a lot of adult clothes, baby clothes, cloth diapers and other clothes. Sometimes these 4 loads run on a single day. There is also separate detergent for babies, hot water for cloth diapers and an extra spin cycle in the monsoon. You can hear me tell my laundry tales here.
  6. Doing anything on time – be it a wedding or a party or a Doctor’s appointment or just plain simple watching the 9 pm serial. You will never make it to any of these on time ever. Because getting a baby or worse a toddler dressed and ready to go is a task which you will never accomplish with even the most precise of plans. And even if you do everything right, just as you are about to step out the door – baby is going to poop or puke and you are back at Start.
  7. You will be surprised how you remember all the nursery rhymes from your own childhood with actions – This was a huge surprise to me. With no babies and small children around in my immediate environment in the last decade or so, I felt I may be at a loss to remember the nursery rhymes. But when babyT needed entertainment I don’t know from where they erupted.. Incy Wincy spider with all the steps and Do Re Mi too. I did not even know that Do Re Mi had steps.
  8. You can kiss goodbye to clean anything: house, car and yourself too – You have a baby. You don’t clean up often. Maybe only once the baby is asleep. Yourself included. My record for number of days without a bath stands at 3 days. They were bleak days (hahah) but I survived. And even if you do have a bath regularly (hair wash not included) you probably save a ton of water because your baths are actually showers and are done in 30 seconds. 🙂
  9. You have newfound respect and admiration for your parents – This happens during the early stages of motherhood. With the endless sleep deprivation, combined with growth spurts and colic you wonder how they did it. Then add the frustration of not being able to understand what baby wants – too hot, too cold, too tired, over slept, hungry or just bored. You suddenly realise what you must have been like as a baby.
  10. You suddenly have a ton of mom friends and don’t see much of your regular friends – Motherhood leaves you with no time. Before I had a baby I used to wonder why some women disappeared from the social circuit for a few years. And soon it was my turn. I haven’t met or even spoken to some friends on the phone (we do chat) friends from pre-pregnancy days. But I have made countless mom friends – cloth diapering moms, baby wearing moms, blogger mom friends, facebook group mom, whatsapp group mom friends and then groups within those groups. You have loads of virtual friends who may meet once in a while, but your real relationships are put on a back-burner for a while.

If you are a pregnant or waiting to conceive mother, you may find this list useful. You may not relate to it now. I mean who can fathom that I did not see the moon and the dark skies apart from the time I saw them from the windows. Right? But your time will come and you may remember me then. hahah. But we are all in this together. We all go through it, irrespective of our age, race, colour, country, support systems, parenting philosophies and what have you.

If you are a new parent, what were some of the things that you experienced but were quite unprepared for? Did they surprise you and how did you recover?  I would love to know. Leave me a comment and I will come back to see all the #MomLife tales.

World Environment Day – 5 ways you can make a difference

5th June marks World Environment Day and like most people I do stop to ponder about the impact my actions & living choice have on the world & its environment.  World Environment Day is not a hallmark holiday. It is a very important and grave part of our modern lives today.  We need to talk more about the Environment and the legacy we leave behind. The old Indian saying which has been quoted far too many times, rings loudly in my ears…

“We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children”

Before I had #BabyT I would roll my eyes at those tree hugger type of people who would advocate save trees, go green, save water and all of it was mumbo-jumbo to me. I mean how does just one plastic bag I use make a difference? Right?

Turns out I was wrong. When they put that shriveled up & pink little dumpling in my arms I was transformed. I vowed to do everything to protect him and bring him up as a good human being in a better world than you and I know today. A cleaner, greener, healthier world. And so I joined the “Hippy bandwagon” – the term hurts me sometimes, but this is what some people now refer to me as. A hippy. But the hippies are a cool lot, they spread love and harmony and did a lot for the world that they graced their brief lives with. 

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10 Things I Miss about being Pregnant

Sundays are reserved for cleaning and tidying up and when I was doing that I chanced upon a diary from 2015. A quick glance landed me on the page for 25th April 2015. The words written on it tugged at my heart strings…

“So it begins.. we are pregnant”

This was the day in 2015, when our lab technician called me to tell me about the HcG blood test report we did. I didn’t understand the values she rattled off and asked her what does it mean.. and I still remember her little laugh and her saying “Congratulations!” (oops, I’m have a lump in my throat here.)

It got me reminiscing about that beautiful year in my life. After a lot of bad years, missed chances, depression, failures & tears, and almost giving up, we had 2015. The year of our pregnancy! 

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Loved my pregnancy – somehow we were team Blue without knowing it!

I enjoyed my pregnancy so so much, that I was sad that babyT had to come out. Of course, I couldn’t have waited any longer to have in my arms. Bu tI did get thinking about those days and what I miss about being pregnant.  Continue reading

Johnson’s ‘Best for Baby’ event: Rekindling the scent of childhood

Today everywhere I look around on social media, the message I get is Johnson’s Best for Baby. But when the team at BabyChakra got in touch asking if I would like to attend a blogger and influencer event co-sponsored by Johnson’s Baby, my first thought was No. I had not used any JB products on #babyT, several people had told me to avoid them and I used to go around telling other new parents not to do so too. When family around me was told that they would need to chip in and mind babyT while I attended the event and that it was a JB event, many eyebrows were raised, “Oh but you don’t use Johnson’s baby products on babyT! How is this relevant for you!?” Did it make sense for me to attend this then? Is Johnson’s truly Best for baby? I had to find out.

I decided to go to the event, in order to understand why Johnson’s was so keen to meet us moms and what they had to say. Half expecting that they would be launching a new product I also wanted us to experience it first. And somewhere deep down I wondered if I could ask them why they weren’t doing something about the bad reputation they seemed to have in the baby products category.

So on a Monday morning, I wore a dress and headed to the Johnson’s Best for Baby influencer and blogger meet at Hyatt Recency in Mumbai.

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Baby Chakra with Johnson’s Baby #BestforBaby – a full house

The morning started with meeting the team of Baby Chakra – India’s leading mother and baby website. The team had put in every effort to ensure that all the moms who were attending were comfortable and happy. A children’s play area was available so that children could accompany their moms at the event. I am sure the children went back thanking Johnson’s Best for Baby.

Games Moms Play

The team from Johnson’s Baby took over the stage and I was most impressed with Deepali. Her passion for the brand and prime focus on #BestforBaby really shone through.

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Our team of mommy bloggers and influencers PC – Shubhreet of RaisingKarma.in

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