Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Category: Parenting (page 1 of 3)

Motherhood taught me… “I am the Goddess incarnate”

Navratri or the holy nights where Goddess Durga is worshipped in all her 9 avatars, is a festival that is celebrated with much fervour in the family that I am married into. These 9 days and nights are considered to be highly auspicious. An eternal flame is lit on day 1 which is only allowed to subdue after the 9 days have passed. Aartis or prayers are sung with much enthusiasm and by gathering as many members as possible. The prayer that is sung speaks of the virtues of the Goddess in her 9 avatars and how she won over evil to bring peace and content to her followers. It’s been 8 years that I have been married into this family, but it is only after having babyT and thus becoming a mother myself did I start finding new meaning to the words and lines that make up this prayer.

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Motherhood & a new me

Ask any new mother and she will tell you how nothing prepared her for motherhood and how it totally turned her life upside down. I am one of these too. Motherhood has completely overhauled my life, my skill sets, my belief systems & values. It has changed me as a person – the way I view myself more than anything else. Hey, I made a baby, and I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Motherhood changed something big in me and here I tell you what it is.

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Photo Fridge Magnets

Motherhood changed me at the very core and essence of my being. Sometimes when I sit back and look at the newness back and look at the newness of my life (not just in terms of a new baby and all that) I am astonished to realised that such a big change happened and that I did not even realise when it took place.

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Great things happen when women support each other: Being a woman in India in 2017

I am in a happy place in life right now. Everything in my life is surely not perfect, but I am happy. As I sat down to write about this topic I realised that I am lucky indeed to be living the life I am right now. I am a woman in 2017 who is living life on her own terms. It may not be a bed of roses, but this is my happy place and I revel in it. It brings me immense pleasure to share that I, along with 24 other bloggers are celebrating #9daysofwomanhood throughout Navratri. I thank Harneet Khurana for setting the stage for me. I loved her blog Sublime Messages on the prompt for today which is Being a Woman in India in 2017.  Continue reading

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.

The Best Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Hurray HallMark you succeeded in winning one more customer. Since a baby has arrived in our lives, we now celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Which is very welcome of course. I am not even getting into the debate of why just one day to celebrate moms or dads here. But let’s just go with it and get daddy a gift this Sunday. If you are like me and don’t even know what day of the week it is. Or worse that we are already in the month of June. Wait, you did realize we are in 2017 right? Oh gosh! Not to fret. Here are the Best Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas.

  1. Get Artsy – Get yourself some DIY. Grab some paper or ready mounted canvas boards. I had some lying around the house. Make this mess free painting in no time. If you already have the materials available at home, this is ready in one day. If you don’t have the stuff handy, you can get these at your local stationary shop.
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    Art by BabyT for Daddy

    We did this with zero planning and just put everything together. It was done in less than 10 minutes and took about half a day to dry. The tough task is hiding it from daddy (He usually checks my blog on Sundays and by that time he will have this gift with him. So we’re safe). We actually made the frame as a memoir for babyT’s 18 month birthday. But we will be presenting it to dad instead as babyT’s first art piece.
    Look up Father’s Day ideas on Pinterest. You will be spoilt for choice and lost for hours before you realise that the Best Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas are actually easy peasy arty crafty. 🙂

  2. Photos – This is by far the easiest of the lot. Find some cute pics of daddy and baby. Get them printed and framed at your local shop. It makes a great gift for daddy’s work desk in the office. Or if you want to save the effort of going to the local photo studio, then try the photo print services provided by online companies like Zoomin
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    1st Father’s Day gift from BabyT – a mug with a photo of the two

    They even have specials for Father’s Day where you can print photo books, photos printed on canvas, mugs, metals, magnets etc.

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    Photo Fridge Magnets

    We got this photo magnet as a goody bag filler for babyT’s first birthday celebrations. It has turned out so well. Is easy to make with the templates provided online. And it got delivered in a jiffy.

  3. Give dad a complete day of pampering – Hey Sunday’s are days for Daddy rest anyway. But let’s make it special. Cook up their favourite Sunday breakfast. Send them off for a long hot bath with their favourite bath products. My husband loves herbal and artisan soaps.
    So a soap and other toiletries from Kama Ayurveda has always been a good idea for him. Kama Ayurveda has an online store too. This really is the Best Last Minute Father’s Day Gift idea after all.
  4. Book a Staycation – I love the concept of Staycations. You can just take off anytime you like. It doesn’t need elaborate planning, packing or shutting the house down. And you get to really relax, enjoy time together as a family. We staycationed for our baby moon and then for babyT’s first birthday.
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    For BabyT’s first birthday we booked a quaint little boutique hotel in the idyllic lanes of Colaba (near the Gateway of India) and took along 15 of our close family members. It was a surprise for all of them and a real big gift as we were staying in SoBo and near all the action of good restaurants, pubs and street shopping. This is the hotel we stayed at: The Gordon House Hotel. The rooms were tastefully done up. We just never wanted to come back.
    And ever since that staycation, I have recommended it to all who ask about it. Do look up boutique hotels in your city and staycation there. It’d be a wonderful way to celebrate Father’s Day with daddy dearest. All you have to do is look up the hotel and send in a booking.

What is the babyT household up to on Father’s Day? Well, you will just have to wait until Father’s Day to find out, won’t you? You may find some clues on my Instagram feed: MommyingBabyT So stay tuned!

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.

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