Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

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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.

I realised that I am the creator (not just of new life, but also of destinies, of the mind & heart of my baby), protector (nourisher, enricher), destroyer (of all naysayers & evil eye casters) and all that stood for the Goddess Durga. My interest piqued and I read more about the 9 avatars and found a fondness for Ma Kushmanda – a little known but most crucial avatar of the Goddess in the whole scheme of things.

There is little prevalent knowledge about Ma Kushmanda. The most popular Goddesses are, of course, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati, Mahalakshmi, Sita et al. But all these Godesses would not have come into being if it were not for Ma Kushmanda in the first place. This was a fact which astounded me, yet another fruit of creation enjoyed without due credit to the mother of them all.

Ma Kushmanda is supposed to have created the world and all its beings with her divine smile. Her name itself gives it away – “Ku” means a little, “Ushma” means warmth or energy and “Anda” means cosmic egg.

When the universe was non-existent and darkness prevailed everywhere, Maa Kushmanda produced the Cosmic egg with her smile, bringing light to the universe. Kushmanda has the power and strength to live in the core of Sun. Her luminosity gives the Sun its brightness. She is said to give directions to the Sun God, (Source: wikipedia)

What I found most interesting about Ma Kushmanda was this very fact – that she lives in the sun. Much of motherhood is like that isn’t it? Early days of motherhood were full of anxiety for me as I tried to make sense of this role I had donned almost overnight. And with this came contrasting opinions, judgements, people making you feel you were not doing enough, people making you feel you were doing too much. Nothing less than living under a constant centre of stress and pain. But motherhood makes you prod along, push back all the negativity and emerge as the stronger one to do the best for your child. Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula, use cloth diapers or disposable, play rhymes on the mobile or sing them yourself, every mother does her best for her baby.

I don’t know what it is about motherhood, but it makes you feel like a hero. I remember I came out of the stupor and excited delirium of childbirth and almost stated to the world, “That’s it? That was easy. Let’s have more kids.” I had a C-section of course and in one of the most service-oriented hospitals in Mumbai. So my overall birthing experience felt nothing short of 5 Star. The power of creation is something apart and it leaves you more mature, wise and humble.

And then the number of challenges I have faced up to and emerged over the two years of mothering has made me believe that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and want to succeed. I learnt so many new skills, not just pertaining to mother and baby, but take blogging for example. Blogging is so much more than just buying a domain and writing down your thoughts. It involves technical skills, marketing skills. Skills I certainly didnt possess, but that were learnt along the way.

This is the final blog post for our blog train on the 9 days of womanhood. I thank Harneet Khurana for setting the stage for me. I loved her blog Sublime Messages on the prompt for today. And don’t forget to visit  PrettyMumma Says to see  Surbhi Mahobia’s perspective on the Goddess she identifies with.

 

 

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A year with baby

BabyT is fast approaching two. I have seriously no idea how the time flew and now it is almost time for us to get him prepared for big people stuff like not peeing in diapers and going to a place outside of home i.e school. However the prompt for today’s blog post on the first year of baby for the 9 Days of Womanhood writing challenge took me back to those days where he had just arrived in our lives and we were still learning the basic roles of nurturing a baby. I thank Harneet Khurana for setting the stage for me. I loved her blog Sublime Messages on the prompt for today. And don’t forget to visit  PrettyMumma Says to see  Surbhi Mahobia’s perspective on her first year with baby.

 

 

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The first year was all about learning for us… of course parenting is always a learning process and an evolution. I think I still teach my parents a thing or two. (wink) But in the first year, we were totally clueless about every tiny thing. Right from how to feed the baby to change his diaper to burping him to cooking for him to reading to him or playing with him. Every new developmental spurt that came along for babyT seemed to challenge us too to learn new skills to appease his newly acquired abilities.

Being a stay at home parent, I got to experience babyT’s growing up minutely and gradually. I witnessed him take his first crawl, standing up and cruising and walking. I heard his first cry, his gurgle and his word (Daddah, of course.) He went from being a wrinkly, baby acne covered baby to a chubby-cheeked lil ball of fluff. I saw his first grasp, his first spoon to mouth and first sip from a straw. I may have forgotten to take many of these pics or they have been blurred, but they have been etched into my mind’s eye forever.

I think I also spent quite a lot of time from babyT’s first year Brexting.

Brexting (noun/informal) for texting or browsing the internet, while breastfeeding.

Nursing sessions would run so long sometimes that I would need to do something other than just breastfeed. That definitely did not mean I loved my boy any less or that I neglected him. However I did spend a lot of time on the internet reading up about all things baby – cloth diapering, babywearing, breastfeeding and baby led weaning (I must remember to do a post on this soon.) And it honestly made me feel more confident of my role as a mother especially when I returned to my marital home from my mom’s and had no one else around at home to help me with taking care of babyT. So whoever shamed brexting moms, go take a walk.

The first year has also been challenging. I had shelved many of my dreams, aspirations and passions. Back then I felt life as I knew it, was over. I had had visions of the future of me an old woman who had long forgotten herself and how life was plain simple boring. Oh, but those days of shelving plans and dreams were short-lived. Because once we crossed the one-year mark, life changed and how? That has been an interesting journey too and I shall come back to share it some day soon.

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Of Asparagus soup & CSec scars

  • Cream of asparagus soup
  • Multi grain roti
  • Coloured veggies sabji
  • Mixed dal
  • Vegetable pulao
  • Italian salad
  • Fresh citrus fruit juice

Sounds healthy but delicious right? I remember this menu so clearly and I can almost taste them all so vividly. This was on the menu when I was in the hospital recovering from childbirth. I had heard that hospital food was yummy but I got to experience this first hand during my stay there.

My husband and I are quite adventurous when it comes to food. We enjoy a good 5-course gourmet (read: expensive) meal as much as a soulful regional thali. Even when we were in the hospital after babyT arrived we were looking forward to mealtimes, eager to see what would be served up to us. And menus like the above were savoured and devoured.

We had chosen to have babyT at the famous Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani hospital in Andheri, Mumbai. We had a great team of Doctors on our case and we were very pleased with all the prenatal services we experienced. But we had heard legends about the food that was part of the recuperating mom’s menu and we couldn’t wait to try it. 😛

The morning before I went in for my delivery a nutritional expert arrived to meet us and asked me about my regular diet and if I had any allergies or food sensitivities. Based on this a customised meal was sent to me, based on their menu for the day. And we loved it. The food was also generous in portion and usually, each meal was sufficient for me to share with my room partner (my mom or husband.)

But what makes hospital food so delicious?

I attempted to understand this.

Hospital food, especially at the ones which lay emphasis on every aspect of patient experience, is fresh, good quality, hygienically prepared and most importantly healthy.

However healthy doesn’t need to be boring and with the expertise of nutritional professionals, food served to recuperating patients in the hospital is very pleasing to the palette. Nutritionists work closely with the chefs in the kitchen to draft, test out and perfect recipes which are healthy and tasty too. And hospitals like the one I had babyT in also appealed to the palette of a clientele from India and abroad. The menu, therefore, consisted of multi-cuisine items. A treat for food loving people like husband and I. I mean I never did imagine I would be having a 4 to 5-course meal in the hospital.

Eating a healthy and balanced meal at the hospital also helps in the patient recovering faster, gaining valuable nutrition to in turn prepare breastmilk for the newborn. Asparagus is also known as Shatavari in Indian languages and is a well-known galactagogue. No wonder there’s Asparagus soup on the menu for women who have just had their baby.

Eating hospital food may, therefore, be a great source of joy for the new mother who is just recovering from child birth.

Read this interesting post about what hospitals across the world feed their patients.

Do you remember what you ate in the hospital? Did you love it/ hate it?

I am glad for this blog train that I am participating in along with 24 other bloggers and celebrating  #9daysofwomanhood through the Navratri season. I thank Harneet Khurana for setting the stage for me. I loved her blog Sublime Messages on the prompt for today which is all about our pregnancy. And don’t forget to visit  PrettyMumma Says to see  Surbhi Mahobia’s perspective on her pregnancy.

 

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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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.

Let me first say, I am sorry

I think it is very human to compare, evaluate and put one person or thing above another. I know this sounds perfectly fair but on the other end of the spectrum sometimes it also means you put someone down. I am as guilty of this as the next person (Don’t tell me you have never judged another person.. especially a mother. If you do believe you haven’t, think hard & long.) Becoming a mother and being a part of so many mom groups – both formal and informal has made me realise that mothers have it really tough. No, I am not talking about the physical hardship or the sleepless nights. I mean by way of being answerable to every person who walks the face of this earth – from your immediate family, your extended family, your house help, the doctor & nurses, the cab driver (Yes, a cab driver in Goa on our holiday gave me some “gyaan” on why I am doing a stupid thing by still breastfeeding my child at 1 year+) Add to this mom guilt and the “curse of eternal memory” as a fellow mom blogger Shweta of Times of Amma says. Read what she has to say about motherhood here.

You get the drift.

I was one of those too. “What an irresponsible mother – she has a nanny to lug her child around the mall.” Today I am that mother. And I know why a mother would do the things she does. And all that she does is the best for her child and her own self. I am wiser now. I am less judgemental. I empathise more. And so I am sorry to all the moms I used to judge.

Love, Peace and all the Flower Power

Vegan, cruelty-free, no animal milk, organic, natural, pure, reduce/ reuse/ recycle & back to basics. Hippies all of them. Most of these terms seemed all mumbo-jumbo and fake to me at one point of time. Until I had a baby that is.

When babyT arrived in our lives a switch went off in our brain and hearts and we suddenly became responsible citizens of planet Earth. Everything from not using disposable diapers to reducing waste, not using plastics and giving up on animal milk and dairy products as a family (more due to medical reasons) is how we lead our lives. We have joined the “hippy” brigade.

I never did think I would be the one to find any merit in this. But I have and I am now convinced how this is the only way that we will be able to sustain life and the planet we live on. More than better health or immunity, it also assures me that we ourselves will be responsible citizens and raise a child who will see a better world tomorrow.

Bring it on

I used to think that working a 9 to 9 job and then hitting the town to party the night away with friends, and then turning up to work at 8 am the next day made me some sort of a superwoman. Boy, was I wrong about how much more I could pack in.

modern woman

I am not just talking about the many roles that get added on in terms of mothering and nurturing a fragile child but in terms of the new roles that I suddenly found the impetus for.  I started blogging, and writing – something that I wanted to do for the longest time. All my life I had a flair for the written word and was trusted by my teachers to write, edit and publish school and college magazines and other brochures. But I never found the drive to start writing for myself until babyT arrived.

But that was not all. I also have come to the stage where I partner with brands, social causes, networking with other moms and mom bloggers, educating new moms to be about the journey ahead. Add participating in writing festivals, blogging challenges and trains, run Instagram contests and giveaways. Whew! I honestly don’t know where my energy comes for and the time too. But it gets done. It’s like motherhood has fitted me with an Energizer battery that just keeps going. 🙂

I am part of this blog train started by Pooja Kawatra of Mums & Babies and she has networked to bring together 41 moms across the GLOBE. (Meet the 41 moms here.) Pooja has also shared her own perspective on this here.

Blog Train by Mums & Babies

One of my favourite Mama’s Sushmita Chatterjee Targett wrote about her beautiful experience of how giving birth to a child of her own made her a better mother to her older stepchildren. Do read it here.

I would now like to pave the way for the next mommy blogger in our blog train.

Meet Akanksha Arora Sharma. She is a blogger mommying her little man Rayaan. A dental surgeon by profession Akanksha started her journey in the blogging world last year in July and runs a blog by the name of MummyandRayaan. She talks about her mothering journey and also a lot about her travel stories which have also been featured on biglifeshots and supermommitali accounts on Instagram, Akanksha’s Instagram feed is an absolute delight and I highly recommend you follow her.

Happy reading!

 

 

 

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My miracle pregnancy

Did I ever tell you, I started this blog about a year back to talk about my pregnancy and how I emerged from battling infertility to finally being pregnant and having a child in my arms? I don’t think I have ever had the guts though to revisit that difficult time in my place. Therefore I have never written about it on my blog. This, in fact, is my 90th and something blog post here and I think I am finally ready to talk about it – my miracle pregnancy. And I am glad for this blog train that I am participating in along with 24 other bloggers and celebrating  #9daysofwomanhood through the Navratri season. I thank Harneet Khurana for setting the stage for me. I loved her blog Sublime Messages on the prompt for today which is all about our pregnancy. And don’t forget to visit PrettyMumma Says to see  Surbhi Mahobia’s perspective on her pregnancy.

 

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

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