Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Tag: parenting

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 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. 
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