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-Dary – did 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.
- 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.
When 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. 🙂
- 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.
- 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. 🙂
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 🙂
- 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.
- 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.