Reflections of A First Time Moms
Created by Rashmi Balagopal Updated on Dec 05, 2021
The moment a child is born, a mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely New - Rajnish
After a long debate of whether we were “ready or not” my husband and I had decided on our fifth wedding anniversary that we were ready (sort of) to plunge into parenthood. I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. We were on a vacation and I was experiencing the first and obvious sign of pregnancy… so just to be sure that it was not a delayed period and that I could still have my cocktails I decided to go ahead and test. I felt that waiting for the line(s) to show up on the stick was by far the most nerve wrecking experience I have ever gone through in my life.
From the minute I found out I was pregnant, our lives changed, our priorities changed, our attitude changed. No drinking, no passive smoking, no junk food and no to a lot of things that came very naturally to us. Even before our baby was born, change was slowly making its way in to our carefree lives.
Our bundle of joy, Nikhil, arrived on a cold January afternoon. Honestly, nothing had prepared me for how my lifestyle would change after the baby was born. I mean, I did read about sleepless nights, changing your schedule according to the baby’s schedule, the feeding and the dirty diapers. I got lot of advice from seasoned moms – different ways to sooth your wailing baby, how to deal with colic, what to carry in your diaper bag, good baby products that worked for them and much more.
I even had an excel spreadsheet with all the information I had collected over the nine months of pregnancy. I thought that I was prepared, but little did I know that something as small as 21 inches could be capable of throwing me off my “well-planned” tracks. Don’t get me wrong, all the reading, the information, even my spreadsheet was extremely useful, but I realized that I had not prepared myself of the impact I would have mentally. I had equipped myself with everything I needed for my baby, but I had unfortunately not asked enough about how to deal with myself.
The first month was overwhelming for me – the hormones, lack of sleep, physical exhaustion, nursing blues… to cut the long story – I was a wreck. I was highly sensitive, emotional (crying for no reason), always worried about the baby for no reason – I guess these were my share of baby blues. I had read about it, I had heard about it, but when it actually hit me I was so underprepared since it’s completely different reading about something and actually experiencing it. Thankfully, slowly but steadily, Nikhil and I fell into a routine. As time passed my hormones subsided and I regained some of my sanity.
Our life had completely changed. There were no more impromptu dinner outings, long drives, mall visits or catching a movie. Every trip, be it to the grocery store round the corner or a weekend getaway, was well planned and well executed one. Despite stocking enough diapers, towels, change of clothes, burp clothes, bottles and much more we were increasingly caught unaware of things like the days we were left with one spare diaper in the bag he would poop thrice, the day we didn’t have an extra burp cloth he would have a spit fest (you get the idea ?).
Each time something like this happened I would remember the Scouts and Guides motto: Be Prepared. After couple of disastrous outings, we had a system – Always check the diaper bag and replenish supplies before stepping out.
A perennial pushover, I somehow transformed in to an assertive mom. When it came to Nikhil I had learned to put my foot down. Children are creatures of routine – I had learned to give importance to his schedule. Before Nikhil came into our lives, I would lingered around in a party or a social gathering if the host would have asked us to stay longer, but now I don’t hesitate to say “we have to leave, it’s getting late” or “Please don’t give him any more chocolates” or “He has had enough chips” or “Could you please switch off the TV”. I know I sound like an overbearing mom but hey, I have to deal with the consequences.
My priorities have changed. Ten years ago, if someone told me that I’d be a stay at home mom I would’ve brushed it off as a joke. But here I am today, staying at home and surprisingly enjoying it.
My attitude towards my mom changed. Only after I became a mom did I understand my mom’s obsession with me – the soap I used, the clothes I wore, the books I read, the school I went, the friends I had, the things I ate… it’s an endless list.
My attitude towards other parents has changed. Earlier, I used to be the one complaining about how I had a crying infant during my long flight or look at parents in a restaurant trying to control a mischievous toddler and go “tsk tsk”. All those are things of the past. Now I would go out of the way to help the poor mom trying to calm her baby in a flight or flash an I-know-what-you-are-going-through-smile at the frustrated parents trying to get their toddler to sit down in one place.
Most of the conversations that we had as new parents revolved around the apple of our eye- Nikhil but once when we got the opportunity to go out for a dinner and a movie without Nikhil did we realize, how much we missed just talking to each other about each other. Even listening to what happened at his workplace was a welcome change. We realized the importance of “Just us” time, thereafter we make it a point to go out on our own at least once a month (a movie, a dinner, a drive, may be a visit to our friend’s place) - just the two of us.
Lastly, I realized that I needed “me-time”. It was somewhere in the first three whirlwind months of being an overwhelmed mom, that I had a girls night out with my friends. Just a dinner with the girls, good conversation and good company was all I needed to feel rejuvenated. A rejuvenated me meant a better me for my precious baby. Then on, I make a point to take some time out for myself within the month. I do anything that refreshes me (It could be as mundane as going grocery shopping alone or as exotic as pampering myself in a spa with some of my girlfriends).
When raising a child, every day is a new day; the beginning of all things wonderful, hope and a dream of possibilities. The moment my child was born, I was changed forever. I grow everyday as a mother thanks to him.
Image source - Parentune Archives
| Feb 06, 2013
Rashmi, I am a new member at this site. I came across your article in FB. I so much liked it that I had to become a member at this site. Credit goes to you. Besides I am a new mom. I can relate so much to whatever you have written... starting from "The moment a child is born, a mother is also born" to "if someone told me that I’d be a stay at home mom I would’ve brushed it off as a joke". I am looking forward to a lot of new information in the coming days.
| Feb 27, 2013
Hi rashmi, other than the fact that we share our names, we share all the common feelings that i have gone through. I wish sum1 had told me about all this before my baby was born. All of us seem to think that we are the only ones going through these feelings, but we are all sailing in the same boat. I have so many frends who say they feel like cryin all the time in the initial months of the baby, and all I tell them is that this is very very normal. i loved your sentence "A perennial pushover, I somehow transformed in to an assertive mom" that exactly me, other than this i leared cooking nice stuff for my son tanush, I learned to be more organised (cnt let my son feel he has a sloppy mom,)I am learning driving at 30 (dont want my kiddo to travel in auto)so moral of the story
| Dec 09, 2016
Wow. well written. I am also going through same. I liked ur point about time for me or two of us. I was thinking on it from somedays but thought comes and go as we are new perents ( our baby boy is 4. 5 month old) but it should be there to keep u energises allways and keep baby happy. good nice read.
| Dec 20, 2019