I also learnt so much in the process of being absolutely clueless and starting my journey on a clean slate like every first time mother does. I had help and support from family and that gave me the strength. Below, today, I’m sharing with you 8 of the most important things I learnt in my first year of motherhood.
1. Your Breast-feeding Journey Does Not Define Your Relationship With Your Baby
Okay this is a huge one and controversial if you want it to be. First of all, Breastfeeding is a choice! All that matters is whatever you choose to do or whatever YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION makes you do, its all good!!! There is no right or wrong path here. I started to really breastfeed Raaga after the first month and until she was 11 months old. But she wasn’t exclusively breadfed. I always needed to supplement with formula . I am not guilty today but I was for the first few months. Its sort of like peer pressure. But to speak of our personal journey with feeding… it just has to seem right to you, what feels best for your body, your time and much more. Don’t let people take you on a guilt trip when they say “do whats best for your baby”. Your relationship with your baby has nothing to do with breastfeeding if you don’t want it to be. Your guilt consciousness might make this true for your but it actually isn’t true! There are so many other ways you can bond with your child in the first year so DON’T beat yourself up by comparing your feeding journey/style with anybody else!
2. You Will Breakdown Way Too Much More Than You Would Want ToSometimes letting off steam is the only way out of pressure, stress and overwhelm but I never imagined it at this magnitude. When Raaga was 10 months old, I broke down everyday and cried myself to sleep for 2 weeks straight. Hormones are no joke. And they are forever by your side ready to raise to the surface at the slightest hint of tiresomeness!
3. Your Instinct Is Always Bloody Right!
Never ever underestimate your instinct. Its something I learnt in the first 6 months. It is a rather slow process to trust yourself with every little thing when you’re a first time mother. Hell, I called my mom for the tiniest of my doubts. And always checked what Aunt google had to say. In-spite of all the support, my gut still said the right thing at the right time. I took baby steps toward my instincts. But it helps to know something and I’ll tell you – your gut will never go wrong about what to DO. It sure is a dumbo when it is about what to SAY 🤷♀️ 😂..
4. You Are Not Alone :
This one is soooooo important. Its something we keep saying out loud but its in those dark nights of lonely feeding sessions with hurting nipples, those long nap-less afternoons when the baby is crying her lungs out and you have no idea why, those early morning hours when your baby finally sleeps “like a baby” and you just can’t take your eyes off of her but want to catch a snooze yourself…… In those moments, you HAVE to believe that you are not alone. Because I see you, I get you and every mother gets you. You are not alone….
5. It Is Just A Phase :
“And before you know it” they say, but the truth is , its always “after you know it” ! You will go through a phase with your kid , experience it , feel the pain of it , have those fretty times and then the phase will pass. The only thing that keeps you sane is the hope that it will pass soon because its just a phase. You will never let a phase go untouched. You will always know it… every moment of it. But there are some wonderful moments in these phases too and they will pass too … so try to have a sense of humor and don’t take yourself too seriously.
6. You Will Be Judged
I’m not sorry for saying it out loud because unless you live in a cave, (with no humans other than you and your kid) the truth is you will be judged and criticized ! Whether you believe in organic or don’t , whether you breastfeed or bottle feed or formula-feed or pump or dont pump. You will be judged for your baby’s weight and for your weight….Hell, you’ll even be judged for not going through the pains of labor. And it will make you furious but remember that this year is all about learning. Learning how you can smile through it all, learning to do your own thing and not justify. I’m not trying to be negative here but I’m trying to be as honest as I can! Bring it on witty answers if you’re the kind who won’t let it go without a fight. Or you can just dust it off. Its entirely up to you but whatever you do , do not let it add to your mom guilt because it will become unmanageable if you let people and their opinions get into you.
7. You will find your tribe :
Initially everything seems like no one has ever set foot in your shoes and has no idea what you are going through as a new mom. But eventually, you will find and meet your tribe, moms exactly like you, similar to you , and ones that have a new and fresh perspective to bring to the table all the time. These are some people you should closely observe because , as much as we think we can do it all, and follow books, internet sources etc, real time experience tops it all and what better than having a village around you right?
8. You weight gain is the least of your concerns :
“So how are you planning to shed all the baby weight” A friend asked . Its overwhelming to hear this! And I answered ” first I gotta focus on my baby’s weight” . Don’t get intimidated. Answer right back and stick to it mama! I say this because I know a lot of us can stress over the extra pounds we gained during pregnancy but its really the least of your concerns. You need to produce milk and that meals you need to eat high calorie food and thats all that matters because your baby matters most. To be honest, I was never a weight watcher but I thought somehow I’d shockingly put on too much weight that I’l become conscious about it after my delivery but nothing of that sort happened. I naturally came down but gradually and I did not rush the process to fit into my old jeans! Because thats not important! Sleepless and tiresome nights, feeding, caring for a new tiny creature, are stressful enough and you don’t need this extra cloud over your head at this point. I always knew this and it just got reinforced in the initial months of giving birth!