Thursday, May 24, 2007

My career as a mom : For Mother's May

This post is by Poppins of

This post, while late is for Mother's May. It is a story of my growth as a mom. My own tribute to my wonderful mother is here...

DH loves kids and has always loved them. I never noticed them until I had my own. When I got married I declared to DH that I would never want to have a baby. Now that I read so many mommy bloggers, I find a lot of folks felt the same way.

But of course, as time went by and my biological clock ticked louder and louder, I decided to give in and have a baby. And once I made up my mind, I wanted to do it oh-so-perfectly. How naive of me to think that there was only one 'perfect' way to raise a child.

I decided to start with having a perfect pregnancy, which did not quite happen. Due to complications, poppin was premature, and overnight I was a mother to a frail 3.5 lb baby. And if you have never seen a baby that small, let me tell you - it can freak you out. Especially since no one I knew personally had ever had such a small baby.

I loved poppin from the start. I know that some moms will disagree that it happens, but it does. Maybe it was because she was so frail and did not even have the energy to cry but I felt fiercely protective and crazily in love with her from the moment she took to my breast.

I was a crazy sort of mom those first few months, feeding her round the clock, never letting her cry. I also got obsessive about milestones, always on the lookout for problems. That phase ended when at 4 months, poppin topped her weight charts and looked all set to meet the milestones of her peers.

So far it had been easy because all I had to do was stuff poppin's mouth. It was after this that I became an insecure mom. Because around this time, poppin was more interested in the world around her and she was responding to people. All people, especially DH and my mom. But not me. Having had no interest in babies before, I did not know how to coo or do baby talk. I always felt silly doing it and mostly tried to imitate my mom in the privacy of my feeding sessions.

My mom and DH were both naturals at it and managed to get poppin's first laughs, babbling, chortles, coos and smiles. I got nothing except spit up and tears. The tears were mostly mine. I did not love my baby any less but I felt more and more worthless as a mom.

I did not know how to pat her to sleep, it was my mom who did that. I never knew how to comfort her when she cried (without using the breast), DH knew it instinctively. I think that was a low point in my career as a mom. Sometime around that time, my mother went on a month long vacation to the sibling's house. And then it was just me and poppin during the day. I read tonnes of books on parenting and nervously, somehow I found my groove as a mom.

My own style, different from mom's and DH. That was when I became a condescending know-it-all mom. I was like 'My way or the highway'. When my mom came back from vacation, she was harassed by me for patting poppin to sleep. Or for carrying her a lot. Or for putting her to sleep at 6 pm in the evening. Or for asking me to feed her when poppin woke up at 2 AM. I has just gained confidence as a mom and there was no way I was giving in an inch !

This phase continued for the longest time - between poppin's 5 months to getting a year old. Sometimes, I think that there are still remnants :) Around the time poppin was 10 months old, I went back to work and was a nervous wreck when I was in office. What if my mom didn't do it exactly the way I did it? Slowly I realised that there were many other, completely acceptable ways to do it. And my mom with her years of experience, has solved many a problem that I couldn't.

And I like to think that I am now a confident, happy mom. I love poppin, I face challenges with her which I solve with the help of my mom, DH, mother-in-law and with all the advice of co-bloggers. I learnt that it really does take a village to raise a child. I think poppin senses my laid back confidence and, ahem, I have uprooted DH as the most favourite person in her world. yay !

I find it strangely appropriate that I was disappointed when I did not get a Mother's day cheesy card last year, but did not even remember Mother's day this year. When you're blessed with a loving mother and are comfortable in your own identity as a mom, it is truly Mother's day every day.


Meeta said...

What a lovely post. You wrote about my career as a mum in this post. I can relate to pretty much every single word! Thanks for this!

Tharini said...

Wow! Never knew that you went thru those little upheavels initially. You've really ridden the waves right from the start. Really enjoyed your honest writing. Beautiful stuff!

Asha said...

My daughter was 5 weeks premature too(a healthy 5 1/2lbs) although I had a perfect pregnancy.I do understand the anxiety but they do turn out great,specially girls,who are natural fighters against all odds!:))
Enjoy the career of a motherhood,really great.Of course there are ups and downs,specially when turn into monstrous tweens and teens but don't worry we will there to help ya!:D
May is still the month of Mother's day theme,so you are not late:))

Reena said...

that is a wonderful post. enjoy the motherhood. with everything busy going on, it still is the best thing for me:).

Saheli said...

Cool Poppins!
I really enjoyed reading your post. For me, it seemed very easy with my son(first born). He was very friendly and not fussy at all. I was so proud of myself bcos, it just seemed very natural and I was doing a very good job. After 4 yrs, I was up for another baby (how hard can it be, right?). I was so wrong.....
My daughter was very fussy in the initial months. I had a hard time breastfeeding her. I had lost all my confidence and it was like how did I do it the first time. Well, it sounds funny now and I am going to leave it that way.
Yes, motherhood is indeed a very rewarding job. And I am very glad that I chose this career for me :)

Dee said...

I read the post about your mom. My salutes to her! She deserves every bit of goodness :)

Kodi's Mom said...

What if my mom didn't do it exactly the way I did it?
I can soooo relate to this!!! I too was heavily influenced by the books/internet what not and thought there was only one way to perfect parenting! I know now how ridiculous that was :)

Well said abt Mother's day - I feel the same way, but I could have never articulated it the way you did! lovely post!!

Poppins said...

@Meeta: High Praise Indeed. Thanks !

@Tharini: Yeah, we're learning a little about each other every day :)

@Asha: Go Girls ! :-) Thanks for the support.

@Reena: Ditto !

@Saheli: It's a career choice that chose me and not the other way around ;-)

@dee: Sweet of you to say that. Thanks !

@Kodi's Mom: What do you mean by you could never have articulated? You write so well! I always have a smile when I read your posts.. Thanks anyways. I shall be graceful and accept the compliment.

Moppet's Mom said...

Supermom! :)

DR said...

Nice post....

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