It’s been almost two years now since a little 6.4 pounds human popped out of me. And believe me when I say I am still getting in terms with motherhood. There are days when I want to kneel down and shout my gratitude out loud to God, I feel like, life just could not have got better and on the other days you’d find me telling my husband I seek nirvana, I want to run to the Himalayas. Being a toddler mom is like a rollercoaster ride, adventurous and scary but leaves you elated.
If I were to mention a phase of life that was most difficult as a mom – It wouldn’t take a fraction of a second to say – the new mom phase. The first few months I struggled transitioning into not just a mom but a “good mom”. A few months into it and I chose to become my own kind of a perfect mom. So these are five major challenges I face during the first few months:
#1 The 40 Days Confinement Period
According to Indian culture a mom and her baby are home bound for atleast a period of 40 days after child birth. During this time I was literally struggling to get in terms with my new body and role and being home bound with umpteen restrictions made it worse. I was exhausted, hormonal, grumpy, sleep deprived and felt like I was trapped at home. Often I would wonder if I’d ever feel normal again. I could not eat what I wanted to in fact was expected to eat special “milk-producing” foods.
The 40 days confinement period is definitely not a bad idea. It keeps the baby and mommy safe from the unwanted germs and bacterias that float outdoors. But evaluating the restrictions and reconstructing them to a new moms comfort is a great idea. My mother in law advised me to step out on the terrace for small walks during the evenings which was truly helpful. My doctor also confirmed that my eating patterns would in no way affect the baby and the milk supply. Only a happy mom can lead to a happy baby.
As much as I hate to say it – breastfeeding is a challenge for a new mom and has a learning curve. You and your baby are going to take a while to master the perfect latch. Sore nipples, augmented and leaky breasts, hunger alarms by the baby at wee hours are going to leave you perplexed. I did not fall in love with breastfeeding in the first go.
The one way you can overcome this challenge is by having faith in your decisions. There are going to be contradictory advices, aches and pains, irritability, but hang in here mamma. There is no better feeling in this world than watching a well fed baby fall asleep latched to your breast. When you think you need support find it in yourself and your baby and that way you’ll never be let down.
#3 Accept the new you
I stared at my still protruding belly after I got home from the hospital with a baby. Did the doctor leave a child inside I wondered. It takes a while for the uterus to shrink back to its place, it may take a while for you to get back to your pre pregnancy weight.
It’s best to not silently criticise yourself. Accept your body and think of the miracle you just made possible – created and delivered a baby! You don’t have to look that way forever. Keep yourself motivated and positive at all times.
#4 Sleep Deprivation
One of the biggest challenges for me was being able to get some sleep. Ideally a baby only sleeps and eats all day, so feeding every two hours should not be a big deal right ? When you finish the process of feeding, burping, cleaning, rocking back to sleep and lie down to sleep for the third time at night, you’d know what sleep deprivation really is.
It is always better to be keep oneself aware of the sleep deprivation and exhaustion that is going to be there. Sleep when the baby does sounds easy but may not always work because you cannot instruct your body to power off itself at anytime. Getting as much rest as you can when the baby is asleep will help you keep irritability at bay. Excuse yourself from all other chores for a while. Get as much help as you need from your partner and other family members.
#5 You and Your baby are still strangers
You would have turned your world upside down for your baby and you wouldn’t get a stare or a smile back just as yet. I don’t know if this one is a real challenge but for me it was like a one sided love affair. A little human you love endlessly, sleeps, eats, fills you with spit, pees and poops and does not acknowledge you at all.
It’s common to wonder why you and the baby haven’t bonded yet. Baby needs love, warmth, food and care, provide it and watch the bond build each passing day.
The first few week (read months) are tough, but every mom who has been through this will say you are going to miss it once it’s gone. So cherish these memories and have fun Mamma ️
About the Author
Jasmeet who writes at http://mommyvoyage.com/ is a mommy to a two year old toddler. She is a teacher by profession and a mommy blogger too. She writes about her voyage as a mommy and shares tips about the same. Check her website for more. She has been too kind to write this post for us.
I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of words #6