Being a mother is hard. Being a first time mother is even more difficult. But being an ill informed, naive first time mother is absolutely excruciating.
So here I was, breezing through my almost dreamy nine months into the ‘blessing’ of motherhood. It’s like a button, I imagined, that will automatically switch on once the baby is born. I will know what to do. After all, it’s just a small little human.
In my pregnant, foolish mind, the most difficult thing was going to be my time at the hospital. But I didn’t realize that there was no anaesthesia to make things easier at home.
Of course, reality taught me in a very satirical fashion that I had been a giant shmuck this entire time.
Here are my first few shocking revelations as I stepped into the role of a mother :
1. Massagewalis mask as boob doctors or technicians, if you will. Never have i felt so burdened with the pressure of performance than with the ‘jaapa’ maid. Somehow she was convinced that if she massaged the breast like she is marinating meat, they would make more milk than ‘water in the Ganges’ .She settled at nothing less than squirts of milk splashing right across her face.
2. That i would fall for hilarious suggestions like making the baby lick honey to enhance the flavour of my milk to chewing herbs and blowing some of the ‘medicinal’ air into my baby’s mouth.
3 . That a tiny digestive system had the ability to make so much gas! I was truly shocked at the loud farts that a small infant is capable of.
4. I never imagined I would be so happy to see someone poop. (It feels as good as when you have had a good dump after days!)
5. That I could never take anything for granted again. Babies are surprisingly unpredictable!
6. I have never been more tempted to try a medicine to check if it would ‘suit’ the baby.
7.I didn’t imagine that I ‘d be OK with sleeping on a bedsheet that has recently been peed upon. Or for that matter, that I could sleep with my eyes open.
8. That I was going to need a cape to get through this role of my life.
9.That whoever said maids are unnecessary, likes to self-inflict torture.
9.That every moment that the baby is awake is a reason to click her picture. I never thought I could turn into a baby-photo spammer.
10.That every fight i have with the husband would henceforth begin with, ‘you have no clue what it takes to be a mother’. ( I don’t too, actually. )
11. That the baby would be able to teach me more in the first few months than I can ever imagine teaching her in a lifetime.
12. That commercial Hindi songs must pass as lullabies till I learn the real deal. (Also, that some lullabies are surprisingly sinister. What’s with the lyrics of rock-a-bye baby?!!!)
13.That being awake at 3 am could ever be so boring and overwhelming at the same time.
14.That trying to wake a sleeping baby is like pointing a cannon towards yourself.
15. That my life could be so unplanned and chaotic.
16.That movies at the big screen will come and go but Netflix is my real friend.
17.That babies rarely recognise the music you’ve been playing for them when in the womb. (If you think it is going to soothe a crying baby, think again.)
18.That your baby will smile at everyone else (including the courier guy) but you.
19.That i will voluntarily stay away from the mirror for as long as possible.
20.That there is no such thing as shame . I have left it all on the hospital bed where nurses and doctors and midwives observe you like you’re a dissected frog in a student lab.
21. That there is some such thing as being a ‘mom snob’. You are a mom snob if you use abbreviations like lo, ds, dd, bm, ebf, ff with flawless ease.
Most importantly, I learned that despite what you imagined, your love for your baby is not a perpetual feeling .It starts with some part frustration, some part worry, some part depression and grows into a deep bond that gradually becomes the most powerful emotion you have ever experienced.