As I write this, M sleeps peacefully next to me with her feet propped up on my thighs. She is pretty much my whole world now – my whole day and (alas!) my whole night too. I find myself craving a small moment for myself – a peaceful dump, a hot cup of chai or a night where I am not curled up in a few inches of the bed. I know I might be asking for too much and truth be told, I have it easier than a lot of other new moms- a helping husband and a doting maushi (nanny) who do their best to support me.
But there are a few shortcuts that moms learn and ace that perhaps go unseen to the rest of the world. I have my own and honestly, I feel terribly guilty about them but I just can’t stop taking those liberties. So here it is, these are a few things that I am guilty of with my child-
- Massage just a tad bit more – M has always been that baby who sleeps soundly after her bath. But so that this blessing is not cursed, I ‘maalish’ her just a few more minutes longer than what is required in the hope that she’s asleep for another sound hour.
- Playing the ‘boob’ card– She’s turned into an early sleeper. And I am not. So, she’s up all chirpy and playful at 6.30 am. Although I know that she’s ready to be taken to her playmat with her toys, I force the only motherly weapon I have on her – the ever in demand boobs . Secretly I am hoping that she’d fall right back to sleep if I feed her for long enough. Of course, she obliges by latching like a pro but does not know the sinister motive behind it!
- Preying on unsuspecting friendly strangers: I have a radar that goes off the minute someone says ,’aaw, such a cute baby’. Almost instinctively my next step is to hand over the said cute baby to the polite stranger who has unknowingly fallen in his own trap. The lengths we go for a few minutes of calm!!
- Looking the other way : M is learning to crawl. And that means a fair share of head bangs and stumbles ever so often. The thing with babies is, if they know that you have seen them fall, they make a much more dramatic scene with crying. So my kneejerk reaction to her fall is to look away instantly. Plus, if the husband is close by, this gives him enough time to get there. (Just plain evil, isn’t it?)
- Nursing Mishaps: Ask any mother , nursing babies requires patience. From extended nursing sessions to ‘I-just-want-to-suckle-for-no-reason’ phases, it feels like all you are doing the first six months is breastfeeding your baby. Thank god for random parenting websites and social media. My phone comes to my rescue during these endless hours. And there have been times when M has suddenly decided to hook her fingers in my cheek or grab my lips while nursing and the phone has inadvertently fallen on her head. And I confess, I have always looked suitably surprised when my husband notices the bumps on her head.
- The Tired Mother Rant: This one is partly true. I am always tired. But I find myself not wasting any opportunities to rub that in the face of whoever will listen. Often its mom, papa bear, friend, random guy in the queue or basically any person who meets my eye. Motherhood has truly unveiled my melodramatic side!
Call it survival or a coping mechanism, these shortcuts have helped me keep some sanity in the chaos that is new motherhood. I might come across as a horrible person because of these, but hey, I am only human. A slightly lazy human but a hapless being nonetheless.