After months of going through a difficult pregnancy, I couldn’t wait to look into my lil angel’s eyes and forget everything that had happened in the past 9 months. I was super scared for the delivery, and frightened to the extent of asking my doctor to just give me a General Anesthesia…knock me out…and hand me the baby like a pre-ordered much-awaited online shopping order. She wouldn’t have it. And I am mighty glad that my doctor had that kind of confidence in me…something which I lacked in myself.
You know how they say, that when you look at your baby…and hold him in your arms for the very first time…your whole world changes? It’s true. Within minutes I was a mother, taking charge of another Being (previously that would’ve meant looking after a drunk buddy post partying!). Each time I had hit panic button through my pregnancy, I distracted myself by dreaming about the beautiful phase awaiting. It was all going to be picture perfect from now on. I had everything organized in my head. I had a plan. And Oh!! How.Wrong.I.Was.
The first few days, are anything but easy. The following few weeks even tougher. If it’s easy making a baby, it’s a tremendous task in keeping the baby safe, healthy and thriving when they are out. I had faced a third degree episiotomy, breastfeeding was no walk in the park, getting up through deep sleep to calm an infant > change diapers > feed > burp > put them to sleep was all getting me brain fried. I was pretty close to punching faces who came to visit me and commented, “Isn’t motherhood bliss”. No. First month is anything but bliss. Its hard work, its crap. Yes, you see your baby and you WANT to do the best for them…but pushing your mental and physical abilities to endless limits is a test that requires a lot of patience….and a LOT of support from your spouse and family.
Here’s something I think that all women should be aware of post-delivery:
BreastFeeding is NOT easy, nor does the milk come in the way you expect. Don’t give up. Try try try and push for atleast a month before you give in to formula feed. I thought I was a pro after watching all those videos on YouTube, till reality hit home. Sore nipples, no ‘let down’ for a few days postpartum, everyone telling me that my baby was hungry so give formula, trying to pump milk to see how much I’m making (which isn’t even an indicator of how much milk one is making), major backaches due to constant bending over while nursing, and other such problems mounted. Not being able to even sit for nursing (due to stitches ‘down under’) just added to the whole stress. Correct latch was a problem for a month and I suffered!! Don’t do it to yourself. You will have other things to deal with as well. Remember…
- Please meet lactation consultants to help you and baby get a proper latch
- Use nursing pillows / lotsa pillows while nursing
2. Support System:
I’m sure your spouse is going to pitch in as much as he can. But it’s an emotional and physical roller coaster ride for us. Boys can’t imagine what is going on, even when they ‘see’ everything and are a part of the whole journey with you. Be patient with him. But also TELL him what you want done. I think that the switch-over of roles (from being a daughter to a wife, and eventually from wife to a mother), comes much easier for women than for our men. It’s all too much to take in, and the lack of sleep is accompanied by a constant state of exhaustion with a ‘zombie’ like feeling. Brace yourself.
If you are lucky to have your mom come stay with you (which was in my case as I delivered at my parents home), she is going to be your bestest friend for some time. Don’t hesitate in learning from her. But also remember that at end of the day it’s YOUR baby, and they ALL have to follow YOUR lead. A lot of changes have come from when our mothers looked after us as babies, make sure you discuss how exactly you want your baby looked after and know what kind of assistance you need.
There are also many support groups online that provide you with an incredible amount of guidance and credible amount of information. I highly recommend joining them (search Facebook/Google).
3. Always Remember:
We weren’t born pro moms. It’s OK to make mistakes, be unsure of what to do, and to ask for help and advice, from whoever you think will help you best with the particular issue you face. Everything will be trial and error till you and baby figure out what works best for you both.
Some Do’s and Don’ts At The End Of The Day :
- Don’t EVER be guilty about not being able to keep everyone happy. The only person you need to think about is your baby for the next few months. Don’t even bother about what who thinks what. Haters will hate, talkers will talk.
- Do take utmost care of your health too. If anything happens to you, who will the baby depend on? Your baby needs you for her existence, for a lifetime. Make yourself priority without any guilt!
- Do Stay happy and healthy, babies pick up on positive vibes. And remember, each pregnancy is different.
So go without any pre conceived notions. Good luck and I’m very sure it’s all going to go smooth and perfect, as did mine ❤
A long long time ago (4 years to be precise), there lived a husband and wife. Very much in love, very much the ‘newlyweds’, very much the travelers, and very much on their way to discovering what it was to live the life of an expat in a country far far away (Dubai) from their home (India)…
Time went by very fast, as they settled into their new roles (and lots of household chores). A little after the New Year celebrations of 2013, they decided to have a baby. It made sense, it was after all the logical thing to do. So they embarked on this mission with full gusto, and signed up on every ‘animal rescue’ site there was on Facebook (Dubai chapter). They didn’t have to search for long, their prayers were answered very soon. There she was… with the biggest brown eyes, a smile to melt your heart, and a tail that could wag faster than the propellers of an aircraft. It only seemed right to name her after the one store they loved the most. Zara.
The couple started spending much of their time training, feeding, grooming, loving their new Rottweiler. She was the best thing that had happened to them. Yes their travels decreased, yes their expenditures went up, but there was no denying that she brought in even more love and happiness than they had ever imagined. They did such a good job looking after her, that they thought to themselves, ‘What can be better than having this baby?’. The answer was pretty obvious, ‘Another one! This time around, the human kind. Now THAT would definitely complete this family’. They had, after all, mastered the art of sleepless nights, getting up anytime between 4 and 6am for walks and feed, and keeping this lil munchkin happy and healthy. A baby can’t be any tougher right? They won’t poo and pee all over the house, they won’t chew the furniture, and if you leave them swaddled in one place…they will remain there till you are back… Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.
One year after, they were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. That’s when it all hit home. It was hard work. HARD WORK. The loving husband pitched in as much as he could, but it was tough. The wife juggled between baby, doggy, husband, house. And like all other fairytales, this one had a villain too – Time. There were not enough hours in a day!!! It was tough keeping Zara and baby apart, even tougher together .
The wife started losing her lovely locks, and husband started looking haggard. Both became whiney and started nagging each other all the time. It was turning into a nightmare. The only peaceful moment in the house, was when the baby smiled (or slept).
It took a lot of patience (and discussions) to understand the whole family dynamics and the change. Slowwwly but surely, they set into a routine. Their lives started normalizing, they rediscovered their friends and favorite restaurants… House was again filled the sound of music, husband played the guitar again and the wife sang songs. Both babies started understanding their place in the family, and the house once more burst with laughter, mischief and play.
And so they lived ‘Happily Ever After’
Well, till the day they discovered a tortoise outside their house! They looked at each other cheekily and thought, ‘Hmmmmm, now what can be better than having 2 babies? 3 of course!!!’
Stay tuned for the next article on ‘Introducing dog and baby’ 🙂
It’s a no brainer that India boasts of the all too skewed up sex ratio. With such a patriarchal society like ours, every house wants a boy. Well, every house, except for my hubby’s. Their’s is a small family comprising of two uncles, four cousin and two brothers. A total of ten men (including DH & FIL) in a combined family of fifteen. This lopsided figure started turning for the better when ladies came in as spouses. However, it was safe to say that if India primarily had more boys than girls, I think my new family had a very major part to play.
So it didn’t come as a surprise that everyone prayed hard for a girl when the first of our cousins got pregnant (As they all had when the aunts in the family were expecting, but we know how that turned out!). Oh how badly everyone wanted a girl. Everyone’s hopes soared high, and excited talks prevailed in every house. Counting minutes to D Day for when the lil angel would make ‘her’ appearance. The lady of the hour was finally wheeled into the hospital as the family stood with waited breath… On Feb 15th 2011, a beautiful baby was delivered. A beautiful baby boy. And no matter how the family felt about another boy joining the jing bang, celebrations rolled out to welcome the new arrival. After all, what really mattered was that both mother and baby were healthy, right?
Three years on, my hubby and I announced our big news. This was now also a time of family group chats on Whatsapp. As the family got bigger and mostly living away from one another, the minute to minute update of food, clothes, jokes, ‘Goodmornings’ and ‘Goodnights’ ensured everyone stayed closely connected. And no matter how far my delivery date was, the excited talks on having a girl had already begun. Not a day went by when ‘we hope it’s a girl’ line wasn’t brought up. Few weeks down the line, another cousin got pregnant. The family was bursting with happiness. 2 girls maybe?? Were we both finally going to break the jinx? Bets were made, praying was made mandatory, and a conversation which went something like this ensued every other day:
“So how many girls in your house Dee?”
“Your parents had 2 girls”
“Your sister also had 2 girls”
“So isn’t it true that most of your cousins are girls?”
Everything that hinted at how high the chances were to have a girl in the family, thanks to me, was discussed. In a weird way, I felt the pressure that women in a patriarchal society feel, except that we had the gender in reverse. And before you get all judgmental about my hubby’s family, you should know that everything was always said in jest, and the pressures from such jokes n teases were more in my head than in actuality. But even so, I felt it.
Feb 16th 2015 arrived all too quickly. I was finally wheeled into labor room, and in a matter of hours, delivered our beautiful baby. A beautiful baby boy! The count of boys just went up to 12. But no matter how disappointed the family must’ve been, I was congratulated with full fervor. After all, the baby and I were both healthy.
Few weeks on, the other cousin was wheeled into the delivery room. Now all eyes and attention was on them. Were the prayers finally going to be answered? Was the jinx finally going to be broken? We all waited and waited and waited for the big news. On 24th April 2015, the cousin delivered a beautiful baby. A beautiful and gorgeous baby girl!!! Can I possibly explain how ecstatic the family was? Probably not. Let’s just say, they were happy and relieved (And that all phone lines jammed from Mumbai to Muscat and Whatsapp just crashed!). It was now possible to welcome baby girls into the clan. Needless to say, everything pink was drummed out and the whole family was finally going to get a lil angel to spoil ❤
My boy is now 3 months old, and I love him no less than I would have a girl. He’s perfect. But something my dad said the day he was born, makes me smile each day….
“Now I won’t feel outnumbered in a family of girls. MY supporter is here 🙂 ”.
June 2014 – A quick trip to the washroom, and within minutes there had been 2 beautiful solid lines on my home testing kit that said my husband and I were pregnant! Our celebration had consisted of excited talks at a supersonic high pitch, giggles that resembled the banter of school girls, and our crazy pet dog who jumped about excitedly on our bed.
To make the arrival of our little bub more comfortable, my husband and I decided to get things organized in our house and lives that very day! Lists were made, parenting styles discussed and the house rearranged to accommodate our baby’s arrival. All at 6 weeks pregnancy. Enthusiastic much? That was us.
Not wanting to waste a minute, we had head to the closest shopping centre with our ‘list’ in tow. We not only planned on doing a reconnaissance of baby items, but we intended on buying stuff as well. Unfortunately, no matter which maternity / baby store we went to, there was a clear cut division between things for ‘girl’ babies or ‘boy’ babies. Majority of them had a section for ‘newborns’, however we found them all to lean towards a certain sex, either blatantly obvious in their display, or subtly color coded and accordingly accessorized to imply the gender it’s meant for.
The lack and scarcity of ‘neutral’ (clothes, baby books etc) disappointed us, but we didn’t let it dampen our childish stupor. Onwards we continued with our mission towards the next stop – the toy shops. And guess what? You either have to turn left for boy toys and right for girls’ (‘cuz girls are always ‘right’ haha). I wondered how everything in today’s age and time became so gender oriented. Who decided that girls can’t play with remote controlled cars and boys sit with doll houses? Who said that girls shall be in everything pink and boys have to do all things blue? Suddenly we faced a big dilemma. Do we fall into this trap even before our baby is born? Is it responsible parenting on our part to mould him/her into a certain stereotype?
Our woes didn’t end there. Eventually, planning a baby shower was just as difficult for my sister. We were ‘those’ kind of parents-to-be who didn’t know the sex of their child till the day he made his grand appearance. However, everyone wanted to know if we were going to have a girl or a boy, mostly so they could procure gifts accordingly. And I don’t blame them, the market trends don’t make life any easier. But for parents like me who want to ensure that their child is exposed to all the colors of the rainbow and is open to all kinds toys and play, it becomes very difficult to search and choose gender neutral products. I want my child to decide what he/she likes, without being pressurized into conforming to the society’s prejudices; is that wrong?
In due course, we were blessed with a healthy baby boy. But I guess there was a certain gamble involved for all our family and friends when they bought presents for the shower. He now owned everything in either shades of blue or hues of pink. There may have been a few things in yellow or green dotted about, may have.
So here are some fun facts* for you:
1. Most babies are color blind when there are born and can only see shades of grey for atleast a few weeks.
2. In June 1918, an article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl”. Ha!!
So for now, I make peace in dressing up my son in blue AND pink, till the day HE decides what his favorite color shall be 🙂
Often I hear people asking me how I manage three children (husband included 😉 ), a blog, an online store, and of course a household. And all I can do is blush away and say Alhamdulillah! Because sometimes it’s difficult to explain everything to everyone you come across.
I have been a work-at-home mom for quite some time now and as a mom of two young children I have been struggling to maintain a healthy balance between my work and family life. I feel happy that I’m not the only one doing this, there are so many women out there in the similar situation, struggling to have a balance. And I proudly say that I have pretty succeeded at it. Alhamdulillah! And this is the reason I decided to share with you my top 10 productivity tips to ensure you have a merrier and more fulfilled time.
#1. Have passion for your work
No matter what you are, a stay-at-home or a work-at-home mom, or something else, having passion for your work will only take you higher! Because if you have passion and love for what you do, you can overcome any amount of hardship and still remain content at the end of the day. And if you have been following me for some time now, you already know that I’m very passionate about my blog, which makes me want to spend good amount time improving it.
#2. Wake up early
I used to sleep until the girls woke up. Then we would all be tired, trying to wake up and get some breakfast, and it would become chaos. Now I try to wake up before girls so I can have some coffee and sit by myself and read some morning news or workout.
Get yourself ready for the day during this time. Shower, get dressed, do your hair, brush your teeth; whatever your routine for getting ready is, do it in this time. That way if you do have to go somewhere, you just get the kids ready and go. Plus it’s a kick start to the day and that way you can get more work done instead of sitting in your pajamas all day. And if you are a person who doesn’t like changing into fresh clothes unless you are stepping out of the house! Then even that’s fine as long as you are doing everything else perfectly. Clothes don’t matter , you see 😉
#3. Maintain a schedule
Having a set routine is very important when you have young kids. Have fixed office times and family time, this will enable you to perform best in both roles. And it can be extremely difficult to answer emails and write blogs with the kids running around (I know this from experience); hence it is essential to work in a relaxed peaceful environment. Work around your family routine, e.g. answer emails and make calls when your children are having naps or at school. I have met many moms who work for 2-3 hours in the morning and do the remaining work in the evening. Try different routines and see what works best for you and your family.
#4. Prioritize your tasks
To ensure you have a healthy balance between family and work life it is essential that you have top three or may be two tasks that you need to complete every day. If the rest does not get done its okay as long as you know those three/two important tasks have been completed. Also it’s very important to be realistic with your to-do list, there is no point jotting down 10 tasks for the day when you know you have a young family and very limited time.
#5. Set goals
If you want to have a productive month then it is best to list all the tasks you would like to complete and set goals for each day of the month. Writing down your monthly and daily goals will enable you to be more productive with your time as you would know what you need to do each month.
#6. Keep up on housework
Yes, at times this is impossible, especially with a three-year-old and a eighteen-month-old, but it’s best to try and stay on top of it! I’ve seen some people only designate one day a week as ‘cleaning day,’ or ‘laundry day’ however I find that with kids, it’s more efficient to do a little bit of cleaning everyday. Besides keeping up with the laundry and dishes, I try to do one room a day. It also makes everyone in the house feel so much better when toys are picked up before bedtime, so the next day you can start fresh and not with a leftover mess from the day before. When you keep up on the housework, it means more quality time with family.
#7. Learn to multitask
Are you waiting for the food to be cooked? Try to read emails in between. Is it your children’s scheduled screen time? Jot down ideas and concepts on a notepad while watching. Waiting in line at the grocery counter? Check your social networks. Use down times to multi-task and get those trivial activities out of the way to have more time for the actual job assignments.
#8. Include your kids in your activities
When you are cleaning or cooking, if your child shows interest in what you are doing, let them help! Most household activities kids can participate in with you, and it will make them feel like your big helper. It may take longer to get done, and more messier than you would do it, but it will teach them what you are doing and make them feel special. In the end they will be learning responsibilities and having fun with mom at the same time! And if you have more than one child, try to divide tasks among them, you can always do it, if they don’t get them done. The basic idea is to get them involved and to keep them occupied for some time.
#9. Seek assistance and take a break
As a mom, it is normal to feel overwhelmed from time to time; that’s why it is key to ask your loved ones for help. Ask your spouse or family members to watch the children while you work on a few blog post ideas, or just stop by at your favourite coffee shop and grab a cup for yourself, or may be just go and sleep for an hour or so. Just take a break from everything altogether. Often times, taking small breaks refreshes your mind and gives you new ideas and instant motivation to get back on track.
#10. Connect with your Creator
Last but not the least, spend at least some time doing a religious activity. Be it anything , offering prayers together, reciting some holy verses to your children or anything else. Let your children know that you are a God-fearing person. And getting them involved will instill the same ideologies in them. And in the end it’s important to keep that connect with your own Creator and be thankful to Him for all His blessing upon you and your family.
Also, writing this post, doesn’t mean I’m calling myself a perfect work-at-home mom. I’m only sharing what I follow to make my life a bit more merrier and content.
It obviously doesn’t mean these are any sort of guidelines you should be following. Because no one is just perfect, I have equal share of hard days, days when I literally drag myself out of the bed but then on the other side this is pretty much how I do it. So if you are a work-at-home mom like me, then try and see what works best for you and your family because at the end of the day we all want to make the most out of our lives. GoodLuck 🙂