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It was like we had just met yesterday and fell in love. Years eloped like seconds with the events like - engagement, marriage and now parenting. Not just for me but everything around us has changed so rapidly and while we lived every high and low moments of our life, new relationships have formed and has occupied my life today. Before my marriage I was just a pampered daughter, naughty sibling and a witty friend but today I am also a loving wife, a learning daughter-in law, someone’s bua, maami and mausi. I love being framed myself in all these relationships and love all the people around me. And when I became a mother, how could I turn my back on these love strings and isolate my baby from others? I understand people’s opinion when they talk about how being a mother they should have all the rights and authority to name their baby, and do everything as per what they want; I totally agree with their thoughts but where do I fit these relatives who are just not a baggage but eminent part of our lives?
As a first time parent there are plenty of desires and dreams that one wish to fulfil for the baby. But in real we get to execute just few. We all are human beings so often it feels bad when someone else do things their way that actually were your desires. There are instances when we share with hubby things you didn’t liked today for your baby. But there are times when you excitedly wait for baby’s cousins to come and meet her for the first time. We feel delighted when a closed relative hold baby in their arms or watch her from a distance and how the baby enchants hearing the different voices around her cosy space. We smile when we receive splendid wishes and someone passes their own story of parenting to equalise our pain.
For my case, I can still remember the time of 11th day post my delivery, the first Puja ceremony of my daughter and:
• I didn’t gave first bath to my baby
• I didn’t bought the dress she had to wear that day
• I didn’t dress myself the way I wanted to
• I didn’t suggested any of the 5 names being whispered in my baby’s ears with a ‘Shankh’
• I didn’t suggested what I should eat for the initial days. I met new faces that met my baby and heard their suggestions right from keeping the ac off to avoid eating rice, rajma and normal water for months!
• I didn’t get her first bellies, or her pram or toys.
I was told not to pre-plan for the baby in terms of shopping or decorating the house and later I couldn’t do anything as I had to be inside home for 40 days. I didn’t buy any clothes for her till she was 5 months old, I really wanted to but I was told there was no necessity. What I really did was to download a famous baby app on my smartphone and browse those things that she will need in coming days. Then I was flooded with instructions/ guidance/ knowledge right from feeding to cleaning till ‘infinity’. Don’t feed her in lying down position, drink only ajwain paani, walk slowly, don’t wash your hair, and don’t hold her too much, no rajma, no rice, ghee, ladoos, and the endless checklist! Those days I felt as if I had a big balloon of emotions and thoughts that will burst out and somehow I had to hold it. I really don’t know but each night I cried and hugged my husband tightly enough to scare him with my new avatar! Somewhere I wanted to put my opinion but I didn’t had any strength.
Today I have realised that rather disappointing our heart, it’s better to go with the flow. As a mother even I wish to meet my new mommy-friends and share my experiences with them. So it’s OK !! In the last, we all do things the way we want to do, so why to hurt anyone ? And actually many things we learn from others are not bad at all!! There are brighter aspects too, my relatives guided me how to hold my baby, how to soothe her, what to do, what not to. Few things that I have learned from them were something I didn't even knew about despite of my extensive parenting research.
I also understand that not only I have become a mother but somebody has become a Bua or Mausi or Daadi or Naani too and they also have their equal rights and piece of love to share in the form of their guidance. I still remember when I became Mausi for the first time and even I’m the younger sibling in my family, but I always instructed my Didi to do ‘n’ things. And when I became a Bua, I was deeply excited to suggest the baby names and though we met later, but I always loaded tons of information to my Bhabhi over the phone. Same thing happened when I became a Maami and I noticed that every relation has a deeper respect and today as a mother I have no right to unplug any such moments from my closed ones.
Everyone is nearly educated and understand our ‘personal space’. They too value our thoughts and as most of us are in nuclear family zone, these people hardly visit us once or twice in a year or on special occasions so why not to treat them with full heart. Why not let them be part of our celebration right from suggesting name for our child to some shopping for our little munchkin. ‘They’ are not strangers, but are someone who deeply belong to us and our baby.