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BEING A MOTHER

This will be the beginning of a series of articles on baby and childcare for mothers-to-be and for inexperienced young Moms.

  • 10 Commandments To be a Best Mom
  • Be Yourself – That’s Best For Your Child
  • The Baby Is His Too!
  • Travelling With Your Baby

10 Commandments to be a best Mom

1) Remember your baby is not born to take you under its thumb, but is a friendly and affectionate human being.

2) Don’t be afraid to feed her when you think she’s really hungry. If you are mistaken, she will merely refuse to take much.

3) Don’t be afraid to respond to her needs as long as they are not too demanding.

4) With minimum guidance from you, your baby will fall into the family pattern of sleeping and eating habits.

5) There is nothing like a perfect baby – each child has a different rate of development and a different temperament.

6) Appreciate your child - whether quiet, clumsy, noisy, mischievous, slow or fast – such children will grow up into confident individuals.

7) Your baby is not the delicate picture she makes out to be – s/he is born with fighter survival instincts.

8) Don’t take too seriously what neighbours say or listen to old wives tales.

9) Establish a solid relationship and mutual trust in the early stages itself.

10) Lastly, only you know what’s best for your baby.

Be Yourself – that’s best for your child

Most working Moms feel physically and emotionally drained just at the thought of ‘how much’ and ‘how much more’ they have to do for their child from love, understanding and patience to cleaning diapers and career guidance.  Don’t try too hard  – you are human too. Just do what comes naturally to you. Each child is born with a different temperament, which you cannot change overnight. Give your child the freedom s/he needs to develop into a capable and independent individual.

Good-hearted parents who are not afraid to be firm when it is necessary, can get good results with either moderate strictness or permissiveness. The real issue is what spirit you put into managing your child and what attitude is engendered in the child as a result. The calmer a parent you are, it reflects better on your child.

Natural loving care is hundred times more valuable than following instruction on ‘How to care for your child’ from your neighbours or relatives.

Most of you young working mothers might feel guilty that you do not spend enough time with your child. If a career is your decision, then give quality time to your child, rather than worrying about quantity time.

The Baby is his too!

Most mothers shy away from involving the father in nappy changing, bathing or feeding the baby. Is the father not a parent too, I ask? He is as responsible for your child as you are. Making him a part of child rearing builds a deeper bond between the two of you and the child.

In a city like Mumbai, where most of the women are working and in the peak of their careers when they have their child, another pair of helping hands will be a welcome relief.  No woman is a born mother – she learns immediately out of need. A father cannot wait in hope that one day that ‘great learning experience’ will dawn on him.

In child care, fathers can give bottles and solid foods, change diapers and clothes, wipe tears and noses, bathe and put to bed (make sure they have not gone to sleep themselves and the child is still in the bath), read stories, fix toys and break quarrels. They can also participate in a whole gamut of domestic work: shopping, food preparation, cooking, serving dishes, laundry, house cleaning, etc.  

Most men like to pretend that they are the ‘Limca Ad. Campaign Man’ – when asked by his wife to pick the children from school, the Limca Man (Saif Ali Khan) brings flowers for his wife instead. Only men cannot fathom between ‘Phool’ (flowers) and ‘School.’ Don’t get disheartened, everyone makes mistakes. Or be prepared to take on all household and outdoor tasks yourself.  Give room for imperfections, that is the only way you will get HIS help.

Journey with a bundle of joy

Travelling with your baby can be fun, if you want it to be. S/he is definitely going to stir a lot of attention, pass him/her around and take that needed break. Everyone is gentle with a baby and will enjoy the bundle of joy that s/he is.

Keep yourself well armed for the journey. Buy prepared, ready to use formula and disposable bottles with disposable nipples. They do not have to be washed or refrigerated. Carry things that your baby likes best to eat and digests more easily. It is better to feed small amounts at frequent intervals.

If buying food from stations and nearby stores or bakeries, avoid cakes and pastries with moist fillings, milk puddings, cold meats, cold fish, creamy salad dressings (including salads and sandwiches that contain them). These are the foods that are most easily contaminated with poisonous bacteria if carelessly handled or not properly refrigerated. Better stick to hot foods, fruit that you peel yourself and store milk in separate containers. Always carry boiled or mineral water with you. A small medicine kit will also come in handy.

Carry your child’s favourite toys or cuddlies to make her more comfortable and feel secure that her world has not changed. Also a large box of cleansing tissue is essential and valuable for keeping your baby from making a mess of herself or the place around. Take your child off your lap once in a while and allow her to stretch her legs. Last but not least, this is the time when your potty training will come of use. Carry her potty on a priority basis.

Now, sit back and enjoy the journey.



 

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