I am a mother and a new one. 😉 A thing about new mothers is they are very vulnerable. Being responsible for a young life is overwhelming to say the least. Motherhood is rewarding no second thoughts about it, however, to say ‘its exhaustive’ is an understatement. I have had the privilege to stay with my parents/in laws till my lil darling was 6 months old. I always had expert opinion on any big or small queries related to my baby at my disposal and I count my blessings for that. I was however betraying my husband of the little joys of parenting because he was away in Delhi. So I packed my bags and got all my armour ready and landed in Delhi to experience the real challenges that a regular stay at home mom faces. Little did I know how terribly prepared I was for what was in store!
Ok don’t get me wrong! I could manage home and baby together better than I had anticipated. I managed to cook 3 meals a day and prepared some mashes for my baby as well and things were going smooth until strangers entered my life. Not that I care a lot about what any person says, but like I said earlier, the vulnerable new mother in me cares about any comment any random stranger passes when it’s regarding my baby’s health. My lil cherub is an individual already. She has her opinions and knows what she wants and I totally respect her choice and not force her into things my way. Yes, I am coming to her being a picky eater. She is just 11 months old and already has a distinguished palette I believe, Watching her explore food on her high chair has always been a delight until, the so-called strangers showered their wisdom over my parenting style and I entered the panic mode!
Over a span of a week I have completely succumbed to the pressure of not having a chubby kid. This happened when I took my little one for a stroll and stumbled upon an Aunty. My little one flashed a smile at the Aunty and she couldn’t resist smiling back. 🙂
We both headed in to same direction and hence a casual talk was inevitable. And here is the conversation that went like:
Aunty: How old is the baby boy?
Me: It’s a girl Aunty. She will be one year old by end of this month.
Aunty : Have this Prasad. I have made at home for Bhagwaan Ji.. It’s made in Desi Ghee and Atta…….give it to the baby also.
I put a tiny amount of Prasad in my baby’s mouth which she spits. (She dislikes sweets)
Aunty: She didn’t eat this Halwa? Distract her and feed her..
Me: She is not very fond of sweets Aunty. She will not eat if she doesn’t want to.
Aunty: Your generation of moms is so casual about all these things. Stop focusing on your figure and work on your baby’s health. Look at her she doesn’t look more than 8 months and you are telling me she is almost a year old.
Aunty to random other aunties: That girl spit out the offered Prasad and her mother is defending her. In our age we used to run around kids and force feed them. I don’t know what these parents are doing these days.
I didn’t wait for long to listen to that conversation and marched fast forward.
In the next couple of days I had random strangers in the park, lift, supermarket etc. commenting that my baby looks lean. I panicked and that too very badly! I tried force feeding my daughter and wanting her to eat the potions and food that I lay forward to her. I cried and lost my cool many a times during my daughters food expeditions. Until, yesterday when my daughter cried and pushed me away from her when I tried to force feed her lunch. She cried and came crawling to me to comfort her. The moment I picked her and kissed her she stopped crying but her tiny sobs continued for a couple more minutes. My daughter opened my eyes and I have a few answers to give to such random Aunty clans:
1. I am her mother. I will not do anything that would harm my child. My parenting style may be alien to you but don’t judge me or my generation of mothers. We care for our kids as much.
2. Just like you and me are not the same size. Not all kids are the same size. There is no scientific research which proves chubby kids are healthy kids. My daughter is lean. In your language she is Kamzor.. Aunty, she is lean not weak. Kids can be tall also. No?
3. Have you seen how strong reflexes she has, how quickly she grasps stuff and how well she is growing into an individual with choices of her own. She teaches me new lessons as well. Appreciate that!
4. Think before you speak. Your random comment can result in severe worry for a new mother (temporarily of course!). Reserve your wisdom when sought for.
5. Stop comparing kids. Let them breath and take their time to enjoy their lives.they have a long rat race to join later till then let them have fun.
6. Here please hold this delicious halwa of yours and teach me how to feed. Come on seriously! I haven’t learnt the art of swallowing for my baby. Teach me that if you can.
7. Serious advice I have to offer you. (For free of course) Please book an appointment with your ophthalmologist. You said I maintain a figure. (Ha ha ). You missed to see the flab and bloating. Seriously consult a ophthalmologist. I can help you with reference.
So, I meet a lot of new mommies who try to stuff their kids in that park, pool and everywhere just coz some random Aunty passed a comment. I would like to share my two cents and say, “just breathe”. Trust your child and your instincts. It’s tough, I know, but way better that loosing your mind and have a weeping child. I go by the mantra that’s rocking the mommy internet world –” food is for fun till baby turns one!”. I am considering tattooing the same thing on my arms and showing to all those million aunties I am sure am yet to encounter. 😛 🙂 😛 😛
What if after one she still looks lean you ask.. I will give her time and I will use that time to improve my culinary skills. #winwin