03-Jan-2014

Things I learnt from one year of being a mom


# I need to get enough sleep. Adequate sleep takes precedence over my child, work, relationships, exercise and food. 

# I am more pro-choice than before. If you are not in a position to love and bring up a child, please don’t bring it into existence. And on a related note, I am all for sex education

# I don’t think I have ever loved anyone or anything as much as I have my child despite having lovely parents and being married to a nice and kind person. I can only assume parental love is a very primal feeling. 

# I need more to my life than just my child. I need adult interaction. I need to do something that gives me a sense of identity. I love being called ‘Mummy’ when I accompany my child to Gymboree. But I would probably feel depressed if I was only called that all the time. 

# Instead of glaring at small babies who are crying, I now feel sorry for them. Babies usually cry for very good reason. 

# I still can’t comfort any child other than my own. And even there, I am not always successful. 

# I am capable of sharing my prime spot in my child’s life with my helper. I am just happy that they bond well as of now. 

# I have become a better worker. I have never felt as eager to get back home as I do now and if that means being focussed and efficient all day long, then so be it 

# I have started prioritising and planning everything I do. I no longer have an infinite stretch of time to loiter at a shopping mall for three hours in the weekend but I do make the time to go out during my lunch breaks every once in a while for retail therapy. 

# I am enjoying simple games like peak-a-boo. Soon I would have shed all my carefully cultivated cynicism. But maybe it is not such a bad thing.

# I cry over movies with even a single scene of a child suffering. I can no longer watch horror movies. This may be a bad thing

# Work is an important part of me and I did not contemplate giving up work after having a child. I used to think women who gave up working after a child were defectors to the cause of feminism. But after having my own child, I can see why motherhood means different things for different people and I have stopped being judgmental about people’s choices. 

# I have started thinking twice before I buy most things. Apparently a spendthrift like me can also be brought to heel at the thought of saving up for her child

# My no. 1 worry used to be about things related to work. Now it is things related to my child. 

# A child is a big challenge emotionally and can test relationships to the utmost. Broken marriages cannot be fixed by a child. If anything, it is likely to be other way around

# This is the most important investment that two people can make together and it can bring them a lot closer if they are in a good place

# The amount of joy in bringing up a child has caught me by surprise. You can have a horrid day at work and come back and see a tiny thing pumping its fists into the air upon seeing you and then nothing else will matter. 

# I needed all the help I could get during my pregnancy and the first year of parenting. This is the first time in my adult life when I have truly needed family to be there for me and I am grateful I could lean on them. 

# People at work can be a lot more supportive than you think. A good boss who can put up with lower productivity for a few months will make all the difference to your decision to continue at the same workplace. 

# A baby is actually easier to manage in the earlier months than later. Except you are so terrified of the job that you find it growing on you only as they grow

# I did not know I was capable of not sleeping through the night for an entire year. 

# I did not know I had married a man who would pick up the baby every time he cried for reasons other than a night feed. This is the one act that has reduced my sleep deprivation in the last year and kept me sane this year. To think this criterion never even featured in the checklist I had made eons ago on desirable characteristics in a potential husband. 

# I used to feel irritated by dads who are not too involved with their kids and let their wife/mother/mother-in-law do most of the work. Now I just feel sorry for them for missing out. 

# Pregnancy is a very lonely state. No matter how helpful the people around you, you are the one literally doing the heavy lifting. Once the child comes out, I actually thought things got better since I had so many people around to look after him. 

# I am happy to listen to advice from everybody on parenting tips and techniques but ultimately the only two people who can decide how to bring up our child is the two of us. (Good luck Bobo!)

# In the darkest part of the night, with a wailing baby in my arms, I have had moments when I have wished for my old life. 

# In the darkest part of the night, with a nursing baby in my arms, I have just felt grateful to have had the chance to be a mother. I am glad I did not listen to myself when I seriously wondered if motherhood was for me.