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10 things I wish I knew before becoming a mother

Last updated on: December 03, 2013 20:42 IST

10 things I wish I knew before becoming a mother

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Aditi Bose

Of course, you love motherhood -- with all its challenges and fun. But there are times when you wish you knew certain things before having a child.

Till you have nurtured a growing life in your tummy for 40 weeks, being a mother seems very easy.

But once the child comes out, it is natural for the new mum to realise how little she is prepared for things to come.

Being a mother is not easy.  And I am not talking about the lack of sleep, the lack of finding time to bathe or even the nipples sore from breastfeeding.

Not that I would have it any other way. I love motherhood -- with all its challenges and fun. But there are times when I wish I knew certain things before I decided to have a child.

So, for all you mums-to-be, here are some eye-openers.

Holidays don’t exist!

If you had been working till you got pregnant, I am sure you know what it feels like to have national holidays, weekend offs, sick leave and that moment when you can wrap up your work and go home.

Now that you are a mum, you can forget all that. There is no free time; there are no holidays.

Even if you are sick, you will have to look after the little one. You may want to take a breather after slogging in the kitchen for hours, but you have to keep your ears open to hear the little one’s stories. Don’t even consider tuning off!

Every day -- including Saturday and Sunday -- is a working day. Every hour is ‘Pay attention to me’ time. This can happen in the wee hours of the night as well, when the rest of the world is sleeping.

If you are expecting any ‘me time’ in return, you can forget about it. You won’t have any more private moments.

Those hours in the beauty parlour and the long chats with friends will become a distant memory. Consider yourself lucky if you get a few minutes to poop in private!


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Your husband will always be more tired than you

You will find that no matter how hard, or how long, you have slogged looking after your child, your husband will come home in the evening, saying, “I am so tired.”

But you can’t say the same thing.

After all, you have been at home all day long (assuming you are not a working mother) which effectively means you’ve done nothing. As far as he is concerned, you’ve had a restful day.

Looking after your own flesh and blood is not considered ‘work’, hence it is not supposed to be tiring. That, at least, is what husbands feel. 


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You’ll appear in public in mismatched clothes

Be prepared to visit the nearby shop at least once in mismatched clothes or even your teddy bear pyjamas and house slippers. It will happen again. And again. Then, you’ll get used to it.

After all, it is only just the neighbourhood grocery store. With so much on your mind, you don’t need to put in effort for this as well. People will understand -- at least, that is what you hope.

Besides, your kid will suddenly need things at the oddest hours and you won’t have time to dress up. On certain occasions, their incessant shrieks might just make you forget what a sober colour code means.


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You will wonder why peas go into nostrils and marbles into mouths

My baby decided to push a few of those tiny, sugar-coated saunf seeds into her nostrils when she was younger... I never understood why! But it will happen and you will run to the ENT (ear, nose, throat doctor).

Be prepared, because they love doing it.

You will also find them stuffing small sized eatables into their nostrils and ears... and you will never figure out why they want to do that either.

You will prepare the tastiest of baby food for them after a lot of research and ingredient mixing, but they will prefer munching on dirt, buttons, marbles and God knows what!


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You will feel guilty

Mothers belong to a different species. We will do everything possible for our child, yet we will feel guilty about every small mistake we make.

We forget we are still learning to be mothers and should be sensible enough to know we should fret over small things.

I know it is easier said than done -- I do it all the time -- but try not to sweat over these things!

After all, there is bound to be moments when you scream because you have just been pooped on or your baby has vomited all the food that you fed him so patiently. Some days you might just want to scream and cry because you are so tired.

For God’s sake, don’t feel guilty!

Here’s a suggestion: When nothing works, just laugh. Sound crazy if you must but, even if it is the middle of the night, just do it. Enjoy the moments with your child, for she will grow up soon. 


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You will spend more time preparing your kid’s entertainment than they will spend doing it

Now that my child has grown up a little, I need to find new ways to keep her entertained. The rattles and soft toys don’t work anymore.

Hours are spent in conjuring up new activities -- art and craft, board games, etc. The child’s attention span is commendable; it doesn’t last for more than 15 minutes (half an hour if you are lucky).

Then it’s back to the same thing - “Mom, I’m bored!”


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There will be expert advice

You become a mother and the world is suddenly teeming with baby care experts. Or so it seems.

Random strangers began advising me on diaper changing, feeding and even sleeping postures for the child. It just made me want to SCREAM.

All I will say is, such people will be there. Listen to them if you must (I didn’t; I just asked them to shut up -- sometimes bluntly, sometimes politely). Do what your gut instinct tells you.

Your ‘mother’s instinct’ is your child’s best protection. What a mother feels is right for her child, is untimely what is right for her child. 


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There can never be too many pictures

Don’t let anyone convince you that you have turned into a photo clicking monster since you became a mother.

It is natural for a mum to want to capture every moment in the child’s life. After all, these growing years won’t come back again. Go ahead and click away.

I have thousands of photographs by now, yet I wish I had clicked more. But I never got them organised into date, time, venue, occasion, etc. Try and do that too. It might be time consuming but it will be worth it.

Years later, when you see them with your grown up kid, the memories will come alive immediately.


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You will take longer to complete your chores

I used to take less than 10 minutes to get ready for a drive to the nearby ice cream parlour. Post mommyhood, I took more than half an hour.

My husband cribbed, but I couldn’t help it.

Nothing was about just myself any more. I had to pack the baby’s bag... diapers, napkins, water et al and even get the little one dressed.

That takes time!

For those who have still not understood what I am saying, let me spell it... quick trips don’t exist anymore. 


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Life will become more expensive

Baby products are not cheap. It starts with diapers, cosmetics, medicines and clothes in the initial years... then there’s schooling, extra curricular activities and birthday parties as they grow older.

Looking after a baby is expensive so get your finances in order before you conceive.

Just when you think you’ve had enough...

A sticky kiss will be planted on your cheek.

And you’ll forget that you’ve lost your pre-baby body, you’ll forget you are sleep-deprived, you’ll forget the hours you’ve devoted to keeping your house tidy and safe for you baby...

All will, once again, be right in your world.


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