Photo credit: https://in.pinterest.com/explore/pregnancy-jokes/
Happiness, disbelief, denial, apprehension, excitement. These are some of the initial feelings you experience when you find out that you are pregnant with your second child. These were ALL feelings that I felt when my husband and I found out. We all try so badly to have that perfect moment, where the pregnancy test turns positive and we look at our husbands with more love and joy than ever before, for having given us the perfect gift. At this point, we want to start singing songs and dancing around tress, especially if you have been trying to get pregnant for a very long time. Some of us actually do have that moment! If unplanned, of course the 'joy' takes some time to set in. But the reality is that sometimes, whether the pregnancy is planned or unplanned, there is always that moment of trepidation which hits you somewhere along the way.
As human beings, we are all programmed to question things that happen to us, good or bad, to great extremes. We found out that we were pregnant with our second, when our son was a few weeks away from turning 2. For me, the questions that flew into my head immediately were "How will I be able to manage taking care of 2 kids and both so young?" "Is the age difference a good one?" "Will I still be able to work?" "Will my son start resenting me for paying attention to another baby?" "Will I still be able to have a social life?" "Is sleep going to be non-existent?” I was told by my family and close friends that these questions and fears were all normal and expected. Life had changed dramatically when our first son was born and it had taken a great deal of strength to ensure that the various aspects of my life were in sync again after integrating a certain little VIP into it. Scenes from movies were flashing through my mind where moms were pushing strollers carrying one child with one hand, at the same time cradling their new born babies in Baby Bjorns with the other, hair shining and blowing in the wind. No dark circles seen anywhere. Many times I thought to myself "Can that actually be me?" "Will I really be able to come out of this alive?" At that point, not even the fact that my family and nanny would be there to help, mattered.
It took a little more than a month for the fact that we were pregnant for the second time to REALLY sink in. I woke up one morning and felt happiness and excitement. Nothing else. Now there were no questions, but realisations that were running through my mind. "My son will have his sibling as his family and someone to stand by him, for the rest of his life" "There is so much love in our house already; now that is only going to double" "We did fine the first time around - our son is healthy and safe. The second time will be easier." This turned out to be true. I am now at the tail end of my pregnancy and the stress and 'fear of the unknown' that had been present throughout the first pregnancy, has been absent during the second. I was not nervous thinking about the baby needing a diaper change, feeding, or sleep patterns. I have not been nearly as anal with my food intake; hey I have even had a glass of wine now and then. I did not feel that I had to sit down from start to finish at every party I attended. I danced and came home at 4 am sometimes. I unfortunately did minimal exercise compared to what I did the first time around. My baby (and I) are both still hale and hearty, and due to come out soon!
I guess my point is this - in spite of the maybe not-so-memorable experiences from the first pregnancy and/or a strained start that moms sometimes have, learning about a second pregnancy (planned or unplanned), you learn to take pregnancy in your stride the second time around.
Do you relate with this post? Leave me your comments on what your experiences have been!
Photo credit: http://www.lahc.edu/
My Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Purdue University, qualified me for a variety of jobs. It even rendered me competent for a job with an IT Services company, which was my first job, post college, in the corporate world as soon as I moved back to Chennai. My degree allowed me to function well in a number of departments - Sales, Marketing, Project Management, Operations, HR, Finance and so on. However, I can confidently say that there is one very critical job where a degree is not a pre-requisite anywhere in the world, and that is the job of a mom.
As a mom, after months of cleaning pee, poop and spat up milk from clothes and floors, to whipping up continental menus, I am proud to say that there are a myriad of jobs that I could very easily add to my resume! If I ever decide to try something new and go in a different direction career-wise, I don't think I would have a problem.
1. Amateur mechanic
Toys and gadgets are always 'mysteriously' falling off the shelf and breaking. My son's favorite past time at home is driving his red car, which inevitably breaks down every few days. I am always there in a second to examine, check if damage control can be done and repair.
2. 24/7 bartender
My son loves drinking more than eating (he is my son for a reason!). So there is a constant stream of requests for different combinations of drinks throughout the day. Orange juice, Watermelon juice, Lime juice, Strawberry milkshake, Strawberry & Banana milkshake.....you get my drift.
3. Self proclaimed pediatric nurse
It turns out that treating scraped knees, banged foreheads, colds, coughs and fevers are all learn-on-the-job kind of situations.
4. Innovative stylist
Before my son was born, I was always led to believe that boys were easier and more boring to dress, than girls. Not true! My son loves choosing his attire for school, playdates etc on his own. So he has me by his side every morning for half hour, matching different combinations of shirts, shorts/pants, socks and shoes.
5. Glorified athlete
Toddlers don't understand the word 'walk'. It's either trot or run, except for when they are asleep. Therefore, everyone residing in the house become athletes by default.
6. Assistant menu coordinator
The head menu planner is of course my son who decides what should be included in the upcoming week's menu. Once he gives me his recommendations, I coordinate with the cook to set the final menu.
7. Chief event planner
Kids somehow have an even more active social life than we do. For every one plan we make, they make 4! If the playdate is at home, there are multiple things to be taken care of - food & drinks, decor (toys and other paraphernalia), pick-up and drop-off and more. Planning and coordinating their schedules definitely takes great skill!
8. Local lifeguard
When my son swims in his inflatable pool or in the baby pool outside, it becomes a big production, as it probably is in most houses. At the age of 2, kids don't think to be careful. So my eyes never leave him, making sure he doesn't slip, drink water from the pool or get hurt in any way. The only things missing are my binoculars and Baywatch outfit!
9. Musical clown
My son is a pretty musical guy. Even with the 1 million toys, games, puzzles, pretend play sets and cars he owns, he often insists that I sing to him (no, this is not when he wants to sleep). Not with a normal voice mind you!, but with the squeakiest voice in the highest pitch possible, meanwhile doing the actions of the song entwined with steps from Macarena.
10. Ruthless exterminator
In India, the bug season commences around August/September and continues all the way till summer kicks in. Our house is near the Cooum which is a highly polluted river, thereby breeding more mosquites and other bugs than normally expected. So during the bug season, my sole aim is to follow my son around with a mosquito bat, insect spray, insect repellant to apply on my son and perform any other exterminating activity I can possibly think of.
Would you like to share some of the new skills you have developed after becoming a mom? Please do so! I would love to hear them!
Guilt is an overwhelming and brutal feeling. I use a word as strong as 'brutal' because sometimes the emotional guilt we feel when it comes to our loved ones, including children, can be hard to endure.
As parents, we think we need to be perfect and on the ball every second of every day. Over the years, an image of a 'model' mom has been created in everyones' minds which many moms tend to compare themselves to. A model mom is calm and composed whenever dealing with her child, rarely gets stressed out, knows exactly how to discipline him/her in times of disobedience and never wavers, and has everything figured out from sleep patterns and food menus to schools and evening classes. Even without help at home, a model mom is on the top of things. Sounds perfect right?
When my 2.5 year old son is acting up, throwing things out the window and shouting 'NO' for everything, I think to myself - "be calm, compose yourself, and don't shout back." Isn't that what websites online and books tell us? I have read that the 'right' thing to do, is to not shout back when your child is shouting, wait for it to pass or distract him, and then address the issue. Trust me, I have tried doing this. Sometimes it works and sometimes it has the opposite effect. So when I do start shouting back at him, the GTH (Guilt Trip Hormone) kicks in where I immediately start beating myself up, for having come down to the level of a 2 year old. I think all moms have this chemical substance in them just waiting to be unleashed. The first thought that runs through my mind is "what kind of a mother am I? I am supposed to be setting a good example for my son and here I am shouting back at him." My son is someone my mom likes to call an 'old soul with a sensitive and inclusive personality'. Once the shouting from both our sides has finished, 9 times out of 10, he is the one who comes up to me and gives me a big hug and kiss. All is forgiven, and the GTH subsides for the time being. There have been times during all this in my frustration when I have unforgivably thought to myself 'would I have been happier with a different life and one without kids?'
The point of my story, is that our children will always be harder on us moms, more than anyone else. This pushes us to extremes that we never knew existed and also pushes us to think thoughts which we cannot control, leading to guilt. But I have now realised and therefore try to remember everything mentioned below. These are all situations where I have felt immense guilt in the past and know now to say 'It's OKAY':
1. It's OKAY to lose your cool with your child sometimes and not always be poker face. Your child won't hold it against you. Everyone snaps when they reach their saturation point.
2. It's OKAY to feel like giving up. You are not actually going to do it.
3. It's OKAY to reminisce about your pre-parenting days, without feeling guilty.
4. It's OKAY to ask for help. No one can do it all on their own. Kick back with a bottle of wine when you need it and let someone else do the work.
5. It's OKAY to sometimes think that your child maybe the devil in disguise.
6. It's OKAY to not remember to be impeccably dressed from morning to night when you are tired or have a 27 hour day ahead of you.
7. It's OKAY to feed your child cereal for lunch one day if you do not have a cook at home and don't have time yourself to make a full meal and/or can't cook to save your life :). I would fall in the latter category!
8. It's OKAY to let your child get bored. You don't have to provide continuous entertainment.
9. It's OKAY to want to be somewhere else now and then. Take a day off for yourself and go to the spa, shopping, drinking and dancing with your friends. Your child will be happy hanging out with your parents, in-laws, nanny etc and may also be a bit relieved to get rid of you for some time!
10. It's OKAY to cry if it gets too much.
Leave me your comments here on how this post resonates with you!
In the beginning, you tend to waver a lot to the right, then a lot to the left. After some practice, you manage to walk in a straight line. No, I am not referring to a wild moms night out nor am I referring to Gymnastics. I am talking about one of the biggest dilemmas many moms tend to have at one point or the other, and that is the infamous 'work and mom life balance' dilemma.
I have never paticularly loved the phrase 'a working mom' as being a mom is a full time job in itself. Just because you do not have to leave the house for this job, does not mean you are not working. Being a mom is the hardest job of all because you are on the move from the moment you wake up till the moment you sleep at night. But the best past about this job - you don't have to be away from your child to do it. Then there are the 'office jobs' which at some point after having a child, moms who have an office job need to get back to.
For me, in spite of living in India with an amazing support system at home, and with the knowledge that my son would be surrounded by people all the time, going back to work when my son was 8 months old made me feel like the worst mom in the world. I had a guilty feeling knawing at me from the minute I made the decision to go back and I just could not seem to shake it off. But I knew that I had to take the first step at some point and sooner the better. I am a part of the family business which gives me flexibility when it comes to timings but it also does not mean that I can take advantage and show up for just an hour every day. Trying to balance out how many hours to spend at home with my son and spend at work felt like the biggest decision I had to ever make at that time.
At 8 months, a child is capable of understanding who is around him/her and can feel the time spent or not spent by the parents. This is what I realised worried me the most; I was afraid that being away from my son would somehow make him feel like he was being abandoned by the person he depended on the most, and that I did not want to be around him. I have always been told that the first seven years of a child's life is 'mother-centric' and the next seven, 'father-centric'. Did this mean that if I started working again, he would stop considering me his main caretaker? Would he love me any less? What if he refused to come to me when I wanted to carry him? This is what I later termed as NMPS - New Mom Panic Syndrome, which of course happened to apply to many situations apart from this one. I am hoping this syndrome does not re-occur once my second child is born.
I ended up timing my work hours exactly during his nap times, which happened to be 3 times a day when I started work. After a few weeks of being at work, I realised that he was not showing any signs of withdrawing from me but in fact the exact opposite - he was having the best time at home amongst his toys and being the centre of attention! It also made him understand at an extremely early age that there was life beyond his parents and there were others who were also considered his caretakers. As long as he saw me return home, he was happy. He was secure. His independence was being nurtured in many ways. Being at work changed me as well and made me a calmer mom, having had time to focus on something else other than my son.
So to all those moms-to-be and new moms who need to get back to work after your child is born - some days you will have no idea how you are going to do it, but every single day it will still get done. Whether your work schedule is rigid or flexible, the guilt factor is universal. Look at it this way - as a mom you never actually leave your child at home; they are always in your heart and on your mind.
My son has called our house a 'home' ever since he could talk. Growing up, we have all learned that home is where the heart is. I truly believe it. Till today, I am lucky enough to have two homes in the same city..my parents' and my own. Both homes have seen me through many good and bad times throughout various stages of my life. My parents' home has seen endless days of friends coming over after school intending to do homework but instead gossiping about boys and the parties happening that weekend, slumber parties with tiny bottles of wine sneaked in, last minute cramming sessions for exams, daily arguments with my parents about curfews and more. Basically, 'the wonder years'. My home has seen what I consider 'life events' - marriage and sprouting kids!
If anyone or anything could talk about life at home with kids, the walls of a home would probably do a stellar job. This is what the walls of our home would have said and would say to me if they could talk, after our son was born :
1. "We know the first two months have not been easy, having to deal with the nanny leaving the day you came home with the baby and then running through five different nannies, each one more incapable than the other. But hang in there, the right one for you and your baby is just around the corner."
2. "The reason the baby is crying 24/7 is because he is not getting any milk from you. Stop feeling guilty and trying to push yourself into nursing when you can't and don't want to. Start the baby on formula! Trust us, the baby's immune system will be fine even if he is only on formula."
3. "You need to have more snacks in the house for when friends come to visit you and the baby." I literally had nothing in the house whenever visitors came over.
4. "You should probably send the cleaning lady who has a red eye, home, as we think she may have conjunctivitis and could pass it on to you and the baby." We did send her home but it was too late so I ended up with conjunctivitis in both eyes and two days later, so did my husband. We had to move our son to my parents' home for a few weeks.
5. "A gentle reminder for you to buy more toilet paper. You forgot to child proof the toilet so your son has now crawled in there, pulled out and torn the only toilet paper roll there was. Your room now looks like it has been snowing inside for days."
6. "Don't stress so much about where your baby is sleeping. It really does not matter whether he sleeps in your bed or in his. As long as he sleeps! Get your priorities right."
7. "Forget about the play-school teacher telling you that you should be worried about your son not walking even though he has turned 1. He will start at some point!"
8. "Is that spinach that your son just spat out on us? Please give us a 10 minute heads-up next time before he starts his meal."
9. "Oopsy daisy! You said the 'F' word in front of your son....again. But it's fine, hopefully he won't repeat it in school tomorrow."
10. "It's great that you sing 'Rock a bye baby' to your son even now when he is 2.5 years old. He told us that with the second baby coming, it gives him reassurance that he is still and will always be a priority in your life. His favorite bit is the last line 'Mama will catch you, cradle and all'."
11. "The baby is finally asleep. Your mother-in-law is not at home. Your husband is. Thought of any stress-relieving activity you may want to engage in?"
What do you think your walls would tell you? Leave your stories. I would love to hear them!
There is a quote which is my personal favourite that goes "Just because you become a Mother it doesn't mean you lose who you are." I think Beyonce said it...I always knew she was one of the smart ones. There is deep meaning packed into that one statement which I am sure every Mother can relate to personally. I know I can.
I have always been a person that never lets any one thing consume me; this included having a baby. It is of course very easy to make that statement - most things are easier said than done. Two months after my son was born and the hashing out of sleep patterns, feeding and colic issues etc were done, I decided it was time to grab the bull by the horns and start getting my life back on track. So I went out drinking. My son was mostly bottle-fed right from the beginning which made things much easier for me. I threw on my favorite LBD with the highest heels I could find, packed some makeup onto my face and I went to meet my friends for a few glasses of my all time favorite Yellow Tail Rose Champagne. At the bar I bumped into many people who congratulated me on the birth of my son and of course there were the inevitable one or two 'judgey' people who looked very surprised that I was out and about already and not at home with my baby.
6 months later, there was another person who seemed very concerned that I had gone back to work when my son was 8 months old and that it was extremely sad that he was going to 'grow up without a Mother.' Their eyes and comments said it all!
The next day at 9 am, one of my closest friends messaged me on Whatsapp to let me know that already those one or two 'judgey' people had (maybe for a dearth of interesting events in their lives) told a few others that I was not a very good mother for having left my 2 month old baby at home and I was out partying with friends and moreover GASP! WITHOUT MY HUSBAND who was home taking care of the baby.
Now I bring this little story up as an example mainly due to the fact that like me, moms all over have experienced different versions of this. It is the general belief that mothers support mothers and that there is no right or wrong. If you work hard or go out alot with your friends, you are not spending enough time with your baby. If you spend alot of time at home with your baby, then you have no life and it revolves around your child. Being human, I believe that everyone has a judgmental bone in their body. It is impossible not to be judgmental at all; although I am sure many people claim not to be.
What is the definition of a 'perfect mother'? Is there one? People choose their own paths once they have a baby. Some prefer to stay home all day with their baby and are perfectly happy. Then there are those who need a balance and make sure they go out every single day so that they don’t lose their minds. Some work all day - some because they want to and some because they have to. Hey, each to their own. But trying to get your life back to normal and not let motherhood overpower and consume you is not wrong. Not wanting to eat, breathe and sleep your baby 24/7 is not wrong.
This goes well beyond wanting to go out and have a good time with your friends. To me, having a baby is not the end of your life and the dreams you have. You can be a kick-ass mom, work all day and party till you drop.
So to all moms out there - be happy with who you are and what YOU believe is the right thing to do and will keep you sane. No one else will ever know better than you.
I have always believed that the Vagina has a mind and voice of its' own. The things she must experience throughout the span of her owner's life especially during pregnancy and childbirth! Here is a sneak peek into some of the thoughts that could be running through her mind.
We all know there are many uses for a Vagina
You definitely don’t want me anywhere near your good China
The important thing is to keep me clean
So that I can be used as a well oiled machine.
Baby Baby, I know you will be passing through here
I think before that I may need a few beers
There a few details which I will need to know beforehand
So that the passage through which you will travel can expand.
There were many times even before you started your journey
When things started getting a little blurry
I figured out that it was you slowly descending on me
Two minutes later, “Oh no!” I started to feel some pee
I felt different before you came along, all moist and tender
Now that you have come and gone, I am red and ready to surrender
Time has come for me to close my eyes and sleep
So that I can wake up tomorrow, ready to take the next leap.
Hi! I'm Antara and I was once a 'let's get the party started, consume a bottle of Rose Champagne on the weekend' kind of girl. Now at 33 and a mom of a teddy bear looking 2 year old boy (with another little bundle on the way), I am still that 'let's get the party started, consume a bottle of Rose Champagne on the weekend kind of girl.'