Yesterday, I came across Rachel McAdam’s now viral photo, which she’d shot for a breastfeeding campaign. The photo is empowering, and puts across an important point – that it is normal to breastfeed your new born ‘cz believe it or not, we are still frowned upon for this absolutely natural act even today!
In the picture, the actress looked fiercely stunning and may I add ‘Perfect’ to say the least. She was decked up in Versace and Bulgari diamonds and made for a gorgeous 6 month old mother.
But while I totally support the cause, my thoughts immediately diverted to a time when I refused to taking pics/being clicked at all, let alone empower others.
It’s been 5 years since Baby D and it’s taken me 5 years to put this pic out here.
Why? Well… I’d gained oodles of weight, I’d become mom to many new stretch marks as well, I’d loose skin and I’d lost confidence in the way I was. But I kept these thoughts to myself for the longest time ‘cz being a new mum meant that I am supposed to solely be devoted to my child and these thoughts don’t demand attention.
We see hundreds of Insta feeds of new mothers happily posing away with their lil ones. We see how ‘millennial mothers’ (including me) gush about perfect moments with their kids, going about their daily chores, being/trying to be picture perfect in-spite of those dark circles and new imperfections, that most-times, reality is sidelined. We’ve seen how Duchess Kate had her make-up on point, as she stepped out of St. Mary’s Hospital, hours after given birth to Prince George (how she managed that gracious act is beyond me.)
Anyway, there we do talk about sleepless nights right? Like how parents don’t get to sleep enough and all that? But than regarding ‘sleeplessness’ as just another word, I’d like to tell you it’s near perfect description.
Picture this – One goes to bed at night, wakes up an hour later ‘cz the baby is already hungry, feeds him and cradles him to sleep. Half an hour later, up again, but this time to change diapers. This cycle could go on and on for a minimum of 2-3 rounds every night and most times during the day for the initial few months. Which means – a 6 hr nap time is far, faaar away.
What effect does it have on the mom? Losing a bit of her sanity 🙍 in the process but she’s socially conditioned to not speak out aloud about it ‘cz ‘that’s what mothers do’.
Next up, looking in the mirror: I couldn’t make myself do that for some 3 months altogether. I’d gained 20 Kg and I was looking more pumpkin than human. Weighing scales were a big no-no and how I struggled to lose those 20, easily makes for another blog.
And like all this does take a huge toll, countless opinions/suggestions come over way … Cz that’s what we do when we see a new mom/mom-to-be, right?
Every relative, every aunt, every friend and every passerby feels the need to school a new mom on what she should/shouldn’t do. How she should/shouldn’t hold the little one, whether she should/shouldn’t breastfeed, how formula affects the kid (I got a lot of that).
What they don’t however understand is that somehow every mother KNOWS what is best for her child and that inbuilt manual comes along with childbirth 💁.
So, the next time you’re tempted to showcase your experience/advice with kids (unless asked) or tell her that she needs to reduce weight, kindly refrain from doing so.
‘Cz for someone who’s trying to juggle between feeling like a cow 🐮 (oh! you read that right), to taking every possible care of her LO, to doing her chores and brownie points 😐 if she has a paid job she has chosen not to part ways with, probably, you don’t want to advice this kick-ass woman.
Instead, try telling her what a good job she is doing while at it and who knows, that’s probably enough motivation for her to go through her day 😃