No matter how much you envision motherhood before it hits you, you can not anticipate the journey ahead of you. Once your baby does arrive, it can take a while to settle down and discover your unique style. You may fluctuate between feeling overwhelming love, anxiety and worry to losing your mind, temper and patience. Whatever your style, you’re the world’s best Mommy for your little one (at least until they hit puberty and start seeing you with more critical eyes).
My little one is about to complete a year and while I’m sure I’ve done some great things with him, here are five mistakes I made which make me cringe with foolishness when I look back. If you’ve done anything like this in your own time, I hope this will bring a smile to your face. If you haven’t yet experienced these typical Mommy moments, I hope you manage to avoid these blunders.
Got an Icicle Baby when I Forgot to Turn up the AC Temperature
Our baby sleeps in our room at the night, though in his own cot. Since we live in a hot country with no ceiling fans, using an AC is inevitable. We usually cool the room for a while at bedtime and make sure we increase the temperature before we turn in. To be safe, we dress our baby in warm clothes and drape him in a blanket, which he promptly kicks off. On one particular occasion, we slept through the night, forgetting to switch the settings to a more baby-friendly temperature. Come morning, when I reached for my baby to feed him, I was alarmed to note that his hands, feet and ears were ice-cold!
Lesson Learnt: Adult bodies can cope with temperature fluctuations far more easily than a baby’s body can.
Saving Money on Diapers Possibly Gave him an Infection
While I began fastidiously, only using the most well-known diaper brands for my little one, there came a time, 2-3 months after his arrival when I started growing relaxed. We were living in a remote city of Africa then and did not always have the luxury of choice. Moreover, I noticed that the most well-known brands were also the most expensive. Since my baby only wore diapers in the evenings, remaining in cotton bloomers during the day, I didn’t think a diaper-brand change would do him much harm. He landed up with an infection and had to be put on antibiotics, making me feel utterly miserable while he too suffered.
Lesson Learnt: Choose a good brand of diapers and stick to it!
Waited Until his Clothes Grew Too Small for him
Generously endowed with almost a year’s clothes in advance, thanks to family, friends and neighbours, I had to constantly sort through my boy’s clothes to ensure he was wearing them before he outgrew them. Every two weeks, I have religiously done the sifting and brought new clothes into circulation, while removing the ones that were becoming tight. Yet, I have erred. There are some clothes you see and say, these won’t fit him for another year and you just keep saying that to yourself every time you see them. Maybe it’s because the dress in question says it is for a two year old kid or because your baby seems just so tiny to you. When I’d finally come round to trying such clothes onto him, I’d struggle to pull his arms and legs through. It didn’t help that at 9 months, my boy was wearing clothes for 18-24 month babies and those too, would fit him just right!
Lesson Learnt: Age mentioned on baby’s clothes are almost always misleading. Try them on your baby to know for sure!
Gave him his First Common Cold by Taking him to the Pool
My husband wanted to take our baby to a swimming pool ever since he was born. I managed to hold off till he was about 9 months old, after which I relented. They both seemed to enjoy so much; it was hard to say no. Sure enough, after one such occasion the very thing happened that I’d always feared. My boy caught a cold. Now that may not seem a very big thing to you, but picture a first time mom watching her tiny baby sniffle for the first time. There was guilt written all over me!
Lesson Learnt: Exciting as it may be, taking your baby to a public pool requires a number of precautions. The water should be warm and even then, keep the session short!
Over-reacted to Cure him and Gave him Rashes
Watching my baby struggle with a nose that would sometimes flow and sometimes get blocked was heart-wrenching. Especially, when he couldn’t sleep or feed because of the blocked nose. I banged on neighbour’s doors and asked them for suggestions. Then I over-compensated by doing it all. After what was probably an over-dose of garlic, ginger, carom seeds and cinnamon, my baby broke out into angry red rashes, making me more miserable than ever with guilt.
Lesson Learnt: Someday or the other, your baby will fall ill. For the baby, it is a part of growing up; and for you, it is a part of motherhood. Keep your cool!
When I look back now, these moments make me smile. But at that time, they felt like the end of the world. I hope some of my recollections have evinced a smile, or sparked a memory in your mind. Would you like to share your ‘Mommy Mistake’ in the comments below?
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Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.