A new mother seldom has time for anything else, except for her baby. Night feeds and lost sleep make her life all the more dull and blurry. Most women in India rely on other women in their family for extra support at this time. It is usually their mothers or sisters or in-laws who take over running the family at this time. A fortunate few have husbands who take active interest in their new born’s life and spend time helping out.
Few frustrating time stealers for new mothers (in India) are:
There are many who believe that a new born needs to be fed every time she cries or urinates. This leads to half an hour feedings or hourly feedings, making it impossible for personal time.
There are many more who lay out strict routines for new borns, like sun bath at 7 am, oil massage at 8 am, feeding schedules, nap schedules, bath schedules etc etc. This will be frustrating for both the mother and the baby.
Not every 2 month or 3 month old baby would sleep regularly. Instead of spending time trying to coax her to sleep, let her play till she becomes tired. It will then be easy to put her to sleep.
Once the baby is over three months, she will be willing to play by herself. Hang a few toys in her cradle, play soothing music and sit by her side. You can read your favorite books, watch films or do anything you like as long as your baby plays by herself.
Many babies cry at night more out of habit than out of hunger. After three or four months, babies willingly reduce their frequency of night feeds. So it is not necessary to loose sleep and feed your baby when she cries at night. Try to soothe her and get her back to sleep. If it does not work, then it is obvious that she is hungry.
So on goes the list… There are ways to care for your baby and still make it easy for you to lead a calm life. The best way to do this is to spend time alone with your baby and understand her. Try to find ways to be with your baby and retain your active lifestyle.
Not every new born needs an hourly feed. Nor does every new born sleep between feedings. Babies know best when they are hungry and when they need sleep. The mother who spends long hours with her baby best understands what schedule suits her baby. She alone would know how to make time for her personal activities, hobbies, interests, etc while still caring for her child.
Going by another person’s advice or schedules would end up making it difficult for both the mother and child.
In India, the older generation had a lifestyle that primarily revolved around caring for their husband, cooking and looking after kids. So the traditional way of caring for your new born is by sacrificing your normal life. But the educated younger generation has a strong urge to continue working or pursuing their interests.
All it needs is understanding your baby and sensible time management. Rack your brains to find out how to balance your time between yourself and your baby. Mothers who lead a balanced life help their children lead a self-dependent life. Keeping calm and refreshed helps their health and well being.
Go ahead, do not sacrifice your interests or personal life. It is not good for either you or your child. Keep calm and find a way to spend time for your child and for yourself. Motherhood does not mean building up frustrations or running short of time for everything.