I am a bad mom.
After years of hiding it and trying to cover the fact while suffering with guilt from within, today I have the guts to say that I am not a very good mother. And, I am recounting my journey from being a bad mother to a tolerably fine one in this blog because I don’t want any other first timer mom to go through this ordeal of unknowingly troubling the baby who can’t even explain the pain he is going through.
5 things I could have done better.
Lesson #1 – Avoid Diaper Rashes With the Right Diapers
In my over enthusiastic effort to be the perfect mom and keeping the baby’s tooshy absolutely germ free I was overusing the diaper and wipes. The quality of diaper was poor and wipe contain traces of chemicals that was quite harsh on baby’s soft skin.
My baby was unnecessarily cranky and I didn’t realize initially that his skin was tearing and rashes were slowly erupting. In the first few weeks, baby’s poo a lot and a weird greenish-black colour poo that needs an extra scrub to clean. Well, my baby was in pain due to rashes and I was totally lost on what to do. I had to clean the poo as there was no alternative to it but rashes. The rash creams were too slow to impact.
On a friend’s advice I changed the diaper brand to Pampers and on my mom’s advice I used cotton balls soaked in warm water to clean the baby rather than wipes, and applied camphor mixed coconut oil after every wash. Camphor is a magical cuing and cooling agent. Within 24 hours results were seen and Attu’s crankiness level went down considerably.
I learnt my first lesson the hard way and till date I feel guilty of not knowing the trick to maintain Attu’s soft skin at the onset itself. I could have saved putting my son through this trial and error learning.
Lesson #2 Keep Away New Clothes
New parents never miss a chance to show-off their babies. New dresses, cute shoes, headgears, and what not! We want the baby to put the best foot forward because a coochie-coo looking baby is equal to good parenting and we want to have this award even if there is no contest and no one is giving the award.
In all this, baby is made to wear new and crisp dresses which often prick and rub the wrong way. We had to go for a party and that was Attu’s first social outing so I wanted us to look like a perfect family, and sure we did with matching colour and big smiles. I was swelling with pride each time someone would say, “Aww…he is so cute”, “He is a born model. How adorable he looks in this dress”. However, the party didn’t last for long. Attu was soon restless and cranky. I didn’t know how to soothe him. The same set of people were now looking at me as if trying to judge my motherly smartness. Phew! I excused myself and ran back home, kind of accusing my son of not behaving properly.
When I sat down to change him into night suit, I was appalled to see the red marks on his belly and neck. The new dress though from a premier child clothing brand was not that comfortable and had pricked him to leave redness. I had tears in my eyes. How could I do this to my son?
Since then, I always soak his new clothes in dettol overnight and wash it atleast twice. Also, I ensure that I buy good quality cotton and not fancy nylon or satin material. A cotton dress might look simple and inexpensive but nothing can match its comfort.
Lesson #3 Read The Labels Carefully
All of you will reckon with me that when a new baby comes to your home you are flooded with gifts and Johnson’s baby essential kit tops the list. So, being a practical mom and a good house-maker I don’t want to waste and I use the gifted stuff mindlessly.
This was a blunder. And, the worst thing is that the impact of this mistake was realized months later when enough damage was already done. Attu had dandruff (can you beat it dandruff at the age of 1.5 years) thanks to the so called branded shampoo. These dandruff caused rashes on his face and forehead. I attributed these rashes to seasonal changes only to be told later by a senior mom that I need to change baby cream and powder.
Now, I use organic stuff and read the labels carefully before using anything on my son’s skin. I don’t want to play around anymore with his soft skin.
Lesson #4 Don’t Follow Advices Blindly
I was told by the seniors in family that only lazy moms use diapers because they are too lazy to change nappies. Well, I took it upon me to prove it to the family that I was an efficient mom. So, I only used diaper during night time for this hypocrite mom needed some rest too.
You know how many times babies pee! I would let him pee in his nappy which would drip all the way down to his feet. Though I would clean it but this process was an impediment to my naughty son who hated being pinned down to change the nappy. As this was a frequent process it was hampering his skill to learn walking.
Thanks to Google and my guts I realized that I was making a mistake. So, I knew that using diapers would give my child the freedom that is crucial to his growth but then choosing a right diaper was equally important.
I raised my query on Gurgaon Moms ( a Facebook group for mommies to connect, share and get hands-on parenting tips)and requested their help in choosing the right diaper. Overwhelming response of more than 200 comments in favour of pampers helped me choose. So many moms can’t be wrong! And, I made the right decision too. Pamper pant style diaper was easy to pull up – you have see a toddler doing cartwheels and air-cycling all at one time to know what I mean by easy pull up. The fabric was soft as cotton and most importantly the elastic was not digging into his skin.
Finally, I was inching towards being a fine mom (I still won’t call myself a good mom).
Lesson #5 Follow Your Instincts
A mom’s instincts can never be wrong. Her sub-conscious will know that there is something wrong with her baby. The only problem is quite often the sub-conscious or instinct as you would call it, is clouded with confusing advices given by people around you. Trust me in India; everyone has an advice to give especially parenting tips to a new mom. But remember only you know what is best for your child. Trust yourself. You may be wrong in your means but not in your purpose.
Well, that’s just a glimpse of my journey of motherhood. I still have a long way to go. Everyday like a mad lover I ask myself am I good mom or am I bad mom – the only difference being I don’t have time to pluck rose petals and reach a conclusion – so I would say I am just about a mom, a fine mom.
“Pampers brings you the softest ever Pampers Premium Care Pants. Its cotton like softness is #SoftestForBabySkin and allows it to breathe, thus keeping baby’s skin soft and healthy, and your baby happy.”
This blog is for a contest on Blogadda.