They tell you that once you have a decent job and get married, you will be ‘settled’. Then they tell you you will only be really settled once you have kids. I was always critical of the settled business, though I can see value in the concern of those that talk about it. Even if you have a child, like my husband and I, when you truly feel ready, have been a party-holic, travel –holic and how can I forget work-a-holic and know you’ll have no regrets because you lived your life fully and don’t feel an ambitious desire for position, lifestyle or keeping up with the Joneses, the roller-coaster will only start after the LO arrives. This is not a complaint or judgment on parenting, its an observation on learning, and growing and most of all on integrating.
I’m sharing a little of my journey, as one of the possibilities to parenting, hoping it may provoke, inspire, help or just provide an interesting read.
I had decided before I even met my husband that I would like to raise any kids I had with the same dedication I gave to studying so I could max my grades. It amazes me most of us spend at least 20 years of our life amassing “skills” to get a “good” job and absolutely almost no time to learning skills for marriage or more importantly parenting, which is a lifetime commitment! It hasn’t been easy but learning the skills (thank you Effath Yasmin and practicing them has made it happily possible. I try not to allow for space for sentences such as “ I just don’t have the patience” or “ I just can’t handle it”. How limiting a belief is that! Can I not trust myself more than that? We can stay back in office to finish a task we have no interest in because its expected of us and there’s that bonus or promotion being dangled like a carrot. But our infants have no expectations of us. They just are and love us no matter what we do. (What accommodating blessed souls!) So we just don’t work at it, most of us!
For the first 18 months, I just kept to a routine. That gives babys much security and comfort. I nursed on demand, introduced her to whole foods of all textures and flavours, read to her, chanted everything pretty much on a time schedule. That’s what I believe prepared me to transition into what I envisioned as the next step, finding a daily balance between my needs and hers. The trust having been built, after 18 months we began travelling again, trips abroad, hikes with baby in a backpack, getting back to plurk (work that’s play) and many of the things I loved to do before she came along.
Her early solid foods of steamed carrots and ripe sticks of muskmelon and watermelons and beets and bell peppers prepared her to identify and enjoy each foods natural abundant flavor. It also made for a great easy to travel with baby. I can just buy carrots and bell peppers and avocados and beets and wash them with water from my bottle and know my little one will make a meal of them. Same with fruits because she never was offered anything mashed. What about choking? Well just youtube first aid for infant choking….its that simple and really their body intelligence and reflxes are top of the line till you put fear in and mess with them. And did i mention No sugar…just jaggery and dates and honey. I learnt during my stint with gestational diabetes that even rice is sweet (yes i know this from experience). Its all in honing the taste buds.
More to come soon……
Part 2 (Click here to read Part 1 Guzz guzz Gruzz the anxious buzz) Years later.....I sat on her couch in Mumbai, this complete stranger (Effath Yasmin), with my 9 day old baby in my arms, helpless, tear filled feeling like a complete failure of a mother. My baby was...