As mothers, we see that there is a constant fight between age-old traditions and modern practices. At some point of the parenthood journey, we all have experienced ‘free advice’, ‘suggestions’ and ‘tips’ from every single soul who would come knocking (at times, without knocking) on my door. Right from my maid to a stranger who would call herself a relative, and in-laws and neighbours too – EVERYONE had remedies for the baby’s health. Most of the traditional parenting tips and remedies they suggested sounded useful at first
‘Hamaare zamaane mein toh yeh hota tha…’ or, ‘Hamaari maa ne toh yeh kiya’ (In our times, this would happen. This is what our moms would do.)
How many times have we, as mothers, heard such statements in the context of baby care? This head-on dispute between the old-world “charm” and today’s “modern” style exists in everything, whether in the scene of fashion, beauty, cinema, we see the two-worlds at loggerheads in almost every avenue of life. And if you have a new baby in the house, that too a first baby, the problem gets much more complex and compounded!
Is it safe to follow our maternal instinct or we should too run behind age-old advice/ traditional parenting
I am particularly feeling you – the new momma out there, sitting on the couch, all confused. What should we follow in such situations – the traditional parenting advice or our maternal instinct?
Accounting for my personal experience, our maternal instincts almost never go wrong. It is our gut that sometimes sets us on the right path to motherhood. Even though our mothers used their maternal instincts on us when we were babies, we cannot solicit the same advice for every baby, for each of them is unique in their own sense.
Read and learn to avoid blind trust:
Traditional advice passed onto us by relatives comes with its own pros and cons. It is not always wise to do away with practices that have been followed by our ancestors from generation to generation. Some practices like giving oil massage in the belief that it will cure the baby’s cough. Even the mixture of coconut oil with drumstick leaves when applied to the suffering baby’s hair is considered to cure a cold and cough.
At times, it is better to take an informed decision than to put into action something that has been read online or in books. Not all traditional practices can be labelled as ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘outdated’. Home remedies like diffusing essential oils, bathing with lukewarm water and keeping a baby’s head slightly elevated are proven to be natural remedies for different problems in newborns. We have been raised using these practices themselves, and look how we turned out!
To put it simply:
In the end, it is your own call. There should be a righteous balance between both traditional advice and maternal instinct. The ratio of the balance can be different for different mothers. There is no straight-jacket formula to raise a child, and there is no guarantee that you would be absolutely perfect at parenthood. The important aspect is to learn from those mistakes and never look back.
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