After a fulfilling morning of dancing to Gummy Bear and teaching the baby how to shake her hips, I managed to tire her out. The baby is fast asleep. She has outgrown my lap and I’m no longer ‘the new mommy’. So I sit by the window and watch the kids play in the neighbouring building. My thoughts take me back in time…
…to my first night alone with my three-month-old baby girl.
When I was a new mommy:
We had gone to the airport earlier that evening to see my mother off. My parents live in Kolkata. And we are in Mumbai. My mom was here with me in Mumbai to help me out initially – with the baby and to help me settle down in this new phase called ‘motherhood’. The baby slept through the journey. So, she had no idea that beloved Dimma (Grandmother in Bengali) was leaving us. Dimma had been an essential part of our lives for those three months. To be precise, make that 5. She had taken care of me and the baby in my tummy, even during my last few months of pregnancy.
Me time with my bundle of joy:
I remember that day was very upsetting for me. I felt alone. Probably one of the biggest drawbacks of living away from your home city, away from your parents. I had my in-laws, who proved to be my biggest support system, close by. And they continue to be so, to date. I had my husband, who himself was a new dad – trying to figure it all out. But in spite of all that, that day I had felt lost. I knew that the next time the baby met my parents, she wouldn’t know who Dimma or Dadu was. Or how important they were.
A new introduction would have to be made. I have been living on my own for almost two decades now. But that kind of helplessness was a first! Probably because I was never responsible for another life. Not just another life, but another person, who I loved more than anything else in the world.
The strength comes from within:
By the time the night ended, I had begun to feel more in control. A strange sense of strength and calm had come over me. I knew my mother had left only because she was confident, that I was capable. I remember that the baby had also been considerate that night, almost as if she knew I was trying to do my best.
My thoughts are broken by a pigeon fluttering at the window. I look at my sleeping baby and I know that when I tell her Dimma and Dadu are coming to visit next month, she will be dancing around the room! A new introduction will not be necessary!
So trust me, new mom, the initial few days/months might feel really tough. But each day will be better than the day before. And seek help when you think you need it. Don’t hesitate. Your baby will be like a new toy that you never ever got sick of. And slowly your instincts will kick in, and you will know exactly how to take care of this new toy. And you will be bloody good at it!
By Smita Padmanabhan
Winner of Top Mom Bloggers contests conducted by The Champa Tree. She is an influencer with the Instagram page smitababbles. Her article ‘Hey There, New Mommy!’, in which she shares her experience as a new mom and tries to build confidence in the new moms, paved the way for her selection.