Motherhood signals the beginning of a unique phase in your life. You experience not just the birth of your baby, but your own rebirth, in a sense. This rebirth is your new identity – as a woman, a mother, a nurturer; and it grows quickly. Rather, society makes it grow fast, burdening you with the expectations and responsibilities of being a “Supermom”.
“A mom is like a super hero, but without a cape. And yes, like all superheroes, the super powers of a Supermom come with super responsibilities.”
A mom is ‘meant to be biologically programmed’ to connect best with her baby. But, while we indeed try and do our best for our little ones, it doesn’t mean that a mother’s love and responsibilities are straightforward or uncomplicated. Far from it. What makes it harder is that our every action and every choice – the mode of delivery we choose; whether we breastfeed our baby or not; how we deal with things like our baby’s weight, peeing and pooping frequency, crawling, walking, talking – is subjected to unwarranted scrutiny by society. We are made out to be the only ones who’re answerable and responsible for anything that goes wrong.
Is it right? Aren’t we human too?
Let’s accept it. #MujheSabNahiPata
I recently attended a discussion on the theme #MujheSabNahiPata organised by All Out. It spoke of the societal pressure and conditioning that all mothers face. (Watch this inspiring video: https://www.facebook.com/AllOutIN/videos/2140269816063785/)
It was a panel of distinguished participants – Sonali Bendre (actress and author), Dr Rupal Patel (psychologist), Mrs Ruchita Dar Shah (who leads the mommy community on Facebook) and Dr Samir Dalwai (paediatrician). The conversation also touched upon the threats to a child’s well-being and health. It pointed out that while we moms are busy battling our problems and issues, a small thing like a mosquito can wreak havoc by infecting our children with dengue.
Dr Dalwai said that people often fail to notice or identify the symptoms of dengue. He shared tips that will help safeguard against dengue; warned about the recurrence of the disease; and dispelled some widespread misnomers about platelet count, fluctuating fevers, and the activity levels of children.
Sonali Bendre shared some of her own experiences as a mom and encouraged all other moms to speak their minds and share their stories for the benefit of others. All moms present at the event tied a knot in their dupattas as a reminder to always share our #MujheSabNahiPata instances or #IDidntKnowstories, so that other mothers may learn from their experiences.
My days of learning the responsibilities of being a “Supermom”
I remember the initial days of my motherhood. Being in a nuclear family set up, I didn’t have much help except for the first few days, while I was in the hospital, and a few weeks after, when I was home. After that, we were on our own. I had had a C-section delivery, with more than 2-inch diastasis recti. All of this made it very painful to sit up and breastfeed my baby boy and add postpartum blues. Though, I tried my best, nevertheless. I was under pressure to feed him formula milk at least once a day, as he was a ‘big baby’ (full-term baby), but I wanted to breastfeed him, so I continued.
Everything seemed okay initially but, over a period of time, his weight gain wasn’t quite as it should have been. He was active but often cried while feeding. Also, he looked thin, which led me to be bombarded with gyan. As, he used to be wrapped in cloth diapers, so it took us time to realise that he was mildly dehydrated.
How would a first-time mom suppose to know it all? Let me tell you, I was a ‘Google Mom’, and I started reading about the experiences of other moms online; I consulted a paediatrician; I tried everything I could.
We tried bottle-feeding him, but he refused that completely. So, I changed my diet; I started pumping breastmilk often; I tried everything to increase my milk supply. And, soon enough, my baby boy was fine and started gained normal weight.
What I actually learnt now #MujheSabNahiPata
Being a mother is one of God’s greatest blessings. It isn’t right that we should take on guilt for not living up to the unnecessary expectations and responsibilities of being a “Supermom”. I am thankful for all that I have learned as a mother, and I wish to share all of it with other moms, in the hope that it may help them.
I have accepted the fact that #MujheSabNahiPata (I don’t know everything) and I won’t think twice if I ever need to seek expert opinion.
Remember, we are all learners until the end of our life. So, tie a knot in your attire today and share your stories in the ‘Comment’ section below – those instances when you felt #MujheSabNahiPata. You should know, and so should everyone else, that it’s okay.