How is it, to have a baby? What does it entail? Here is a picture - of the first six months at least.
- Being available 24/7. No breaks. No slacking.
- Baby becomes primary, the centre of the universe. Everything and everybody revolves around it.
- Sleep? What's that?
- Having a bath in 5 minutes, with one ear on the door for the sound of the wail.
- Excellent control on bladder and bowels.
- There is no time that you don't think of baby. Even if you are away. If I leave the baby and go away for a while - to the parlour, to the shop around the corner, to the doc, to the neighbour's house or even on a small walk, I call every five minutes. "What is she doing?"
- When husband calls from office and asks, "What's my sweetheart up to?", he doesn't mean you.
- All that you seem to talk about with husband is about the baby. So, you decide, let's set aside an hour where we'll talk about something else. The hour starts now. And baby wails from the next room. Sigh.
- TV? Theatre? Movies? Concerts? What's that?
- Days seem to be a continuous haze of feeds and nappy changes.
- Endless hours of walking the baby to put her to sleep.
- Innumerable attempts at transfering baby from arms to crib without waking her up.
- And then kiss her and wake her up. Sigh.
- Excruciating back-aches from carrying the baby around.
- Before the baby, when you had to go out, all you had to do was - pull on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, run a comb through your hair, and you are set. Now. Try to pull on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Find that they don't fit any more. Don trousers and a loose kurti instead. Dress the baby. Diaper. Frock. Light jacket. Booties. Check baby for signs of hunger. If hungry, feed. If not, proceed to packing the baby's bag. Diapers, wipes, cotton, water, extra set of clothes, mat, napkins to wipe drool, plastic bags to put soiled diaper in. Extra diapers. Extra pieces of cloth (just in case). Sweater (what if it becomes cold?). Wrap. Extra wrap. Check, recheck, re-re-check. All set, get ready to go. Open the door. Baby soils diaper/shows signs of hunger. Back to changing/feeding. Repeat process until successful. Unless it is too late to go.
- Make an attempt to look good, then go out with your baby - everybody looks only at baby. Nobody even glances at you. You could have as well gone in pyjamas.
- Visit someone's house with baby. You ring the bell, husband is trailing, carrying baby. Door is opened, and the host says, "Hi.. what.. where is the baby?" Looks beyond me, sees the bundle in husband's arms, then says, "Oh ok, come on in, then".
- Grin and bear all the advice and comments on how you look after baby. Nothing you do can be right. Case in point - pick up a crying baby, and you are spoiling it. Don't pick up a crying baby, and you are heartless. It is a lose-lose situation.
- Make major changes in career, family life, relationships, friendships.
I can't remember the other points I had made in my head - coz I am sleepy and tired after a long day - and this is the only time I get online... there you go.. one more point!
So, here you have it. This is what it means to have a baby. Lots of work. No rest. Ok? Now, all of you who have been influenced by my rosy baby posts - you can stop reading now.
For the others - All these hardships are real, yes, and yet, at the end of it, you look at the innocent, trusting, delightful creature in front of you, and all that you can say is, "It's all worth it."