Everybody likes to give gyaan to a new mommy – friends, family, neighbours, maid, driver, stranger et al. We give her unsolicited advice about how to manage motherhood (which by the way had just hit her like a truck barging on an unsuspecting pedestrian), judge about her breastfeeding choices, lament her for wanting to sleep much or her baby not sleeping enough.
I so often find myself doing that too, though I try my best to limit it to only sharing the information sought.
I also don’t know if it is an Indian cultural thing or is the norm everywhere else in the world too but we always like to point out what this new mom is not doing right or not doing enough or how she can do better when it comes to taking care of her child.
But have we ever taken a moment to wonder what it is that the lady in question must really want to know?
All a new mom actually needs to hear is –
“You are doing a great job.”
Yes, as simple as that.
Even if you see her energy maxed out in old clothes reeking of baby spit, hair unwashed for the second week, eyes encircled in dark hollow hopelessness, trying to soothe her crying baby or head full of contrasting complex thoughts of despair, fear and self-doubt., even if she’s falling, failing and almost giving up, let her know that she is doing a great job. Because by God, there has never been a woman who has not given her all and then some more to make it work, to keep her baby healthy and happy and alive! Because just ‘being’ a mother is not easy. And to try to give it her best makes her a warrior already.
So next time you see a new mom or any mom whatsoever, tell her she is doing a great job.