Motherhood, Mundane musings

Can You Love Your Second Child As Much As Your First?

I always wanted 2 kids but my resolve dwindled for a long while after I had my first. My daughter brought unbound love and joy in my life, she made me love her with the intensity I didn’t know existed within me and she made all the soppy motherhood quotes ring true. I felt all the love I had I spent on her and now there wasn’t any left for the second baby. My world revolved so much around her that I felt there was no place for another child. After all there can only be one sun in a solar system! My fears gripped me so much that I almost dropped the idea.

Then somewhere I read a mom’s quote:

You don’t have to split your love in two, your heart just grows a little bit bigger.

The hope and strength these words gave me combined with my long time desire of 2 propelled me to finally have another child.

As the due date grew closer the fear in my heart grew too… the What Ifs plagued me. I tried to spend more and more time with VMJ. We even took a vacation a couple of months before the baby arrived thinking of it as the last time it will be only us and VMJ. It was a planned cesarean and I was very emotional when we decided the date. That was it – the end of my princess’s solo reign. 

My fears stayed with me until I held my baby boy for the first time – he was a tiny bundle of perfection, and I was entranced!

I made a lot of effort to give VMJ the same love and attention as she got before the baby arrived, at the same time I realized how the baby pulled at my heart strings. Though I did not stay up at nights just to look at him like I did with VMJ, I did hold him closer and longer every time he was in my arms because I now knew how fast they grow up. VMJ’s fascination with him and urge to spend all her waking moments near the baby made it much easier for me. Very soon the baby was so much a part of our family as if he had been there forever.

Both my husband and I used to feel that we wouldn’t be too excited about his milestones and antics because of course we had seen it all but this little guy proved us wrong. We were enthralled with each expression, each attempt to crawl made us jump with joy and each mischief had us rolling on the floor with laughter. We have enjoyed each and every look on his face and each action as if we were watching it for the very first time. In fact, this time it was even more wonderful because VMJ watched and enjoyed with us, and most times the chemistry between the siblings multiplied the fun. 

With your first child you love all the moments because you are seeing them so closely for the first time. Our second is also our last so we enjoy it more because it’s the last time we are seeing him this small. Today, in this moment, he’s the youngest he will ever be. Who knows if this is the last time he’s using his arms to drag him forward, or the last time we’ll see his toothless smile or the last time he’ll crawl with his little bums swaying left and right. With the first child you are always excited for what’s going to come next, with the second, you want to make the most of the moment that is. 

I was not sure I could, but I am so happy that I am loving my second child as much as I love my first. Yes, there is a difference in the way I love them both – maybe because of their different ages or different personalities, but there is equal love for both of them. 

If this question haunts you too then take my word and forget about  it. If you love your first child you will love your second, third or even tenth with the same fervor. The love may change with time but it will always be there. Trust me!

  

-A

Parenting

Ten Commandments for a First Time Mom

 The first few days of motherhood are the most memorable yet the toughest. The new mother is dealing with not just major physical changes but also trying to come to terms with the fact that she now has the responsibility of another small little being 24*7. 

At her most vulnerable time a new mother is bombarded with advice and words of caution from every direction. Things that never crossed her mind before become matter of life and death overnight  – to keep the baby in diaper or nappy, to give formula or exclusive breast feed, to introduce bottle or not, to give pacifier or not… The myriad answers from everyone around add to the confusion. 

Here is an attempt to make the transition to motherhood a teeny weeny bit easier for a new mom, 10 commandments that a new mom should live by :

  1. Take care of yourself : It’s easy to ignore yourself during the early weeks post delivery. Keeping a small table by your bedside for snacks, a big bottle of water, a glass (elders recommend silver glass), your vitamins and painkillers, a small diary to keep track of baby’s feeds and poops, a couple of burp clothes and a tissue paper box helps a lot. The dietary restrictions were made for a reason and if its not a major inconvenience try and follow what your elders and doctors tell you. Avoid heavy foods for a couple of weeks and then introduce them slowly back. Avoid chillies and spicy food until you are breastfeeding your baby. Eat nutritious food until you are breastfeeding or until you recover fully in case you are formula feeding. You also need to take your calcium and iron supplements for at least 6 months, so do that.
  2. Accept help: As they say it’s takes a village to raise a child, caring for a baby is not an easy task, especially when it’s your first one. Accept all help you are offered… Get a house help to work around the house, take up family and friends on offers of bringing you food or running errands for you or of engaging your older child. 
  3. Don’t lose yourself : Keep doing things from your previous life that you loved – reading, watching your favorite shows, catching up with friends, pursuing a hobby – as soon as you feel up to it. Only a happy mother can raise a happy child. 
  4. Wear decent clothes : You may be staying home all day, at least during your maternity break, but it shouldn’t mean staying in your pyjamas all day. Yes I know how comfortable they are but wearing nicer clothes will make you feel better. If you have to be in pyjamas at least buy a couple new nice ones to cheer yourself up. Same goes for underwear. And do make time to comb your hair.
  5. Find a good pediatrician: Finding a  doctor who is in sync with your parenting philosophy will help you avoid a lot of confusion and anxiety over the years. If he is available for an odd call at odd hours and responds to emergency text msgs you are sorted.
  6. Keep the basic baby medicines handy: Babies can be pretty delicate and unpredictable. Always keep a few basic medicines at home so you don’t have to rush to the chemist in the middle of the night. Medicines for fever, vomiting, colic, gripe water (if your doctor recommends), nasal drops, Vicks baby rub, band aid etc should always be around.
  7. Breast/ Formula feeding: Easy as it may seem, breastfeeding is anything but. Read in detail about it before the baby arrives, take help from the lactation consultant at your hospital and get tips from experienced family members you are close to. If for any reason your are not able to breast feed, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty over it. Formula is fine too and it doesn’t take away the bond you share with your baby. 
  8. Diapers and diaper rashes: It’s absolutely alright if you are not able to or are not comfortable with using cloth nappies with your baby. Diapers make your life a hell lot easier and are not as evil as some people make them to be. Where there are diapers, there is got to be diaper rashes. To nip this problem in the bud follow simple rules of drying the skin well before putting on a diaper – if time and weather permits air drying is the best ; apply coconut oil with each change; change diapers every few hours or as soon as it’s full/soiled. If a stubborn rash still occurs equal amounts of baby Vaseline and coconut oil works better than any rash cream in the market.
  9. Take advice with a pinch of salt : Lot of well wishers and experienced family members will offer unsolicited advice. Take what feels right and ignore the rest. Each baby is different and what others suggest may not agree with your parenting philosophy. Only thing is to take an informed decision.
  10. Stick to your guns: Take a stand on things that matter when it comes to your child. If you don’t want to attend a late night cards party because of a colicky baby you don’t have to. Don’t be bullied into disrupting your baby’s schedule, or making decisions you don’t want to make for your child. 


If there’s anything else that helped you through the early months we would love to hear about it.

Enjoy your new baby and the feeling of being a mother….. Nothing on this planet comes even close. 

-A

Crafty baby, Festivals

DIY Diwali Crafts

Diwali is around the corner and I roped in VMJ in making some Diwali crafts. She enjoyed and I got my decorations ready… win win for both! ūüôā

If you haven’t bought or made your Diwali decorations yet, try these crafts. They are fairly easy and quick, and you can make them using stuff lying around the house.

We made Kandils, Clay Diyas, Bandanvar and Crepe paper flowers.

Material you will need for Kandil:

  • Cardstock paper
  • Crepe paper
  • Glitter sheets
  • Thread/ribbon
  • Glue

Just follow the design, its fairly easy to make.

  

Material for Bandanvar:

  • Card stock paper
  • Glitter paper
  • Glue
  • Long ribbon
  • Pattern scissors 

Nukta inspired this one. She showed me a picture of her pretty toran and I copied her design, tweaking it a bit.    

 

Material for Diyas:

  • Crayola white clay
  • Assorted colorful beads
  • Paint

I only made a fancy outer shell for real lights. Molded it in shape and pressed small beads in the clay. We are waiting for it to dry to paint it but I feel it is looking good as it is also. You can decorate with anything… Make patterns, use sea shells, pebbles… Anything at all. 

Material for Crepe paper flowers:

  • Crepe paper
  • Pipe cleaner

The crepe paper flowers are very easy to make and look like beautiful marigolds. You can use paper of only one color or 2 colors. Watch the video tutorial here.

You might also want to learn another way to make paper marigolds here 

Hope you like these and enjoy making them as much as we did.

Happy Diwali everyone. May the festival of lights illuminate all aspects of your life and brings you countless joys.

-A


Crafty baby, Festivals, Recipes

Star Shaped Meethi Mathhris (Sweet Whole Wheat Fritters)

Today was Ahoi Ashtami – the day I fast for my 2 munchkins and pray for their good health and well being. As a tradition we make meethi matthris and suji halwa on Ahoi for the evening pooja.

As I was making mathris, VMJ came in the kitchen curious to know and see what’s going on. Seeing how she wouldn’t let me alone I decided to involve her in mathri making too. My dough was ready, so I rolled it and asked VMJ to cut it in shapes using a cookie cutter. She was more than happy and chose star shape. She cut and I fried and we both had a good time.

The matthris did come out very nice and crispy. Because VMJ was involved in the making and because she loves stars she happily snacked away on the star fritters. And they are healthy too as I used whole wheat flour, ghee, sesame seeds and very little sugar. 

  

I used the following recipe from Nisha Madhulika:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Whole wheat flour 

1/4 cups Suji (semolina)

1/4 cups Ghee (clarified butter)

1/4 cups Sugar 

2 tbsp Sesame seeds 

1/4 cups Water 

Ghee/ oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)

Method:

First dissolve sugar in water if you are using granulated sugar. 

Mix all ingredients except for water and mix well. Then slowly add sweetened water and make a firm dough. Now cover and leave it for about 15 min.

After 15 min heat the oil on medium. Make small balls from the dough and roll into matthris. If you want you can also cut them in various shapes using cookie cutters. Fry on medium until golden brown. Take them out on a tissue paper to absorb the excess oil. Let them cool and enjoy!!

These mathris should be stored in an air tight container and stay good for about 2 months. 

You can find the video here.

Happy Ahoi Ashtami everyone. May God bless good health and happiness to all the children.

-A