Everyone wishes they could emulate their mothers—their grace, intelligence, patience—but motherhood is not all sugar, spice and everything nice. There are moments of doubt and exasperation, times that demand channeling courage and embracing vulnerabilities, and yeah...sometimes even resisting the urge to say, "I quit!"
We asked real mothers—new moms and mothers to kids who have flown the nest—to share some of the ideas of motherhood they inherited, and later busted.
Maternal instinct is natural
We are told that maternal instinct is something that comes naturally to all mothers, but not for all mothers! Sometimes it is work-in-progress; like in my case, it came after a year of being with my daughter. I owe it to her for bringing in the maternal intuition in me. Children are very sensitive and quick to understand what you can demand from your mother. I have been a working mother all throughout; I did not take any maternity break. I got back to work a week after my daughter was born, but my daughter has never made me feel guilty of being a working mother. She understands and appreciates that I like to work and lets me have the space. When it comes to feeling guilty about leaving your child away for work, I would just say that guilt is more a creation of the mother’s mind than a child’s.
-Srimoyi Bhattacharya, managing director, Peepul Consulting
2. All mother’s instantly fall in love with their babies
Not True. It's taken for granted that a mother will love her child from the moment she sets her eyes on her, or feels her kick in the belly. But every woman's experience is different. Some have difficult pregnancies, many also suffer from postpartum depression and may not be able to connect with the child instantly. The love for your baby envelops you in various ways, and every process is natural
and normal, original and beautiful.
- Theresa Dsouza, Retired (worked as Managing Reporter, UltraTech Cement)
Actor Sameera Reddy and Chef Maria Goretti on What Motherhood Did to Them
You will instantly be
grateful to your motherWhile you do appreciate all that your mother has done for you, motherhood doesn’t
necessarily change your relationship with your mom. Motherhood does not have to be an insurmountable task and every mom finds her own tricks and ways to raise her children. Kids will grow up, no matter what,
you just need to be around, trying to strike a fine balance between of giving children their independence with a dose of supervision, that's all.
- Chencho Thomas, Content Writer, Nykaa
L: Chencho Thomas; R: Genevieve D'Costa
4. For a mom, her children are angels
Children are adorable and I love them, but after all those hours of lost sleep and never-ending breastfeeding, sometimes I would wonder what kind of a monster I was feeding! Every time my daughter woke up, she howled so much that when I was expecting my second baby, as much as we were looking forward to the birth, I nursed a fear of the impending motherhood and depression set in.
– Genevieve D'Costa, Productivity Enhancer, UPL Ltd.
5. Mother always knows what's right for the baby
Moms don't come fitted with a parenting manual, so no, mother is not always right. It's true that motherhood fine tunes our instinct to protect our children, but it is a learning process, and especially for a young mom, each day is a new day with its own challenges that need to tackled innovatively, and sensibly.
- Aditi Yadav, Founder and Creative Director, Ved Institute of Performing Arts, Mumbai
Also Read: Unstereotyping-Accept Your Own Reality
Motherhood is a thankless job
No doubt motherhood is a 24-hour job where you often wish you had more hours in a day. It's exhausting sometimes, but not thankless. Motherhood has taught me to ace the art of multi-tasking and at the same time I have come to discover the untapped reservoir of strength, and potential I have within me to achieve my goal, to keep working and learning to work outside my comfort zone.
– Nayantara Som, ex-journalist; content strategist based out of Dubai
L:Nayantara Som; R: Andrea Rodrigues
Breastfeeding is natural
It isn't! Breastfeeding is tough and it takes a while to get used to. There are all these old-wives tales around breastfeeding that tell you to avoid certain foods while nursing—another myth! I happily ate mango and spicy food, which I had been asked to avoid. Smoking and alcohol are an absolute no-no, but healthy wholesome food is a yes! If your baby is healthy and happy, banish all doubts and thoughts. Breast milk is the best food for your baby, there's everything in it to help her develop a strong immunity. Breast milk production requires a huge intake of water, and the more your child suckles, the more milk you produce!
- Karen Alfonso, Beauty Editor, iDiva.com
Breastfeeding is natural
L: Karen Alfonso; R: Srimoyi Bhattacharya
your personalityIt can be a tough phase for the mother, and even the father, because
somewhere down the line, you might forget your likes and interests—you’ll
barely get to drink your beer chilled; your tea or coffee piping hot! There are
days when you might just want to give it all up. It can be so tiring! The formula is to not make parenting a project, and to take time out for yourself, to engage in activities and hobbies that recharge you.
- Nayantara Som
If you look tired
during pregnancy, you will deliver a boy
I have twin girls! I was also told that I will have twin boys if I had thick pigmented lines on your stomach. Such superstitions!
– Aditi Yadav
You should eat for two people when you’re pregnant
This such a fallacy—you need a balanced diet to ensure healthy nutrition for yourself and the baby. Overeating is a no-no, you really don't really need to pile on the pounds just because you’re pregnant.
– Karen Alfonso
11. A working mom neglects her kids
No! I think all moms are working moms, some of us get paid! For some women, work is a necessity, others may make a choice to pursue a career. Nevertheless, all moms work hard to balance work and home as best as they can.
- Andrea Rodrigues, executive assistant at a MNC
12. Career takes a backseat
This is just not true! If you think career takes a backseat once your child is born, I am happy to say that having a supportive spouse goes a long way in pursuing your career. Ladies, all you need to do is please ask for help. I was able to speak at a conference a couple of weeks after having a baby because my husband was home with smallie. My fantastic business partner took on a lot of heavy lifting and that ensured we didn’t have to slow down. If all goes well, this will be one of our most exiting years as an enterprise.
– Anisha Rachel Oommen, Co-Founder, Goya Media
Featured image: Shutterstock.com
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