Motherhood notes 2: 8 more things I’ve learnt from being a mother every new mom should know

In my previous article, Motherhood Notes, I spoke of a few things I learnt when I became a new mom that, in my opinion, will prove useful to everyone. But of course it didn't stop there. What else will help you progress in your journey into parenthood?

1. Join parenting groups.

Engage in discussions, post your doubts. Take their suggestions with a pinch of salt and analysis. I am indebted to them for their feeding and weaning advice. ‘Breastfeeding support for Indian Mothers’, ‘Cloth diapering India’, ‘Preloved Stuffs India.Com – Baby’ and ‘Babywearing India’ are some good parenting groups. I especially recommend ‘Breastfeeding support for mothers of multiples’ and ‘Twinderland’ for parents of multiples. Once you join a group, you find yourselves in a timeline full of mommy groups. Thank me or curse me later.

2. Buy dresses from mompreneurs who sell export excesses.

My favourites are MyFactory, Juskiddin and Dollypops. Alert – some of the vendors turned into friends over time and I am not biased. They have good stuff at reasonable rates compared to retail and online shops. The same holds for import books too.

3. Buy preloved stuff.

Sometimes, you even get new things at throwaway prices, but good quality secondhand merchandise will really help you save over time.

4. Participate in giveaways.

You don’t know when you may get lucky. I for one won two giveaways and I have a friend who lost count of the giveaways she won.

5. Limit toys.

You will need all the money later. Actually, most kids don’t play with toys, they grab kitchen items instead. Now, don’t look at me accusingly - during the first year, I only bought teethers, rattles and some touch, feel and sound books. A better option will be cloth books as they chew everything. Your NRI friends have plenty of cloth book options and you can ask them to get it for you.

6. Follow clean eating without dieting.

Control the portions you eat by having less each time and eating more number of times, less sugar and packaged foods. I was on a strict diet during my pregnancy due to heartburn, and the moment my twins arrived, I started hoarding food like some Vardah cyclone was coming. Each night, I either finished a whole biscuit packet or half loaf bread in addition to my regular meals. Result – despite feeding my twins, I have gained extra pounds. Clean diet and breastfeeding helps you lose most of the extra calories they say; though I have no firsthand experience, I believe it has to be true. And don’t forget your supplements, as long as you breastfeed. It’s great to have a healthy diet but supplements are equally important too.

I also made the mistake of postponing my exercises till my twins were six months old, assuming they will need me less after the introduction of solids. What a blunder. You are free only till they crawl. After your doctor gives you a go ahead, start easy exercises, like walking. If you can’t do outdoor walks, try to start with Leslie Sansone’s one mile walk at home. Later plan at home workouts like Bob Harper, Gillian Michaels etc as you gain strength. You have exercise videos as short as 15 minutes. Always if anything is uncomfortable, pause. Tip – Join Weightloss Mob group.

7. Work on your weight only if you feel like it.

I for one never bothered much with my growing inches, except when all my dresses went into hiding, thanks to my weight gain. It’s a wonderful thing to give birth to babies, the skin and all organs stretch to hold them, your bones and internal organs are all in different places. Give your body some time, rest and serious credit. Take selfies with your kid, see how happy you look. Does it even matter, that extra skin?

8. However tough and lovely these days may be, they pass too quickly.

Make the best of them. The first three months feel like an eternity, especially the first one. All you are doing is round-the-clock feeding plus changing, but this too shall pass. It was the most beautiful and relaxed phase of my life, despite being tired and sleepless. Take nice photos of your babies' pink feet and videos of their cooing. They won’t let you photograph them later.