A Slice of Life

Life, cooking and much more

Archive for the ‘Working Mother’ Category

Weaned!

with one comment

One of my biggest worries when it came to N was his addiction to his bottle. He was so attached to it and dependent on it that I was afraid he was going to enter college with a bottle in his bag. He was never a sound sleeper and I suspected his disturbed sleep on his bottle. He would search for his bottle all around him even in his sleep and would wake up crying if he didn’t find it. When I had many sleepless nights in a row, I decided to take things in my hand and wean him off the bottle.

First step was to let N know that the bottle was going away. I told him a story about a crow and its teeny, tiny babies which are hungry because they don’t have a bottle to drink milk with. N was so concerned he voluntarily gave the bottle and asked me to give it to ‘ka-ka’. I left the bottles in the balcony and after a few minutes, the crow took the bottles away and left some chocolates for N. So good so far.

Come afternoon, his nap time and the kid refused to go to sleep without a bottle. The moment I said ‘nap’, he would say ‘bottle’. Eventually, the day turned to night and he hadn’t taken a nap. No crying, atleast. So good so far.

He had a good dinner and said ‘sleep’ and added ‘bottle’ to it. I reminded him about the crow and he had this sad expression on his face which clearly meant ‘Why did I ever give the bottle away?’ I told him a story, sang him a song and he fell asleep in a few minutes. Not bad!

After two hours, N woke up screaming and asked for bottle. I reminded him about the crow, but no use. He demanded that the crow get the bottle back because ‘it’s mine and I want it now’. I gave him gems and he went back to sleep. This went on for a couple of times all through the night and none of us had a good sleep. Thank God, I had decided to leave the bottles in the office, otherwise I would have weakened and given him the bottle.

After this horrible night, I wasn’t looking forward to the next day, but it was relatively uneventful. N took a nap and slept well in the night. He did wake up a couple of times, but there was no screaming or flailing arms or stomping feet. From then on, it was a smooth sail. He had this sad look in his eyes for a few days and it tore my heart. I felt so sorry for him that the object of his affection went away. Thankfully, it didn’t affect him emotionally. Overnight, there was a complete change in my little kid. He started behaving all grown up, he was a big boy now, you see, because he no longer used a bottle. He drinks milk in his new, bright orange cup and he loves it.

Looking back, I am extremely lucky that things went so smooth for me and N. Thank God and thank the mothers on my parenting forum. Now that he is weaned, there are certain changes in his routine.

Pros
1. N sleeps really well in the night. From waking up every 2 hours to sleeping like a log all through the night, it has been a welcome change. Only mothers can understand when I say ‘He sleeps through the night’.
2.  His appetite is much better. He eats a good three meals a day and snacks in between, 2-3 cups of milk a day and he is set.
3. He is all grown up now. It might be my illusion but N has this grown up look now. He talks differently and behaves differently. Even my mom agrees with me on this, so it may not be an illusion after all.
4. He is slowly learning to fall asleep on his own. You see, I never tried the no-cry solution or the CIO technique to make him learn to fall asleep. I know he is going to learn that when the time comes. Till then, I don’t mind singing for him until he dozes off.

Cons
1. Since he doesn’t use a bottle anymore, it takes longer to put him to bed. A story and a song isn’t enough any more. It usually goes on for 2 stories and a couple of songs. It sometimes takes an hour and on those days, my husband finds me asleep when N is happily playing next to me.
2. Making him drink from a cup during the day is a bit hard.

All said and done, weaning worked like a charm for me. I am kicking myself why I didn’t try this earlier!



Written by A

September 7, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Two months at work

with 3 comments

When I and my husband decided that we want to start our family, my immediate thought was ‘Okay, I will quit once the baby is here’. There was no dilemma, no confusion, no questions asked – it was just a plain, innocent looking statement – I will not work when I am a mother. Easier said than done.

I quit when I was 5 months pregnant. I spent the 4 months of my pregnancy savoring every moment. I was happy with my decision of quitting. I could take better care of myself and my baby. Eating well, eating at the right time, getting some exercise, spending time on puja and meditation, keeping myself calm… everything was working well. Then my baby arrived and my life did a somersault. I was thrilled that my baby was here. I enjoyed caring for him and being a mother, but I was not happy. I felt as if there was something missing in my life. I used to recall those days when I was working. The challenges, the pressure, the deadlines – I realized I enjoyed all these. Then it dawned on me, why did I quit at all?

I decided to get back to work when my baby turned one. The decision was anything but easy. It was very easy to quit, but it’s harder to get back to work. I was and still am in a dilemma. One part of me didn’t want to take the risk of going to work and seeing my child suffer. Another part of me wanted me to work and have my own life. With some push from my husband and divine intervention, I finally took the plunge and resumed work.

It’s been exactly two months since I started working and things are not all that bad. Yes, N misses me and cries a bit when I leave for work, but he is not emotionally harmed. I was afraid that his development might be hampered if he misses me too much. Thank God, that hasn’t happened. I have a live-in maid who takes really good care of N. For now, my mom stays with me, so I can go to work totally relaxed. I dread that day when she has to go back to her house.

I was talking to another working mother who has a two-year old child. I was hoping I could get some advice from her. My logic was that she has been doing this working-mom thingy for 2 years, so she should be past the guilty phase and she should be an expert in this. Wrong. I was completely wrong. She is in exactly the same phase as I am in. I thought the guilt and the emotional suffering will go away with time. Turns out that is not the case. And that is a piece of bad news for me.

So, what am I going to do? Take each day as it comes. Keep consoling myself that the fact that I am feeling guilty makes me a good mother. If things become too difficult to handle, quit and sit at home.

Written by A

January 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm