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Things Nobody Told Me About Having Babies

24/07/2015 8:30 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Have you ever wondered why people with babies are always asking their child-free friends to reproduce? It's the same reason why married friends are forever trying to set up their single friends. Or why my husband insists I accompany him to boring work dinners. It is because misery loves company.

Babies are basically god rolling his eyes at plans you make about life. Think you have your life all figured out? The next holiday, the career move that'll catapult you into whatever orbit you aim to reach, that book you want to read before they make the movie that you will then want to watch? Think again.

Babies take over your life.

And now I know you're thinking --in a good way, right? Err... No. What could be a "good way" of someone taking over your life?

There is a lot to whine about when it comes to motherhood and I don't hold back. Like most people of my generation, Facebook posts are my weapons of choice. They make some of my "friends" laugh, many of them "like" the posts and seem to quietly agree and then there are some who send me private messages, basically telling me just how inappropriate this is. I've been told that I must "give the little angel another chance", that he will soon "grow on me" (like a wart?) and that my mother too "had similar problems, but did she ever complain?" I was recently asked if I even love my child at all.

"I've long ago delivered a child... but what would I not give bend over the sink for as long as I want -- the luxury to just retch in peace."

Never mind whether I love my child. The question is, do you love my child and would you please take him off my hands for a week or so?

For the longest time in my pregnancy I was told I was glowing. Apparently all pregnant women "glow". Well you'd glow too if you spent half your day bent over a sink, twisting your innards and mustering all muscle to bring up every little morsel you ate. I've long ago delivered a child and glow no more. But what would I not give to glow like that again. To bend over the sink for as long as I want -- the luxury to just retch in peace.

While generally disruptive to everything around them, babies hit their mothers particularly hard. No other job expects you to hit the ground running, with zero training or experience, rushing from one thankless task to another -- all this while your "boss" screams in your ear, poops, pees and throws up freely on you and everyone around judges you for it. The baby is obviously adorable, are you doing everything right?

You are expected to have all the answers. It doesn't matter that you've had the baby for only as long as everyone else. You may have carried him around for nine months, but I can assure you that gives you about as much insight into your baby's mind as having glands makes you an endocrinologist.

The most annoying questions will come from the husband because suddenly this know-it-all man will turn into a blithering idiot who can't read labels to tell which one the baby shampoo is. Each time the baby cries, the father will look from him to you, from you to him -- with utter bewilderment and confusion. It is like the baby came with a manual that you have been hiding from him and pull out to read when everyone is asleep. As refreshing as it may be to have the husband finally accept the superiority of your wisdom, unfortunately you won't have any more answers than him when it comes to the baby and its baby-things.

"It is like the baby came with a manual that you have been hiding from [the husband] and pull out to read when everyone is asleep."

Of course, all the answers you will have will be wrong. Neighbours, relatives, house-help, random judgmental women you'll bump into just when your baby is having the meltdown of the week -- everyone can tell you at least one way of doing things better, and they will.

This is particularly true if you live with, or are visited often by either grandmother. Even though their kids "never had" any of these issues growing up, each of them will have their own set of home remedies for colic, gas, constipation and other very pleasant baby-related woes. Instructions will flow fast and freely from both sides and god help you if you tried one but not the other. Resist early and resist both. Do what you want to do and blame it on the pediatrician. Run away with the baby or better still, just run away and leave the baby with them. They will soon be begging you to take him back.

The truth is, nobody has a clue. They all try that one thing that worked that one time with that one baby and for all you know that baby has already had a chat with your baby and he's on to you and it doesn't work anymore.

Babies are evil.

Every mother copes differently -- some hire help, some whine, some do yoga, some scream at their husbands and some just do drugs and walk around all blissed-out telling everyone how perfect their baby is and how their life is finally complete.

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