Sleep.This is the most difficult and frequent question asked to a new mom.I have forgotten the meaning of this word because I have not slept peacefully after I have conceived and especially after my baby was born I have totally forgotten sleep.I doubt people will understand the profound meaning of what I’m talking.I have literally developed fear of my baby not sleeping.To begin with, my baby did not sleep for first 3 months of her life at night.That was the most tough period in my life.First of all you are physically not fit to take care of urself and then on top of that your baby does not sleep at night.I do not know whether everyone knows what happens to a person if there is no sleep at night.Your brain literally doesn’t support you. After all a night’s sleep cannot be compensated for a daytime sleep.Of course you cannot blame the baby as it’s no fault of the poor baby because babies do not know the difference between day and night so they dont know that nights are to sleep and days to play.
When my baby was 3 months and just started to sleep at night with a interval of feeding every 2 hours, I decided to travel with my baby to India. So I took her from minus 10 degree temperature to plus 41 degree temperature.So again due to time difference my baby did not sleep at night for next 15 days .Also my baby liked quiet and calm in order to sleep as it is very quiet in Sweden.So I had to tip toe around the house.But expecting others to do the same was an impossible task.Since if baby wakes up, you are the one who has to handle the fuss and cry of the baby and handle the task of getting the baby to go to sleep again.People around you do not understand the pains you have to go through required to put a baby to sleep.They are very casual and advice you how you need to put habit to your baby to sleep in noisy surroundings.But every baby is different and comes with her own personality and when you are so much sleep deprived you tend to follow your baby’s cues so that baby and you get some sleep after all.
Unfortunately there is so much free advice which you do not need at all and it is so irritating and frustrating to even listen to the unnecessary advice as only you and the baby have to work out the equation together and nobody in the world can help you with that. So what the new mom and baby actually needs the most is space to figure things out and support.
Unfortunately our typical Indian mentality will never change which expects women to be a super woman and manage household chores and the baby without any complains.People forget that women go through end number of emotional upheaval, hormonal changes and physical pains in order to deliver a baby.According to scientific studies, women need complete one year to recover post delivery.But in our culture women are supposed to start running around the household in one month itself.
I feel women are taken too much for granted in India. Rather everything about women is been taken granted in India.Breastfeeding too is taken so casually but nobody knows what women go through for breastfeeding.Its the world’s most satisfying thing for a mother but needs lot of determination and patience on the mothers part in order to breastfeed.I am proud of myself that I was able to exclusively breastfeed my baby for 6 months of her life.Everyone harps that a baby should be breastfed first 6 months but nobody knows the support they need to give to a mom in order to do so.Mother needs to eat well and on time so that she has the energy and milk in order to feed the baby since baby is dependent for food and water only on mother.
Also there is vast difference in India and abroad for the facilities provided for breastfeeding.I struggled to feed my baby in Indian shops and restaurants as even 5 star hotels didnt have any room for breastfeeding a baby.Women feel ashamed to feed because people might look .Who will explain a small baby all these problems?
Comparitively in Sweden wherever you go there is a special place for breastfeeding and you are free to feed your baby anywhere in public as” thank god nobody is bothered to look “. Below are pictures of feeding rooms available in Sweden.
Sad to say but India still needs many years to develop not in terms of infrastructure , science and technology but in basic things like men and women equality.
Sadly I’m sure every woman faces these challenges but nobody talks about it.I just thought to voice out these facts as it goes in every woman’s mind.
I just hope and pray that our future young girls do not blindly accept submissive culture and have the courage to stand up for themselves if they are being treated inequal.