Becoming a mom in Pakistan is especially unique because of the cultural and family dynamics of our society. Motherhood comes with its own unique set of experiences, some foreseen, others unexpected, but none of them is anything you had imagined. Its easy to get overwhelmed, especially in Pakistan, where everyone, from your husband’s aunt, to you threading waali larki has an opinion on how you should be raising your baby.
Here’s a little reminder that you’re not alone and that the perfect mommy, much like the pregnancy glow, is a myth:
1. You wish your baby came with a snooze button.
And on some sleep-deprived night, may have even repeatedly pressed your alarm’s button in the belief that it would turn the noise off.
Days. Weeks. Months. It’s all just a blur after a while.
2. You get asked the same questions all the time.
When did you last shower? How much do you weigh? Is that poop on your clothes? Seriously, when did you last shower?
All day, every day. Everywhere.
3. You hear phantom baby crying everywhere.
In everything. But mostly when you’re in the shower.
Mostly when your baby is fast asleep.
4. People ask you, ‘no but what do you do?’
These people will make you feel like you have single-uterusly derailed the entire feminist movement. They will insist on an alternative answer, even when you tell them you have a newborn baby that you look after.
5. There are nights where you don’t remember what happened.
And not for any good reasons.
Disco (Read:Diaper) Deewanay
6. Aunties will try to convince you that there is something wrong with your baby.
Iss ka toh sar he nahin baitha! Naak kitni pheeni hai, iss ko kheencha kero. Mathay ko dabaya kero, daikho kaisay ubhra va hai. Baal kitnay kam hain! Tind kerva do, 8-10 dafa toh honi he chahiye.
Its a baby, not the second coming of ET.
7. You learn how to speak baby.
You can tell whether your baby has gas, constipation, is hungry, sleepy, bored or just plain annoyed at the huge inconvenience of being forced to be alive by the tone of their crying.
8. You learn to do everything in stealth mode.
You can now walk, talk, change, and breathe with zero noise.
No sounds were made during the duration of this dance routine.
9. Getting ready for anywhere now takes 10x the time.
Your husband is probably still waiting for you in the car for that wedding you had to go to last weekend.
Hint: It looks nothing like this anymore.
10. You know exactly where to get diapers from at 4 AM.
And spare dummies. And teething gel. And nasal aspirators. And Phenergan.
We’re joking about the phenergan.
11. Your plans for the weekend depend on your baby falling asleep on time.
You can finally finish that movie you started watching three weeks ago.
Quietly, with a headphone each.
12. Whose turn it is to get up with the baby can turn into a Bollywood style showdown.
You probably still won’t have anything on Madhuri and Amir though.
13. You realize just how much you love your Mom/sister when they offer to baby sit.
You realize the importance of ‘me’ time like never before. The relief at being able to get away is only matched by the relief at coming back and not seeing betrayal burning in your baby’s eyes like the aunties promised you you would.
14. You can differentiate between a pram, a pushchair and a stroller.
But please don’t ask us to explain.
15. You find yourself making baby soothing noises even when your baby isn’t around.
You can try and cover it up, but its probably too late.
Everybody heard you. Just like the crying baby that nobody else can hear.
16. You’re perpetually sleep deprived.
All your interests and hobbies have boiled down to one thing; sleep and all its variations. Napping when your baby is napping. Snoozing while waiting for the sterliser to go off. Dozing off in the middle of feeding them. And the wondrous siesta when somebody else is looking after them. You stopped believing in the fabled full night of sleep since the first time they kicked you in the bladder from the inside.
17. You think your baby is the cutest baby in the world.
Call it selective blindness. Call it the truth. Whatever suits you.
18. Your handbag is no longer your property.
You can’t resist the temptation of extra stuff just-in-case. Bibs and baby rattles ALWAYS come in your purse. Long gone are the days of rocking that cute little crossbody, your fashion idol is now Mary Poppins.
Source: Seventeen Magazine
19. You realize how expensive it is to have a baby.
Diapers, milk, vaccinations, clothes, bottle warmers, prams, the list goes on. You end up spending more on your tiny little bundle than two full grown adults combined.
This is why “planning” your families is important, so you can actually afford to raise kids.
But you always know it is worth the struggle when you look at your baby.
You forget all your frustration and exhaustion when your little one smiles up at you, despite how annoyed, smelly and awful you look. A whiff of your baby’s milky-Johnson’s-baby-powder smell, (thank you for making babies adorable) and you’re a goner.
Seriously, what is in that powder?
This is part of our series for ‘Mother’s Day’, celebrating every aspect of our lives our mothers are an integral part of. For other pieces in the series, click here.
Cover image via: Kukis Photography