Mommy Knows Best, They Say!


A while ago, I had written a poem that described my thoughts and fears about becoming a mother. I shared the poem recently on my blog, and it soon became the post with the highest number of hits on the blog. Each word of that poem is true, and I think a lot of mothers could relate to it.

The truth is, we all look at our mothers like this huge encyclopedia, this omniscient entity, this kindest soul, this epitome of all things right with the world. But maybe, just maybe, every mother started out like me – scared and clueless. Perhaps mine did too, though it is hard to imagine it! Perhaps yours did too. 

My cluelessness caused me to fret about everything in the beginning. My son was the very first baby I had ever held. When I looked at his oh-so-tiny fingers, I freaked out seeing his skin was peeling a little bit. My doctor told me that was nothing to worry about, and most newborns are born with skin like that. Interestingly, every time I freaked out over something trivial, I only learnt it was something that “happens to all babies”. But still, like all mothers, my baby was the apple of my eye, the perfect little angel, and I fretted a lot and fretted some more. 

Seeing my ridiculously sorry and clueless state, the doctor reiterated, that I needn’t worry about the skin, that I should apply some natural oils, like coconut or olive or almond and give the baby regular massages. I asked her if I could use any of the baby oils available in the market (as a new mom, obviously I had received several bottles of baby oil, baby powder, baby lotion, baby wipes, whatnot as presents from friends and family). She said a firm “No”. I didn’t question her, but I didn’t believe her either. I thought if a product was available exclusively in the market for babies, then that would definitely be better than any other “natural” oil, right? But just like my doctor, elderly relatives also advised me to use natural oils. I still didn’t believe them, dismissing their advice as old wives’ tales (yup, that’s what I thought of my doctor too, believe it or not!) But then my brother showed me several articles online about the harmful effects of the oils I was planning to use. Read this one for instance; it’s more recent than the ones my brother showed me.

Of course, it is the curse of my generation to believe all things online but nothing that an elderly person tells you. How coolly I disregarded the words of my DOCTOR but believed the same things when SOMEONE online said it. But either way, fretful mother that I was, switched immediately to olive oil. 

The first thing I noticed was how much cooler and soothing it felt while massaging it onto my son’s skin. It seemed lighter, less “artificial” (well, duh!) somehow. There were people who taught me the right ways to massage a baby’s skin, to strengthen the bones and straighten the limbs. Do it right, and the baby enjoys it too. I remember the earliest days, when he yet hadn’t learnt how to laugh, but had a serene, pleasant expression on his face every time we gave him an oil massage. What could make a mother happier?

Of course, as a new mother, you get lots of advice – from everyone. And I do mean, a ton of advice! Suddenly, everyone considers themselves an expert. This will annoy you, for sure. But don’t dismiss all of it because you think the person’s advice is outdated for this day and age. There’s a reason they know the things they do, and it has worked superbly for them in the past. And you don’t really have to be a rocket scientist, or blindly depend so much on the internet (as I have admitted I did) to know that natural is, any given day, better than artificial. 

I am participating in the #FirstLove activity at BlogAdda in association with Dabur
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10 thoughts on “Mommy Knows Best, They Say!

  1. Rajlakshmi July 5, 2015 / 12:10 PM

    it's indeed very difficult to determine what works and wht doesn't for a baby. Glad you found the right oil 🙂

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  2. tulika singh July 6, 2015 / 5:53 PM

    OOoh tell me about it! With twins I was constantly comparing and rushing to the doc – He is having 9 ounces of milk she stops at six. She is sitting up he can barely turn over, his teeth are out she has none… Uff what a hard time that was. Oh and the advice – tons and tons of it yet nothing that fitted both my kids! I learnt to take it all with oodles of salt.

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  3. Sreesha Divakaran July 7, 2015 / 4:52 AM

    True that!! No two kids are the same, but at the same time, it's also true that whatever happens, “happens to all babies, and it's nothing to worry about”!

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  4. Shilpa Garg July 7, 2015 / 10:54 AM

    I can so relate to this post! I believed in books and info given on the internet and would veto the tips/suggestions given by my doc and mom. But very soon, I realized the wisdom of their experience.

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  5. Sreesha Divakaran July 7, 2015 / 11:35 AM

    You know, I read so many books too, but now I think I shouldn't have. One incident I remember is, one of those books said,”During pregnancy, you will feel emotional, and may find yourself crying for no reason.” Until then, I had never felt emo or anything. But I guess it had some weird placebo effect on me; I used to cry or lose my temper over every little thing!

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  6. Kokila Gupta July 8, 2015 / 4:41 PM

    I agree with your post completely Shreesha and your above reply is MY own experience!
    Hence you have deduced rightly that natural is the best – product wise and in learning things the natural way .

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  7. Somali K Chakrabarti July 8, 2015 / 6:38 PM

    You are right Sreesha. At times it is annoying for a new mother to receive so much advice from others, but then as you have very wisely pointed out that not all of it should be discounted…and yes natural products are any day the best.

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  8. Sreesha Divakaran July 9, 2015 / 6:11 AM

    A new mother already has a lot on her mind without every relative adding their two cents. But yes, eventually you learn what's good from the older and wiser ones. Maybe maternal instincts teach you which advice to take and which to discard!

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