Diary of a First Time Mommy!

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Let’s go back a few months to the preparation phase. Excited and under influence of hormone shifts you go out on a baby shopping spree, yet not knowing exactly what you need and more important how much or many you need of that. For some odd reason you are over-whelmed by all these "How to" books and have to find your way to the best "How to expect when you’re expecting- guides". I am a good reader, so I’ve gone through a lot of books on expecting, which came in real handy, but there remains the question of how to apply all these tips and tricks in real life. No matter how many books you read, every child is a unique experience, you need to trust your gut feeling with handling the baby but the real challenge turned out to be the logistics.


In practice, I found size to be a real issue. For example, diapers come in sizes but somehow there will be a time that it is too big or too tight. The size ranges are also a bit funny as there are 4kg to 8kg diapers, then 7kg to 17kg diapers. Of course, the diapers are then bound to leak at one stage or the other, but as a first time mommy you would think of all the possible causes and never assume that the leakage issue is directly related to the diaper size rationale. So the next step would be changing the diaper brand  to one that has a wider size variety only to discover that you have to buy a pack of 60 diapers only to end up using 10 since your baby has grown too big for his old diaper. What a waste!


Then there are clothes sizes, another jungle. Is it by height? By months? Hmm, then how come that what reads 6 months fits a 3 months old baby? I later discovered that the cotton shrinks after washing. Now why didn’t I think of that?


Teats, pacifiers and so on, and there are the sizes again and this time with more details such as Silicon or Rubber? Why has it become so complicated? We were babies too and we got off fine.


So what’s with the buttons on babies’ underwear? Too many buttons to fasten and unfasten, will the baby run away? How do you get the baby’s head in? These things should come with a manual.


Nanny hunting is a roller coaster ride. Bottom line, no one is good enough for your baby. But for argument’s sake, listen to this: a Philippino Nanny to come 5 days a week 9 to 5 costs 500$ a month. I would love to give the job to an Egyptian but can I find one that is not nosey, talkative and is disciplined? Even though newly university graduates cannot find a job and if they do, a fresh graduate of accounting would get a salary of 900 LE working in a bank. Can you calculate this nanny’s man-hour? Not to mention that the nanny will eat and watch TV while the baby is sleeping which is half the time. My biggest fear then would be me ending up babysitting the nanny!


One of the signs of becoming a mommy is that all of a sudden you become "anti-social", you are a mom now, you go out and meet new people and they ask you "so what do you do?" ."Ah, I am a fulltime mom but I used to work as …" Then you feel shuffled in a corner. Everyone either ignores you or starts talking about their own kids or giving you unneeded advice. Well the news is: you should be proud and you have a strong argument too.


In comparison to a fulltime job, taking care of a baby is much more difficult. Think about it for a minute. It is continuous stress. Why? Because you have to be at the peck and call of this precious little thing not to mention the physical effort! Also in terms of communication, at least your colleagues at work can talk but with a baby the only language is crying which is in itself a nerve wrecker!


Mothers have always been bombarded with messages that parenting should be a source of ongoing fulfillment. The reality is that parenting can be boring, frustrating, tiring and infuriating. Researchers in the US in a recent study found that around 1/3 of mothers find parenting fun and meaningful, another third do not find it enjoyable and the other third have mixed feelings. Messages that mothering should be the source of endless joy create guilt and shame for women who do not feel particularly thrilled by this role.


Having high expectations of motherhood whether self initialized or forced on you by society is not fair. A miserable and a not well adjusted mother is not good for anyone either. So truly there are joys of motherhood but not on the absolute measure. After all, your baby’s smile when he wakes up in the morning is worth a lot, even if it lasts for 3 seconds a day!


Dahlia Zayed is currently a full time mom and previously a marketing consultant specialized in consumer insight in Egypt and the Middle East . She can be reached on dahliazayed@yahoo.co.uk


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