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She had read up. Set the tone for their style of parenting. Decorated the baby’s cot. Gotten advice from all her friends. Baby-proofed the house. Researched every sign and symptom of every common sickness. Made to-do lists for every stage. Promised herself that she would do this, or not do that.
She was ready. All her little bundle of joy had to do was arrive.
And then he did.
Suddenly, every single piece of information she stored, and every single thing she told herself, every single stack of notes she had, flew out the window.
Motherhood was not easy for new mum Diya Kumari*, since she was dealing with it largely by herself. Her husband, Shiv*, is a captain of a ship, and had to be away for a large part of the first 8 months of her tot’s journey.
“My first and most significant mistake was to be upset with myself at how I felt about my expectations crashing and burning.”
Diya shook her head in disbelief as she recounted, “I kept getting frustrated with myself for not doing the things I told myself I was going to do – you know, giving myself time to rest and relax, not succumbing to when my baby was throwing a tantrum, and all that.
“I felt so guilty all the time for even feeling tired, and like I needed a break. Every night as I lay down to sleep I would dread hearing the sound of Amit* crying, and the thought of having to get out of bed to attend to him.
There was one day in particular that I remember. I was really, really exhausted from the whole day – I had been up since 6 after just 4 hours of interrupted sleep, and after days of not being able to get a proper night’s rest. I lay in bed, wondering how all mums were just, you know, cruising through [being a parent]. And here I was, thinking ‘How is this my life!’ How does everyone seem like they are not struggling, and manage to smile even if they are?”
Mum’s magic touch
“I think it was about 2am – surprisingly long for my little one to be asleep – before he started crying his eyes out. It was very heart-wrenching, his cry. I couldn’t leave him there but it was also really so hard to drag myself out of bed. I finally got up. So I walked to him, looked at him in the cot, and he saw me. He looked at me for one moment as I touched his cheek, and then his tears stopped. And he smiled.
I tell you, at that point, I understood what every mother says about motherhood. There was so much fear and sadness in his sobs and everything just dissolved when he saw me and felt my touch. It transformed into relief, happiness, and so much love, all in his eyes,” she said.
“In that moment … all of my frustration, worries, exhaustion faded away and all I wanted to do was pick him up and hold him close. In that moment I realised, like I actually realised, what it was to be a mother.”
“It definitely took me a while but I slowly started to [accept], it is going to be hard. You are going to make many mistakes along the way. You are going to feed them a bit too many sweet things to stop them from crying, buy for them fancy, pricey clothes that they are going to outgrow in 2 weeks, forget to tell your mother-in-law in advance that you need someone to take care of them, but you must remember that all of it is OKAY.
In the end, motherhood is between me and my baby, and I know that my Amit will trust me to make the best decisions for him,” she says with a smile.
Diya adds, “When it comes to taking care of his meals, I know what I should feed him, and it doesn’t matter that my mother thinks he should have more dhal than pureed vegetables.
I also know what is best when it comes to taking care of his skin. Ever since the launch of Baby Dove in India I have only used their line of products – the Rich Moisture Baby Bar, Baby Lotion, and Diaper Rash cream and wet Wipes – [all are] amazing because I know that [they] are more gentle, protective and nourishing for his skin than any other …and protect my baby the same way I do. The fact that al products within the Baby Dove range are hypoallergenic, pH neutral and gentle to the eyes with a mild and caring fragrance specifically developed for delicate baby skin has further prompted my decision to trust this brand for my little one.”
Own it, mums!
“It was terrifying for me trying not to make any mistakes, and keep up with every single expectation – from your friends, to your colleague, to your mami, to Uncle Ram’s colleague’s wife – but I finally realised that a mum knows best – And if you make mistakes, you learn, and you become a better mother. Trust your way and you will be the best mother ever for your baby!”
Just like Diya, Baby Dove believes that there are no ‘perfect mums’, only real ones. Just like how there is no right or wrong way to be a mom, just your way.
Mums, you’ll make no mistake though when you choose Baby Dove to care for your little ones’ skin. The newly launched Baby Dove Rich Moisture range is designed not just to delicately cleanse baby’s skin, but to replenish its moisture and essential nutrients as well.
Find out more on dove.com/babydove.
*Names have been changed at the request of the subject.
What mistakes have you embraced? Do you have any of your own stories to share? Share them with us and other mums in the comments section below!