Motherhood is a great blessing but it always manages to catch you unprepared. No matter how much you read about it or get information from family members, friends, doctors and media, there is something about the real experience that is slightly surreal and at times bizarre.
Failure to plan means planning to fail and you cannot embrace an important role like motherhood without a lot of practice. So whether you are about to become a new mom or there is going to be another addition to the family, here’s what you should do:
Once a week, collect at least three children… you can borrow them from your neighbours or conscript nephews and nieces for this purpose…. and go shopping for grocery with them. Learn to glare, scold and discipline them while ignoring the amused looks from other shoppers.
Forget what words like being ‘clean’ and ‘sweet smelling’ mean. Get in the habit of having milk, custard, yoghurt, mashed banana, cerelac and egg yolk being burped, dribbled, spitted and vomited upon you. And remember that is just one end of the baby working.
Practice fishing out keys, toys and your favourite make up items from toilet seats. Learn not to cry or complain.
Watch ‘Dora the Explorer’, ‘Blue’s Clues,’ ‘Ben 10’ and Jimmy Neutron all day long. If you get bored, you can watch ‘Baby’s Day Out’ and ‘Home Alone’ but nothing else.
Learn to convey your meaning within 15 seconds…whether it is gossiping with a friend, having a conversation with your husband or scolding the maid, 15 seconds or less is all the time that you have.
Watch only first quarter of any television drama, movie or show and learn to be satisfied with that. Or watch only the end and train yourself never to wonder about the beginning.
Learn to judge a book or magazine by its cover. You won’t have time to read it.
Know that a tiny head moving from left to right and right to left means NO and whatever you say, think or want is of NO consequence!
Know where the bathroom is located in every restaurant and departmental store in your vicinity.
Learn to dash from shops to parking lots and back. Practice jumping queues and insisting on being served first. Better buy the stop watches that Olympic athletes use to time themselves. You have no idea how useful this practice will prove to be.
Get used to the horror of leaving your purse behind as you come out with the baby or else it might be the horror of leaving your baby behind as you come out with the purse….
Learn to eat meals at a supersonic speed.
Practice driving maniacally from the beauty parlour to home with just one eyebrow or half upper lip done. It will help you once you get frantic calls from home only to find that the baby is fast asleep in the crib. While you are at it, get used to looking like some zombie character out of the movie Scream 3 all the time.
Remember that your colicky baby can generate as much noise and debate as Hurricane Katrina and Typhoon Belinda on Fox News and BBC channel combined.
Train yourself not to look at clocks and watches because your house will be run on baby schedule. It will always be the time to bath, feed, burp, rock, change diaper and put baby to bed only to be followed by the time to bath, feed, burp, rock, change diaper and put baby to bed all over again in an endless cycle.
Know that in your children’s eyes your views will be archaic, your education outdated and your outlook antiquated, but they still expect you to come up with a solution to their every problem.