All these years, often those stepping into the overwhelming world of married life came to me asking for advice for a happy married life. The most straight-from-the-heart advice that I gave to such people was to ‘accept‘ their spouse as they were. These soon-to-get-hitched or newly-married friends of mine often got satisfied with this and walked away easy in their minds. I too sat back and felt happy to have doubled up as a marriage counselor or a relationship expert! 😀
Until a few months ago, when I had an ‘aha’ moment in motherhood.
It all began when my second born, was 5 months old. A baby is supposed to double her birth weight by the mark of 5 months and so did mine. But, somewhere something didn’t feel right to me. I wanted her to weigh more, look chubbier, outgrow her clothes at a super fast speed and basically be heavier!
I spoke to her paediatrician about her weight. He assured me that everything was fine as she was reaching all her milestones on time, was active and didn’t seem fussy. He attributed her low (but healthy) weight to her genes. He also mentioned clearly that it was completely normal for babies of her age to weigh that much.
But still, I wasn’t satisfied. I was restless. I was not at peace. For some unknown, undiscovered, probably unimportant reason.
Every other day I frantically Googled ‘ways to make your baby gain weight‘, ‘recipes for weight gain in babies‘, ‘reasons for low weight in babies‘ and all those typical captions that you can think of.
I spoke to many friends who had delivered around the same time as I had and hysterically compared their babies’ weight to mine, asking them for tips to make my daughter gain weight.
I shopped for layered, frilled and flared dresses for her – just to make her look less skinny.
I fretted for hours and days on end when people passed comments like:
“She looks too small for her age”;
“She’s a tiny miny baby”;
“Is she underweight?”;
“Don’t you feed her properly?” – Yes, people who have the cheek to ask that to a mother do exist!
I used to check her weight on a digital weighing scale every morning at roughly around the same time and would jump at the sight of even a 100gms gain. I would be almost in tears when she lost hundreds of grams due to loss of appetite after an upset stomach or a bout of flu.
I tried dry fruits’ laddoos, ragi, paneer, oodles of ghee, bananas- to make her gain weight healthily. Sadly, to take my weight gain mania to another level I even tried Cerelac and Formula milk. Thankfully, at least my daughter kept her sanity and refused to accept gaining weight the unnatural way. But yeah, I did go that crazy!
I spent almost 10-11 months of my and her life living under this self-inflicted pressure of having a chubby baby who would look good to everybody’s eyes.
I was so absorbed in the thought of weight gain, weight loss, weight issues and everything weight related that every moment spent with her was tainted with a worry about her weight.
In the meanwhile, I continued to practice Heartfulness meditation and continually tried my best to regain the lost sanity. That is when I had that ‘aha’ moment in motherhood! It struck me that I advised others to accept their partners as they were and had happily accepted mine too. But, I forgot to use the same advice with respect to my kids who are also my partners for life!
My heart told me with all its might: My daughter is hail and hearty and weight (like age) is just a number! I should accept her as she is and let the magic unfold.
And trust me, it did. Usually, it takes a lot of time for changes to occur; but this one happened to me in a jiffy. One moment I was extremely worried about her weight and after this beautiful thought dawned upon me – the next moment was sheer bliss.
I suddenly felt like life became easier, happier, smoother and more enjoyable as her mother. I stopped Googling unimportant things, fed her whatever I wanted to feed, paid no attention to baseless comments and enjoyed dressing her up the way I actually wanted to! I started celebrating the fact that she’ll never have to worry about her weight when she grows up and she’ll always be the ‘slim and trim’ one!
Just accepting her as she was – skinny with bones yet sparkling with joy; not so chubby with weight but fat and plump with smiles and sloppy wet kisses – made me a calmer and a more contented mother from within.
I then made this ‘acceptance parenting’ a way of my life and completely stopped trying to change her.
With this also followed a higher level of acceptance for many other facts related to my children. I started accepting my son’s choice to have just one or two friends and not many. I stopped cribbing over my girl’s curly hair and started loving her curls all the more. I quit forcing my son to eat dry fruits daily against his wish.
There are many other such trivial things in life – which don’t really sound big or even actually matter but create a constant unknown pressure and stress on you.
Sometimes, we don’t even know or realise that there are certain things about our children we haven’t accepted. We need to make a conscious effort of accepting them and letting those things go which are not the end of life.
Just accept your children as they are – dusky or fair, petite or tall, lean or plump, introvert or extrovert, picky eaters or foodies, logical or creative heads – and you will be able to see the beauty of it all!
Accept your child now and be a happy mother!