How to be a happy new mom...

New mom, Child birth, Developing world, Happy mama, Mom influencer, Tips for new moms

Dr. Sruthi Bhupathiraju

4/27/20242 min read

The Adventures of a Sleep-Deprived Desi Mommy: Juggling Jiggles and Avoiding Aunty Opinions

Hey there, internet! Buckle up for a ride with your friendly neighborhood newbie-mom, aka me, stumbling (literally, thanks to sleep deprivation) through the first few weeks of motherhood.

Let me tell you, this whole "having-a-human-cling-to-you-24/7" thing is a wild rollercoaster. One minute you're drowning in a sea of baby wipes and milky burp cloths, the next you're gazing at your little one with heart eyes, wondering how something so tiny can make such a big mess (and steal your entire sleep schedule).

Now, motherhood in India comes with a special bonus package: unsolicited advice from every aunty within a 5-kilometer radius. Don't get me wrong, I love and respect our aunties dearly, but sometimes their "gyaan" (wisdom) feels less like helpful guidance and more like a full-blown lecture.

Exhibit A: The Sleep Shamers

"Beta (child), why is the baby crying so much? Don't tell me you haven't figured out how to swaddle it properly yet!" declares Aunty Sharma, her eyes narrowed like a disapproving owl. Here's the thing, Aunty Sharma, I've tried every swaddling technique under the sun, but apparently, my little one prefers a freestyle sleeping experience that involves contorting itself into human pretzels and wailing like a banshee at 3 AM.

Exhibit B: The Breastfeeding Brigade

"Are you sure you're feeding the baby enough? Look how skinny its arms are!" shrieks Aunty Gupta, hovering over me like a concerned (but slightly judgmental) hawk. Aunty Gupta, with all due respect, my baby just finished a marathon feeding session that left me feeling like a deflated whoopie cushion. Maybe it's just built for comfort, not speed-eating?

Exhibit C: The Cradle Critics

"You shouldn't hold the baby so much! It will get spoiled!" scoffs Aunty Kapoor, shaking her head disapprovingly. Aunty Kapoor, this little human literally just emerged from a warm, cozy cave for nine months. Can you blame it for wanting a little extra cuddling? Plus, have you tried putting a screaming baby down? It's not for the faint of heart (or eardrums).

But amidst the "gyaan" storm, there are some gems too.

My own mom, bless her heart, has become my rock. She shares stories of raising me (with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, hinting at all the trouble I caused), offers a helping hand (and a much-needed cup of chai), and most importantly, reminds me to trust my instincts.

Here's my advice to all my fellow Desi newbie-moms:

  • Tune out the noise: Focus on your baby and yourself, the rest can wait.

  • Embrace the chaos: There will be spills, messes, and meltdowns. It's all part of the messy, beautiful journey.

  • Sleep when the baby sleeps: Even if it's for a glorious five minutes.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help: Your partner, your family, your friends – they're all there to support you.

  • Shower love on yourself: You're doing an amazing job, even if you feel like a sleep-deprived zombie most days.

So, to all the aunties out there, we appreciate your love, but sometimes a listening ear and a warm hug are all a new mom needs. And to my fellow sleep-deprived warriors, we've got this! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a bottle of kajal (kohl eyeliner) and a prayer for a decent night's sleep.