I thought I was a pro at being a parent. After all, I have two children – boy and girl, and I have done well with both of them, despite them being so different from one another. I have more than 8 years of experience at being a mother! So I thought I knew a lot, if not all! Well, that’s not how it is. I am sure if my parents read this, they would say they know a lot only after parenting for 34 years, but even that’s not enough. And I think they would be so right. In the last 3 months of being a mother to an infant again, I have unlearned and relearned and even learned so much.

I thought it is pretty simple and how different can it be from the first 2 times? I told myself that first one was anyways scary because of being first; and the second one was scary because I came back from dead and was practically sick for 4-5 months. Otherwise, it is not really tough to handle a new-born. Think about it – you just need to feed him every 2 hours, change him when he needs and bathe him once a day (though they say it is okay not to bathe an infant every single day but I do). Apart from that, what does a small baby need? Well, that feeding every 2 hours is round the clock, for one! Second, that 2 hours is actually not 2 hours, most of the time and then you have to take into account the time you spent feeding, burping, changing, rocking etc. And bathing such a small baby is scary (it seemed easier the first 2 times because my mom did it!). Period.

There ARE so many other things apart from that. Like, you are worried about what if you do something to the baby and he gets hurt – accidentally scratching by your nails or what if he falls when you are holding him, what if you are too tired to wake up at night and don’t feed him at all, what if he swallows some water in bath, what if he chokes on milk…the list is too long. So you end up cutting your nails too short, not really sleeping because you are too conscious, being very cautious while holding him, all the time keeping your eyes on him while he feeds or sleeps…basically, you end up crazy and exhausted! The long showers are a luxury; you are lucky if you can take a head bath once a week; you are extremely lucky if he doesn’t wake up when you decide to take a short nap; having a day without anything new in baby’s schedule (well, there IS actually no real ‘schedule’) and so many little things that you don’t notice until you actually go through the experience.

YET (a big one) it is so wonderful to do all that, despite the fact that you long for solitude; you feel like going out just on your own and know that it may not happen for another 5-6 months; and the baby might start sleeping for the whole night only after a year (you will NEVER really sleep like you used to, ever, after having children). Why is it so wonderful despite being so exhausting? Well, the list for reasons is even longer than that of learnings!

The little bundle that hardly opens his eyes for first few days, makes you fall in love again and again, several times a day and in several ways. You do not stop thinking that you are so lucky, so very lucky, to have so much love around you. This is really what got me through the initial few weeks, since it was not easy to recover from a 3rd major surgery, and I did breakdown a couple of times, yet I would not change a bit about that. Of course, the older children and my hubby were more of a cause for that feeling of thriving in the presence of love than the baby himself, but it seemed like we were an incomplete family without him…he was the bond that made it all make sense.

It becomes more rewarding when the baby starts recognizing your voice, your smell, your presence and all that exhaustion suddenly makes sense and even adds meaning to your life the first time he smiles at you. Oh that beautiful toothless grin, just pure joy at seeing you! And you feel that it is everything in the world…and you got to experience it for the third time in your life…that’s awesome!

When he starts expressing himself through those wonderful vowel sounds, and he tries to respond to everything you say or every facial movement you make, you tend to forget the world outside this beautiful world.

Of course, there are many many more milestones to come and be grateful for, yet these days are very precious. Soon, the baby will be a toddler and then, a teenager (who might “hate” you), and eventually an adult making his own family. Then, you will miss the sleepless nights, the constant cry for attention, the beautiful toothless smile, the amazing exhausting days…

Till that happens, I intend to enjoy every single bit of this phase…it will definitely seem easier once it is gone, and I will surely miss it like I did the first 2 times…so yes, having another baby is one of the most wonderful things I did…

I might not be a pro at parenting, I might never be one, but I am hell of a happy parent 🙂

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