A young woman has recently become a mother to a wonderful bundle of joy. She is very happy, and one can see the love flowing through her to her baby. Her gestures, her body language and her feelings all convey the awe she has for this creation as well as the unlimited love she feels for her child.
Like any new mother, she is learning on the job how to handle him. Of course some mistakes are made, she does feel terrible, but I have reassured her it is all part of the job called parenting. And her child is not hurt in any fashion, so she can be less guilty.
Now all the relatives, friends who have older children, and well meaning adults keep pouring out advice and tips for her. What is not understood by these people is that no two children are the same, and every well meaning mother will find her rhythm with her child. The bonding is special and a pattern does get set between the child and the mother.
What this mother needs is more physical help with the baby, so that she has some time to unwind, relax, do some personal chores, etc. She does not require too many tips and advices on how to feed the baby and what to feed the baby. But that is all she is getting, advice and not much help.
It is a fact that for every generation that is born, the times and facilities available, changes. The facilities, resources, knowledge, and expertise available all differ for every generation. What my mother did for me, is not the exact same way I took care of my daughter. Similarly, my daughter will have a different way of taking care of her child. Some old methods will be followed, but newer practices will also be incorporated.
There is so much information available, and the medical professionals too keep giving out newer information. The nutrition values of different foods are becoming more available now, more medical knowledge is available. Also the facilities that are available now was not there in earlier generation times.
The feeding routine, the foods to be given, all vary from child to child and from home to home. To say that a mother is not doing it right, would be an injustice to her abilities. Especially when the mother is a responsible young lady, one who is creative herself, will not really appreciate any criticisms. If you are close to her, then you could give some helpful hints if she so requires. At the most you can help her prepare the meal. She is not going to keep her child hungry. And help to keep the child entertained so that he/she eats.
There are a lot of patterns that can be followed. But it depends on each person’s lifestyle. If the mother and child are in the habit of waking up late, due to sleeping late, then the feed schedule will be different. As long as three square meals go in, with periodic mother’s feed, the child is going to be fine.
The mother I mentioned does try out different kinds of food to see if her child will like the taste. Sometimes she is successful, sometimes it is a disaster. This is the trial and error method. She told me her son was into liquids only. So she had to tailor the feed to accommodate his style of intake. Slowly she has been able to thicken the liquid format and now he is having almost solid type of food. He is improving daily, he is growing and is healthy. What more is needed? He may not eat the typical food you expect kids to have, or the quantity that you consider is right. But as long as the child is healthy, playful, reaching all his developmental milestones, then there is no need for alarm.
Just being a mother alone is not enough. You need to know when to advise, when to also keep quiet. It all depends on if you accept your child has grown up into a responsible adult. They you will have no qualms in not interfering in the life pattern of your grown up and settled children. Your intentions could be good, you may indeed feel that the child can eat more, but really you do not know their life pattern. So do not keep giving free advice, and expect it to be followed verbatim.
Not many elders realize this. They want the children of young people brought up in a way they are used to. They do not understand times have changed, and basically no two children are the same. It is a life of discovery for the child and his/her mother. For the child it is discovery of food and its taste, and for the mother to understand her child in one more dimension as well as how to tap her creativity.
It is a delightful journey. We elders too can join the journey, without insisting on the mode of transport. Take whatever comes, enjoy the journey and all too soon the destination will be reached.