Confessions of a bad mother!

This is for all google moms. Those who do thorough research prior to a hospital visit then when at the doctor’s office challenge him/her as if they are Chiromo Med School alumni. We address such questions on Pregnant and Nursing Mums Facebook group… “I was at the doctor’s office today and my baby’s foot has this red spot, what does it mean?” My only question is why you would pay consultation fees and leave the doc’s office not knowing whats up.

Anticipation lead me to join team google moms before becoming a mom. A year and a half later, here I was holding my first child. I was wondering why those before me didn’t tell me that labour is death. Nowadays when I see pregnant women on the streets I low key say a prayer for them for I know that a basketball will soon be shredding their flowers into pieces. Surgery is just as bad if not worse, from what I have heard.

I would describe being a first time mother as baptism by fire. The hottest part of this fire is when everyone else thinks they can care for your baby better than you can. How is this even possible in their minds? Even strangers will offer advice on what they feel you are doing wrong and tell you exactly how you can redeem yourself. When my baby turned 8 weeks old, I was ecstatic to host house guests who came to assist me. By the time they left my esteem was on the floor.

“OMG are you trying to get this child to catch pneumonia? Bring a sweater. Okay is this what you call a sweater?”

“Put that baby down she will get used to being carried…why is this baby crying when put down?”

“Now look at how you have spoilt this baby, no nanny will ever have peace in this house. This is why they mistreat kids.”

“WOW, your boobs are huge. You know in my village it’s said women with small boobs have a lot of milk.”

“Ok, this baby is not feeding well why is she crying? She is not sleeping because she is hungry.”

“WHAT! Ati you are not taking 2 litres of porridge a day? JESUS! This will be a formula baby.”

“Can you press to see if there is milk flowing? Woiiiii! That milk looks so light, and it’s coming out in few jets. You know in my time I had milk like you cannot imagine!”

“Oh my! Hiyo tumbo yako woi! Na imeanguka style ile mbaya! I hope it is recoverable”

That was the kind of scrutiny I was under. By the time my guests left, my esteem was chipped away and I was feeling extremely harassed. This affected baby as well, she could only get fore milk during that period because I did not have the peace of mind I needed to nurture her. On speaking to close friends about my experience, I realized that this is a common thing for many new mothers in the hands of elderly women in the African setup.

A couple of months later we begun weaning which felt like trying to cross a highway in blind folds. After struggling to get a grip things took a down turn and we were always visiting hospitals due to food related issues such as severe constipation and low blood levels. One Sunday morning, after waiting to see a doctor for 4 hours at Gertrude’s Children Hospital, a short skirted pretty young lady in a white lab coat and a stethoscope around her neck greeted me with “…you mean you are a mother and you don’t know what causes constipation and what to feed your child?”

Of course I felt inadequate. However, I am one of those people who don’t give up. I decided to take a drastic step and get it right the second time around.  By the time my second child was 6 months old I had developed a range of flours that I felt would make my life easier when it came to weaning. I also had a brand new way of dealing with those who thought that they knew my babies better than me, ignore or delete! Indeed it was smooth sailing. I joined online communities of mothers who had kids the same age as mine, and this really allowed me to enjoy motherhood and share experiences with other women in my shoes.

Nature’s Bowl was born out of my personal struggles, pain and a few tears. At Nature’s Bowl we support mothers to raise healthy children through a range of 100% natural porridge flour mixes that result in tasty meals.

What are some challenges you faced as a new mom, and when weaning?

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