Like in all crisis situations, “To be, or not to be," also remains the question, when gearing up for parenthood. Using diapers and the how much and which one and who will change it, are the most debated questions among other important decisions. Debate you must, however, when the feeling of being a parent sinks in this smelly responsibility that invariably falls on the mother for most of the journey. You train yourself in smelling poopies and watching out for droopy diapers. However, expressing your inner feelings about diapering is a very difficult task. Whether you are talking to your fellow mommy friends or even to your dear mother, you are always judged. No matter what. Even if you find a rare someone who is a patient listener to your ordeals you definitely will offend someone lurking around who will pronounce you as a bad mother or that excited someone will walk up and part with their unsolicited two cents. I once had a housekeeping woman convince me that my howling kid needed to be fed before a change and all this while I was trying very hard to find a corner to change a soiled diaper.
- Mothers are often judged for their diapering choices.
- Today, mothers are also judged for the environment-friendliness of their choice.
- Discussions on milestones is a favourite topic among mothers, and willingly or unwillingly, you get drawn into it.
- Children can never be pushed into doing things. You have to ascertain whether your child is ready or not.
The problem with diapering is that there are too many choices to make. While you are spoiled for choices in terms of types and brands, there are other challenges too, which may not be evident at the onset. For example, when you are among the first ones to usher in a new generation within your family, there are some challenges unique to your position. Our mother’s generation who did not have free access to disposable baby care products, especially diapers, are mostly disapproving of us using it, often any amount of use is judged as too much. And you hear snide remarks of bringing up a diaper dependent baby.
I quickly grew a thick skin and put my comfort or whatever part of it that could be redeemed, and kept my baby in diapers. In this, I had my husband’s full support, judge us if you want to, but we both didn’t want wet beds.
Our mother’s generation who did not have free access to disposable baby care products, especially diapers, are mostly disapproving of us using it, often any amount of use is judged as too much. And you hear snide remarks of bringing up a diaper dependent baby.
Today, if you are a young mother you will be constantly judged for not being environmentally friendly and using cloth diaper or premium biodegradable variety should you use the disposable variety. In all earnestness, it is something that needs serious consideration, given the quantity of waste generated, but I am honestly a tad bit glad that it was not so central an issue when I was making my choices.
Now that the diaper days are way behind us, I would say the most difficult part of this journey is when you need to start thinking of weaning your kid off it. Most people will tell you that 18 months to two years is the right time. Maybe it is for most but for a lot of us, it took a lot more time, patience and a good conversation. In our case, there was a considerable gap between the day time weaning and the night time. But one fine day, a long time after his second birthday, my husband had a conversation with the little one about giving up his night-time diaper, and suddenly he was ready, almost sans any major adventure.
The thing is, once your child starts developing her/his own social circle the discussions on milestones is the most favourite topic among mothers, whether willingly or unwillingly you get drawn into it.
The thing is, once your child starts developing her/his own social circle the discussion on milestones is the favourite topic among mothers, and willingly or unwillingly you get drawn into it. It is a socially pressurising time as the mothers in school, at the playground, on WhatsApp groups are all talking about it and exchanging notes. And mind you, all kinds of things are discussed. So how do you come to terms with your situation? It is very easy to fall into the trap. However, children can never be pushed into doing things. You have to judge when your child is not ready. I know it tests your patience, but then we as women learn to hold our ground in many other pressurizing situations. If there have been a lot of competitive mothers there have been friends who have trusted me with the darkest secrets and discussed the worst embarrassments, they have come face to face. And somewhere, there is a sense of sameness which binds us together.
For me, a mommy friend summed it up the best. She said, “I think children shouldn't be shamed or hurried into any change. The pace is different for every child. Why compare? Instead, encourage your child to make these big decisions for themselves. It also helps them develop confidence.”
The view expressed are the author's own.