When I was a teen I remember my mom telling me not to eat eggs on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays. Every mentioned day was day of some God. I was too young to rebel and thus accepted without arguments all what was told. With time in my growing years I have come across many more such beliefs. It never bothered me until I got pregnant and delivered our sweetheart. While I was sent home from hospital after delivering a healthy baby , my doctor did not advise me anything particular. No medicines nothing, just precautions to take care of my stitches. We , the parents came back home with our sweetheart only to realise that how tough It will be to take care of this tiny heart all by our self. ( no mom in law).
Then my sweetheart mom came to give that advice of her beliefs and experiences. This time It was about the 6th day (chathi) pooja. We wanted to do it as we just needed a reason to celebrate. I wanted to arrange everything on my own and hence decided to go out & bring all the gifts / required material myself. There happened a series of discussions. More then my mom or family my neighbours started talking. ” you should not go out before 40 days” ” Cover your head” ” cover your ears” ” wear a belt” “don’t do anything before pooja”. Out of curiosity I asked one of my neighbour ” Ok I will not go out, but who will manage all the arrangements? I dont expect my husband to take off from work to buy stuff for pooja. Will you be helping me” obviously there was no response to this except a coma silence.
I researched my bit on internet about this tradition as It involved my child’s well being also . Being a new mother I was super conscious and wanted to give the best to my child but not nonsense. I found that It is done to give extra rest to new mommies. As they both ( mommy baby) got a new life , immunity is little weak along with the body joints and hence lots of rest. Though I did not found any article or suggeation on this by any of the docs. But I am still not clear who decided 40 days. What is the criteria? This time I argued with my mom. I told her Its my body I know how it is right now and till what It can tolerate. I don’t want my baby or myself to be a soft cotton ball. I have broken stereotypes during my pregnancy and will keep doing that without bothering what the world thinks. I went out and managed everything for the pooja myself. I started moving out of the house from the 5th day onwards. Every other aunty started telling me what to wear and how to walk. But the height was when We went out for dinner with our 40 day old daughter in a high profile restaurant. A gentleman sitting beside our table was very inquistive in knowing how old our baby is. We told she is 40 days and to our surprise he replied ” she is too young ,you should not take her out like this ” . I lost my cool. I replied ,” she is daughter of a very strong headed woman so don’t worry she will have those boxing gloves & strength blanket on forever”
We faced many such instances where people have advised us “not to” just because the child is too young. But We went by our instincts and researches which are flooded on google. We broke the stereotypes and are still doing it and bringing up our daughter to be a strong woman who believes is logics and not beliefs.
By God’s grace both of us without taking those 40 days house arrest are quite healthy. Mom is a fitness freak marathon runner and daughter is a sharp girl who started sitting at 4 months & walking at 8 months, again breaking the regular mundane theories.
I don’t say these beliefs are nonsense. They make full sense when are done in harmony with some logic. Pushing someone to follow something which she does not believes in makes it a punishment. So, let’s not punish the new mommies rather love them and respect their choices and opinions, after all they know what’s best for them and their baby.
P.S – Above are my personal opinions and in no way wish to hurt anyone’s sentiment.