Monday, April 2, 2018

Weddings with an Infant

My brother-in-law’s wedding reception was this past Saturday. As a result, we had a fun, jam-packed couple of days with family from the US, Canada and Pakistan. I am not going to lie; I had been a nervous wreck leading up to the festivities because of Raza. There were a lot of events to attend even when we only planned to attend the ones we absolutely had to!

My biggest concerns were germs, feedings and attire.

Raza turns seven weeks old on Wednesday. So naturally, him catching something from one of the many adults who can’t help but kiss him or grab his cheeks was a real concern. I had a whole plan of how I would gently tell people that it is flu season and we would rather be safe than sorry. I figured it was a little too invasive to flat out ask, “did you get your flu shot?” or “I know I haven’t seen you in years but have you picked up smoking?”

I did however, naively, believe that people would be accustomed to sanitizing their hands or offer to wash their hands first. Nope. Not the case. People just want him right away. And my hesitation to give him was sometimes received with sadness and other times with confusion, as if it was their  right. I found it really tough to navigate this. Part of it is my anxiety to ensure that I am doing all I can to protect my kid. And part of it is navigating culture norms like we didn’t do any of this with you guys and you all turned out fine so relax. Both are valid. So where do you draw the line?

Next feedings. I pumped in advance and had bottles ready for him. But no matter how much you plan, something always goes awry. We give him a bottle once or twice a week so he is adjusted for daycare. Well of course at the reception, he hated the bottle. But to be fair to him, we also had trouble sticking to his schedule. Hot water in a hotel is not as readily available as you may think! At one point, I just gave up and nursed him while getting my make-up done in a room full of strangers. Now that is something I never thought I would do but hey, your kid always comes first.

Now naturally, Raza had an adorable outfit lined up for each occasion. I, on the other hand, had to think about access for pumping and/or nursing and if my outfit would scratch my child while I held him and that made everything seem inappropriate. What South Asian outfit could I possibly wear that would allow me to nurse, be comfortable and also be part of the bridal party? My mom and I differed on the answer but found a middle ground. The bottom line is that it was all uncomfortable and I just had to roll with it and make it work.

Despite the challenges, it was wonderful to catch up with family and introduce everyone to our little guy. I definitely learned more about my boundaries. But I also learned a lot more about troubleshooting with an infant and am so glad we all survived.

Oh and the only reason we have a picture is because my mom insisted we take one and I'm glad she did because it is literally the only one of the three us from three events. 
The adorable outfit was swapped for jammies

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