Myths, Manuals and Motherhood
I have to admit it: Motherhood wasn’t a cloak that slid easily on to my shoulders. Being responsible for our little bundle of joy meant that every little thing assumed BIG proportions. She’s not sleeping, she’s not feeding well, she’s not gaining weight, she’s not burping, her poop is an odd colour, she’s got a rash! I was one of the millions of women across the world who had transitioned from me to mommy, yet I felt isolated and alone. The husband was always at hand, but a mommy’s lot is always her own.
That’s why I, and many other mums like me, will instantly connect with Kusumanjali Ravindranath. Called Anju by her family, she’s just delivered Chunmun, her first child, and is revelling in mommyhood. She doesn’t miss her old body, her job, or the freedom of being her. What she misses is her 8 hours of zzzzzs. Fast turning into a zombie in her waking hours, Anju spends all her time plotting how she can get her sleep fix every night. A next-door supermum – yummy mummy rolled into miracle mother – leaves her gaping. Her son, horrors, has been sleeping from 7 pm to 7 am since he was three months old.
Enter myths, manuals and more. Good Night & Good Luck is all about Anju’s journey to peaceful slumber – for herself and her baby. It’s hard not to connect with her – her anger, her frustration, her guilt, her research, her constant drive to get things sorted. Her decision to maintain a sleep diary resonated with me – I used to maintain a feed diary! This often witty, sometimes heartwarming book about a baby’s first year takes you through an obstacle course – warring baby gurus, jet lag, generous grandmothers, and colliding cultures. Most new mums have felt like Anju at some point – wishing they had a sounding board at times; wanting someone to advise them at others.
Is this likely to be your guide to a good night’s sleep? We doubt that. Each baby is different (yeah yeah, sick and tired of hearing that, I know) and every mom must find her baby bearings on her own. But Good Night & Good Luck – a year’s journey with a mother and her much-loved baby – will bring a smile to your face. And remind you that it’s okay if things don’t always work according to a plan, if sometimes all doesn’t go the way you want it to.
Good Night & Good Luck, Kusumanjali Ravindranath, 271 pages, Rs 299; Collins, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers