This is about motherhood.
It is about me, it is about you. It can be for any expectant mom and future mom, or for any woman reading it. Mothers across all cultures and borders can relate to it.
We are bodyguards, teachers, cooks, cleaners, nurses, doctors,and guides all rolled into one. Mothers are the radars that constantly monitor their kids lives and despite it being an uphill task carry on unperturbed.
Everyday we wake up with our compasses zeroed in on our kids and go to bed worrying about them. This comes with the territory of motherhood.
A woman’s life changes the moment she decides to be a mother. Once she crosses the threshold of motherhood there is no turning back. There are no more carefree days of leisure or nights of sound sleep. We are on constant guard and alert to every sound, the ninjas ready to defend our kids from any form of danger.
Day in and day out this can be a daunting task and still very little is said about a mothers well being.Today I want to talk about us, mothers.
We get advised on how to bring up healthier and responsible kids, how to keep them safe and provide a nurturing environment. While juggling these responsibilities we are expected to be cool and collected, keeping it all together.
Though a mother’s mental health is another story, she might just be hanging in there by a thread. Often a woman is responsible for a family’s well being and smooth running of everyday life, trying to hold on to her own dreams and aspirations.
Since becoming a mother there have been days when I have had this gnawing feeling of winging it and vowing to try harder. I have sometimes tried too hard to bring a semblance of picture perfect order to my life and keep from drowning while trying.
Overtime I have learnt that although there are many truths about being a perfect mom, there are also myths,that need to be busted.
Help Yourself To A Happy Mental State
This is one thing that is paramount to any mother’s life. At any stage of being a mom frustration and depression can weigh you down.
There are often scenarios that can make us cranky, no fun to be around. Frankly, at a time when you don’t like yourself there is little hope of anyone else liking you.
There might be times when you feel no one can help you, those tentacles of loneliness clutching at you. That is the time you have to help yourself. No matter how lonely you feel, ask for help, when you are struggling. Knowing that you have to find your path to happiness to be able to give happiness is the first step to joy in motherhood.
It is very important to take care of your metal health along with physical health, to have a happy kid and peaceful family life.
Know You Cannot Do It All
We are all in awe of those enigmatic women who have it all under control. With not a hair out of place they manage their perfect lives and careers.
I always envy those ladies with the perfectly well behaved kids and postcard families. On the other hand, my family ends up looking like a pack of gypsies after just a plane ride, just barely keeping it together.
Road trips make me want to jump into a passing cab and disappear for a day or two.
I always feel left out in those mommy conversations about healthy diet for kids, while meal times at our place are wars fought on epic levels.
So after many a heart breaks and tears I came to the conclusion that no one has a perfect life. Those who seem to have that perfect life have help, mostly full time. No matter how perfectly beautiful it might appear on the social media, perfect lives don’t exist. Also, filters help a lot on social media! There is no point stressing and overworking to attain the unrealistic.
However hard you try there will always be something that will get left undone.
Lean On Friends
Talk to the ladies in your life. Most of your everyday problems can be solved just by communicating, a good heart to heart is your own form of counselling. Share how you are feeling. They just don’t lend an understanding ear but can be your confidantes and advisers too.
Our mothers have treaded the same paths that we are trying to navigate and they can help us around many obstacles. Talking to my mom has prevented many full blown panic attacks while managing my babies.
Friends always know what you want to hear and when to uplift and encourage you.These women can be your own personal team of cheer leaders when you might need them the most.
Invest In Me Time
This is one thing that is talked about so often and most of us wonder how to manage that “ME” time.
Make a routine,and try to stick to it. Get your partner to help with the kids.There will definetly be hiccups, when you will have no control over the unpredicted poo and puke situations. Just remember there will always be situations and you cannot control everything.
Sometimes just a small break is all you need to keep your sanity and not hit that breaking point. Take a breather, go get your nails done. Go for a walk. Read that book, you have been putting off for ever,if only one page at a time.You might have those pangs of guilt, for leaving your kids, quash that feeling and just unwind.
You are no good to anyone all wound up and ready to explode. Family bonding incurs the wrath of pent up stress.
Keep Your Dreams Alive
Dreams play a very important role in your life’s happiness. Sometimes when you feel all your identity is lost and might not even recognise the person in the mirror, that is the time you need your dreams the most.
Take your own time, stall those dreams, delay them but never ever give up on something that you really love. Children grow up, they learn to adapt and eventually they might even enjoy your dreams as much as you do.
Recently a book was published “When You’re DONE Expecting: A Collection of Heartfelt Stories from Mothers All across the Globe”, of which I am a contributing author. The day I received a copy of the book I was surprised to discover that the person happiest in our home, about me following my dream of writing, is my 10 year old son.
So let’s not make our families the reason to forget our dreams.Keep your dreams alive and make your loved ones a part of them. Set goals, take minuscule steps towards them,no one will judge you for that. Keep going, give your dreams your best shot. As unfulfilled dreams can only lead to discontent and resentment.
Help A Friend
Not every cry for help comes with tears, some are very well concealed behind smiles and well applied make-up. I am talking about getting help but we can also be of help to others, no matter how desperate our own situation. Behind that facade of a perfect life might be a friend’s cry for help. We can always make time and sharing our problems can never hurt. In helping a friend I have many times also helped myself.
Call your friends, stay in touch. Just a simple “Hello” might pull someone from the brink of a meltdown.
You Are A Winner
There are dresses in my closet that wait for my patience and energy. Make-up that mocks me every time we come face to face. I just close the door on all this and sit back to relax with a cup of tea. After a bad day that messy house can wait, that laundry is not going anywhere .
However incompetent you might feel on a chaotic day,as long as your kids are healthy and happy, you are doing beautifully. Lets stop judging ourselves on the opinion of those who do not even matter.
Every family is different and any mother with her kids best interest at heart is a winner.
These are just a few of those reminders that have helped me in attaining a less stressed and somewhat calmer life. Following this mantra might help me eventually to be a better mother. Kids are wary of a resentful and cranky parent and overtime it might lead the family to fall short on the love equation.
So to help anyone else help yourself first. Pour youself a drink or two at the end of the day, as I have discovered being a teetotaller mom doesn’t help much with the parenting thing.
All you amazing women reading this, I would love to hear your opinion on this.