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Just yesterday, the mommy today was a young girl. Carefree, adventurous, energetic. All of a sudden a whirlwind came by and life changed, and how? The carefree attitude is just looked down upon. Adventurous? You cannot be taking that chance. Energetic, oh yeah, that you are, only to use it in mommy chores. So what happens to us, mothers? How does our life take a 360-degree turn and we end up on the other side of the horizon?
A new mother is always overwhelmed by things unfolding so quickly around. Sleep deprived, unsolicited advice, and a new baby to handle with a body that is changing in more ways than one. With so much happening around us, all that we want is calm. Keep yourself calm and try and think straight. Try hard to think straight. Over the next few months, you get into the groove. Now you know the order of things. You know what soothes your little one. Gradually, you are a pro at playing mommy. You are constantly watching out for your child. You build a routine around your child's life and maybe your spouse's life too. The hunt to be the perfect mom and wife begin at this point. You are trying to fit in maximum things in every minute you have available. Around your child - playtime, teach time, baking time, TV time, talk time, potty time, sleep time! Phew! Think about it, we try and fit in so much, where is the "me time" in all of this?
The "me time" will not be there waiting for any mother. It is you who has to fight yourself and make that "me time". Normally, Indians (as far as my observations go), are made to feel extremely guilty if mothers give themselves time. It is not necessarily outsiders who make us feel guilty, most of the time it is our mind playing guilt games with us. "My mom never did this", "My neighbor gives all her time to her child", "My colleague rushes to her child at the speed of light, once she is done from work". I SHOULD TOO. And this is the Bermuda triangle.
The grind gradually gets you and you don't even realize but you're getting burnt out. After that point, you're constantly tired and cranky. Your behavior is now rubbing off on your family. Your child sees it. He sees you constantly tired. You're happy at times, but then the tiredness is a constant underlying characteristic. This is not going to be healthy. Neither for you, nor for your family. It is time to take a break. It is time to pay attention to yourself. This won't let you get too far without damage.
Making time for yourself can be a task in itself, simply because the routine chores are already flooding your mind. Try and calm down, in the same manner, that you did when you just had your baby. Try even harder to think straight. Every one of us has a passion. It's only about whether you recognize it or not. Do what you miss doing when you were that young girl. It doesn't have to be a day long affair. It can be for an hour a day, twice a week, at the least. Painting, reading, art, yoga, stitching, dancing, cycling, anything... Anything that gives you a sense of fulfillment, a sense of being happy.
The point I am making is simple - when you are happy, your child will see it. Your family will see it. When your negative feeling can rub off, positive feelings can be much stronger, and can rub off much faster.
This may not be true for all mothers. There are some who are very well planned and disciplined. This is an experience I have been through and I have seen some mothers around me go through this. You as an individual have to be strong enough to make this decision and have the will power to keep the continuum. You may start and stop after a few days. Start again. If you stop again, start again. There is no rule which says you cannot. We are mothers, and we have a world of our own revolving around us. The idea is to do something that makes us happier and thus stronger.
So mommies, it is time to take that much deserved break. For no one, but yourself.