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Becoming a first time parent is overwhelming for both the parents, but more so for the mother. The physical demands of trying to keep a baby alive is exhausting. When the kid gets older, and starts smiling, gurgling and laughing, it wraps you around its little finger and you watch helplessly from the sidelines as you fall head over heels in love with this new tiny being. Becoming a mother becomes your biggest identify. Pretty soon, he or she becomes the sun around which you revolve. They make your days brighter, your evenings shinier. And you stay in love, well, till they turn on the tantrums button. Lol.
Like all mothers it happened with me too. I slowed down at work, kept down my books, my writing pad, my gym membership card, movie tickets, eat out coupons. Everything. I literally kept all of them facedown, and did not pick them up for another 2 years. It was the worst thing I could do to myself, and my baby. I isolated myself from the person I was, before motherhood happened. I isolated myself from the person I had worked my whole life to become, and quite liked. And I became this over sensitive, over protective, emotionally strained, physically tired, uncommunicative mess. It took me a lot of time to get out of it. In fact I think I still am not completely over it. But I am trying, one step at a time. I have not yet gathered courage to pick up a high pressure project at work, but I am able to leave my baby home with my husband and go out for some alone time. I am able to start AND finish books. I am able to take out time to do some yoga. All big steps in my book.
Recently one of my close friends became a mother. But unlike me, she realized much earlier that she was becoming overwhelmed with her motherhood responsibilities. So she joined an NGO and started going there for two hours a week on Saturday. While she was on maternity leave. I could not be prouder of her. It is so doable - two hours on a weekend. You could afford that much time for yourself, right? This little amount of time makes so much of difference in our attitude for ourselves. So, all mothers, especially new ones, lets start this 'two hours rule'. Let's start taking ourselves out of our home for two hours every week. Yes, without the baby. And do whatever we like. Go to a book store, meet up a friend, watch a movie, take some hobby classes, contribute to society. The list is endless. And before you start making excuses, remember that you will like yourself and your baby so much more after you are back from these trips. You owe yourself these two hours !!