I was an accidental sort of mom in the sense that I wanted and yet didn’t want a child. You see, I had always been indifferent to children and thought I’d be too rational instead of emotional if I had my own child. When I did become a mom (late as it was) it was with great reluctance and with great fear – what if I’d turn out to be a bad mother?
When I saw her (my daughter) for the first time, I admit I wasn’t instantly filled with motherly love. I was rather numb, groggy from the medication, and a bit lost. Too many loved ones filled the hospital room and I was unfocused and couldn’t think straight.
As with every new mom – the first few days were a blur. But, over days and endless nights, I realised I could be a dragon when it came to protecting my daughter. So I reckon I wasn’t that bad a mom after all. Eh? What kind of a mother you are or will be is not defined in any of the books or articles that you read. Nor will it be defined by any person close to you. It will be defined by YOU and YOU alone.
I got such conflicting advice about working and not working full time that it just drove me mad. In the end, I took my own decision. I decided to quit my job to take care of my baby. It was MY choice and I am aware it may not be the right choice for many. I had over 10 years of work experience under my belt and now, all I did was change diapers, feed the baby, stay up at night and read about how to raise a baby. There was zero intellectual stimulation and to top it, I heard things like, “You have it easy, you stay at home.”
It took me 9 months to pick myself up from a world of self-pity, frustrations, and blame-game and decide to make the best of my new role as a stay-at-home-mom. You can make your own decision and your own choices. Here are the few things that helped me. I hope they can be of some use to you as well.
Any kind! It doesn’t matter which – just start a physical activity and stick to it. Yes, that was the first step. I had a C-section and I was a nice roly-poly balloon who had absolutely no stamina, no willpower, no energy to do anything beyond taking a bath and giving the baby one. I could not sit cross-legged during my first yoga class.
The second class was worse: getting into a downward dog gave me a knotted back. Like I said, I was a mess; I was like an overweight T-Rex trying yoga. But I did one thing right – I didn’t give up. Two months down the line, I had lost 2 kgs – doing yoga thrice a week for half an hour. Believe me, for someone who could not lose weight, this was a much needed high.
It’s been two years and now I am slimmer than I was during my pre-pregnancy days!!! More importantly, my stamina is good and I am an overall healthy person. Healthy Mom = healthy baby!!
Also Read: 10 Ways to Reduce Belly Fat after Delivery
Take time out for yourself – whether it is a trip to the grocery store, beauty parlour or shopping centre. Indulge in activities like reading, gardening, writing or watching TV. Even if it is just for 30 minutes – ‘me time’ is a great way to lift your spirit – one that gives you much-needed peace. Get help from your husband, domestic help, in-laws, parents…anyone, to take care of the baby for some time every day or as often as is possible.
I started seeking freelance work assignments. My previous job was in publishing so I was able to get some projects in between. I would wake up early and work or when I’d put the baby down for a nap. In all, I had about 4 hours every day in which I could apply my mind. Those hours, were the most blissful and though I was getting paid a tenth of my usual salary, but hey! I had work.
If you can’t get paid assignments, try looking for some voluntary work. Give tuitions, start some kind of classes—art, science, anything. Doing something once a week itself would give you a sense of achievement – believe me, it will make a huge difference to your self-esteem!!
We all need adult conversation – how much go go ga ga can one do?!! And, if you’re unable to mingle with adults in social events, then connect with other moms in the community or society parks. Take your child out for a walk in the stroller or to the swings and talk to other mothers, grandmothers, fathers – basically, anyone who is there along with their child.
I began doing this by talking to anyone who’d be there. I made some good friends and a few acquaintances – and it gave me such relief and I felt less lonely.
With a newborn in the house, there is usually no time to pursue a hobby. But once the kids start going to preschool, you can take up something that really interests you. I got a little carried away and painted everything from flower pots to spoons in the house!
It helped me get a sense of getting something done right. So mommies, focus on yourself as a person along with your child. For, if you are happy, you create happiness and make your life fuller. You can’t pour from an empty cup – so make the best of your time as a stay at home home.
Also Read: 10 Things Every Indian Mom Can Relate To
The author is Nidhi Sharma, who’s a freelance writer and a stay at home mom. Want to share your mommy experience with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you