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It is not always fun and roses all the way once a child is born, no matter what pop culture tells you. The years afterwards need you to be a warrior princess.
Well you may dismiss this as another post partum lament. But post partum depression is overwhelmingly real. A young author had recently commented on one of his Instagram pictures wherein he was seen posing happily with his now wife and mother of his daughter. The caption below the picture said “Miss those times when we were young and could take off anytime we wanted to. Now we have to spend extra on cabin baggage who insists we call her Rose.”(name changed)
Calling one’s daughter a baggage may sound insensitive, but life changes drastically once you become parents..The post partum period is difficult for parents and particularly so for women. Suddenly life becomes enmeshed with compromises, sacrifices and putting your passions at bay. Motherhood overwhelms you.
It has been nineteen months since I became a mother but I still find myself struggling. These struggles can be as petty as the inability to fit into your old crop top, to as monumental as recapturing that niche on your career front. The struggle is real and stares you in your face. The only positive that comes out of the post partum struggle apart from your lovely baby is that it makes you resilient. It is aptly said that ”You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”
I did not know that I could drape a saree immaculately within three minutes. But post partum, in a bid to hide that baby fat and to look good, I have become a pro at such tasks.
Here I would like to share some tips from my own post partum journey which helped me conquer those post partum demons:
Every Saturday and Sunday, my boys (son and husband) are mandated to eat brunch and have fun together sans me, while I have the entire weekend to myself. Having a husband who is a hands-on father definitely helps me.
I believe you need to make your husband realize that parenting involves both the parents, and you need your ‘me time’ to keep your sanity alive.
Yeah yeah, body shaming et al! Listen up girls, no one should tell you how you should look, but post partum you are left drained and haggard.
Drink more fluids, take out time to run and stick to the mantra of staying fit and not just thin.
Post partum can really leave your self-worth in tatters. Do write note to self and create these islands of confidence boosters. It could be anything that suits you, even getting a home tutor for learning a new language for just half an hour. It goes a long way.
I really drained myself out comparing myself with my work colleagues who were striding ahead while I was struggling to cope.. Ladies, don’t do that! You are you, and indeed the best version of yourself. Just invest in self improvement and healthy competition allowing yourself some healing time. After all, you just created a life!
Allow yourself time to analyse your life before the child birth and how you would want it now, and plan what it will take to do that. Sulking won’t help, working for it will. Sometimes we have unreasonable notions of how we can lead a happy life.
Make use of the free time that you get rather than lamenting over how your life was before you became a mother.
Post partum, everyone gives too much attention to your baby which is natural; but once in a while you ought to celebrate yourself. Get yourself a gift and pat yourself on your back for coming so far on this amazing journey of motherhood.
As I could not find a decent nanny, I had to look after my baby all by myself. It did lead to comments like, “Really? You have become a servant, dear!”
Keep these venomous souls away, you don’t need them. No one died of self reliance!
We do not realise it, but the tiny ones quickly outgrow our laps, and as they grow financial requirements will increase too. Plan ahead on the financial front. Set aside funds for each activity that you foresee.
As new mothers we are always looking for that straw of sympathy. Look babe, your decision, your baby, your life and thus your responsibility. While initially lots of people and relatives will come to play with your toddler, you might not find a sympathetic heart when you need one, when you get back to work, etc.
Get real and don’t expect too much. Train yourself for self reliance, early on. It would certainly leave you less exasperated.
Your cuckoos will soon have grown up and flown the nest. Invest in emotions while they are still in the nest. Don’t assume that the bond of love will be formed without investing your time as parents. Each relationship needs emotional investment and time.
In the end I would say that each one treads a unique path as a parent and though my sentiments may or may not resonate with you, each one of us should remember that we all have the strength within us to turn the post partum phase into an enriching experience. Creating a life is a miracle in itself and having done this we ought to be mighty proud of ourselves.
Image source: shutterstock
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Career Bureaucrat/Mother/Wife/ Workhorse/Hedonist writing under the pen name Tamiyanti Chandra
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