Self-care! A rare sort of care that mothers don’t get to experience, almost like pixie dust. As new mothers, we are told once your child starts school, then self-care is an achievable target. What if I loose my mind before that. Everything is for the future, whereas now is all we have.
My mom thinks this is a joke, and she has every reason to. During her time, motherhood personified sacrifice and unending love. Mother India! I have nothing against it, because her sacrifices made us. Our parents did the best of what they knew to be true.
After becoming a mom, I thought something was wrong with me. I thought, I would be and feel like my mom. On the contrary, I was vulnerable to every emotion on the planet. Needless to say, I love my daughter more than the number of galaxies in the universe (no one’s figured that out) , there are times I would prefer reading a book, have some quiet time, binge watch Netflix, or even write my blog without any interruptions. Just like now, when I am having a tête-à-tête with all of you.
I was fully preoccupied with my daughter, the first few months after her birth. I craved normalcy in life. Were you dreaming then? Yes! There is nothing normal after this. Its only going to be exceptional. I missed my mini book vacations. Experts advised, get some sleep when the baby sleeps. That never happened, because I made myself useful with every inch to prove (to who? I still don’t know) that, I was a supermom. Like a warrior, I stood unfazed in the eye of motherhood.
Knock Knock! Still dreaming. That’s a myth. You can’t do and be everything. It depends on a time to time basis. Life happens and we need to attend to things. But, if you consciously decide to schedule time in, it becomes a routine. Seven out of ten times you end up doing it.
I am not asking mothers of newborns to have me time, while their baby wails next door. In the beginning, your priority is the well being of your baby and you. As you think you have figured motherhood out which inevitably never happens, you can ask for more help, sneak in an hour of walk, grab a cup of coffee with a friend or do anything that makes you happy. Your happy hormones are high which is great for you and the baby.
Self- care for me is being able to spend at least an hour a day doing something, I love with zero interruptions. And I make time for it, simply because earlier I blamed people and circumstances for my inefficiency. No genie will grant you, your ‘me time‘ wish. It says ‘me time’ so you have to schedule it yourself.
Then comes the interesting part, once it is planned everyone in the family wants a piece of you. Like you are an endangered species waiting to be discovered. You end up rescheduling it. Mom brain says “Fine, I can always do it later. Next week, I will do it earlier so it doesn’t disrupt that outing/birthday party/family visit etc” This happened to me a couple of times. As usual, I complained. My husband dropped the truth bomb. He said “You always want to be part of the fun. If you want to read, write or go out. Then, you have to plan it and do it. You will never get a perfect situation to do things” Wow!Where is this wisdom coming from?
If you want to workout or go out, your partner can look after the kids. The same applies vice versa. As equals in marriage, we have to help and build each other in every strand of life. The book ‘Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg’. Gift it your partner.
When you are at your optimal health and state of mind, you give the best version of yourself to the world. And everyone wants that. Of course, miserable days happen, but we can always get back on track, because otherwise you start missing the best you. The healthy, happy and spiritual you.
My family knows that taking care of my health, reading and writing are my priorities for ‘me time’. I schedule it in.There are days when things don’t go as planned. That’s reality. Having a full time job, being a mom and daring to have my ‘me time’. I am setting an example for my daughter to love herself, do the things she loves no matter the circumstances. To be vulnerable and keep going at it.
It’s not easy, but not impossible either. Ask for help. It’s an acquired skill to ask for help. As humans, we tend to offer more help than ask for it, because we all like to believe that we are superhuman. That’s normal. Practice makes it perfect. So ask!
I heard Diane Von Frustenberg say that “The most important relationship for women, is the one they have with themselves” touché
So ladies, go for that massage, take that quiet break time, read that book waiting to be held and plan that outing with your friends. The world can wait…
So, I dare all the women out there, mothers or not to take a picture of your me time and #metime
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