It’s very natural to feel like your life is changed forever once you’re a mother. Motherhood is joy but it’s not all as rosy as it looks in pictures. Early motherhood is full of sleepless nights leading to a tired you all the time. And just when you think that your baby has started sleeping through the night, there is a constant need to match with their high energy levels through the day. It’s a great feeling re-living your childhood through your them but this stage can also burn you out if you are not careful and don’t plan wisely. Here are some ways that you might want to try to maintain a balance between your life as a mother and your life as an individual (the one you were living before becoming a mother):
Ask for help: Being a mother is a full time job whether you’re working or stay at home. So don’t be shy to ask a family member – your partner, your sibling, your parents or your partner’s parents to baby sit while you’re away. Families are a strong support system when it comes to child care. The safety and the comfort that a family member can offer are unmatched. But having said that, if it is not an option, look out for other options such as a day care or a nanny not only when you’re working but also when you need time off for yourself – for activities such as going to a beauty parlor, or meeting your friends or while having a date night with your partner. Some of these activities are important aspects of who you are as an individual and are contributor to who you are today. So there is no reason you cannot continue doing these with proper management.
It’s OK to put yourself first: Since childhood, we’ve always been taught to keep others’ happiness first. Especially if you’re a female, there are numerous compromises that you would make throughout your life. The truth is that you can’t make others around you happy if you yourself aren’t. So once in a while, it is okay to put yourself first and say NO if you don’t want to accompany your partner to his cousin’s family thing. It is okay to take care of yourself, take time out for your interests in between your busy schedule and do what makes you happy, even if that means sleeping till noon on Sundays!
Don’t lose yourself: Nobody is going to judge if you are not with your child 24*7. Stop considering yourself a bad mommy if the child has got rashes because you left him with a nanny who did not change his diaper as frequently as you asked her to. No hell will break loose if you were 5 minutes late to pick him up from school because your meeting at office overran. As long he is in safe hands, it is alright. We often undermine our role as a financial support and still consider that our major role as a caregiver is our benchmark for success. With the constantly evolving society, it’s important to talk to your partner openly about your needs and divide the child care responsibilities almost equally.
Go easy: In order to bring perfection to the way our children conduct themselves, we sometimes tend to burden ourselves. So while they’re creating a mess with colors, we try to control them because we want our home to be clean as if , if it is not, it will reflect badly on our report card! I mean what’s the worst they’ll do? They will create a color mess that will require dry cleaning the carpet later on? Now imagine the 30 minute of uninterrupted afternoon nap that you can catch up on or your favorite TV show that you can watch while they’re having fun with colors? Wonderful, isn’t it?
Don’t feel like cooking on a Sunday? It’s okay to order in food and let him have some fries if he’s not had junk food all week. This will keep them happy as well as keep you relaxed too.
In reality, mothers are normal human beings who get tired, frustrated and sometimes angry too. And none of these is good for the development of your child. Hence, it is important to take a break from judging ourselves and go easy. Do things that make you happy and see that happiness reflect off your child.