From physical to emotional there is an array of changes that a woman goes through after becoming a mother.
You know your date nights will be numbered and you're going to lose sleep, but what about the changes you don't hear about every day? We asked Apurva P to tell it like it is; here, she shares her best answers.
First of all, I’ll be introducing you to today’s topic which is the change in a woman’s life after becoming a mother. That is a huge change that happens and we are going to discuss this today.
It has changed me in every way, we can say that it has changed me 360 degrees! Before becoming a mom, I was pretty carefree, I did what I wanted to and there were no boundaries. There was nobody to question me before I became a mother.
But now it’s just not like that. I have to be so much more responsible. I have to put my child first. Like anything I go to now, I’ll first think of how this is going to impact her my daughter. Is it going to go well with her schedule? The planning has to be according to her schedule. And also, I could come for the live session is at 5 as this is her nap time!
She is my first priority, after that, it is my husband and family, and later, in the end, we become our priority. Maybe, as the kid is growing up, we mothers get some time for ourselves but when the kid is really young and in their toddler phase, we don’t get time for ourselves at all! Once they start going to school, we do get some time for yourself.
But otherwise, it is so difficult to take out time for yourself as they need our attention.
Firstly, it is the lack of sleep. Like complete sleeplessness. So, it’s like zombie life for a few months. I used to think when was the last time I slept for 4 hours at a stretch! So, that is one thing, like you must have seen a lot of posts also going up saying – mom is doing a hundred things and there are hundreds of sounds but the kid will not wake up. But when the mom will lie down, they’ll start crying.
Obviously, it does take a toll on my health, but when you are a mother, you don’t feel as though it is a sacrifice. You feel like you should be there for her. So, it is sweet as well as challenging.
First of all, you become more responsible, more mindful, like you actually think of a ton of steps ahead of you when you want to do something. It has to go well with your family, with your baby. You’ve got to think, you can’t randomly what you want to do. And also, when a baby comes home, she brings with her a lot of joy and a lot of love which brings the family members closer. When I go through all these mixed emotions, I realize how many challenges my parents would have faced, and how much they would’ve sacrificed, that I am here today. So, you start respecting your parents much more after this. It’s like you learn the value of relationships. Because we generally take them for granted and we really don’t understand how much hardship, how much effort and sacrifice goes into it. I think it’s a great thing. It is challenging, it’s not all rosy for sure!
According to me, possessiveness stems from insecurity, or the need to take control and that is totally not healthy. So, I don’t go for possessiveness at all, because that is something that can disrupt a relationship. So, I guess protectiveness does happen, it happens with everyone, and especially if you are a new mom because you are so clueless, you are scared to give your baby to anyone. Because a baby is so fragile. But as the kid grows, you have to let go, like you have to be more of an onlooker.
Because in traditional parenting, generally what happens is we tend to say you know “look at your mom!” or “look how she’s doing.” “look at your dad”, “look at your brother, sister”, “See how they’re doing, try to learn from them”. But somewhere we are trying to impose all these restrictions on them, and setting up expectations from them, so it is sort of a burden for them.
So, this is something that I have read about and I have come across, something that really stuck to me, and this is a concept which is called ‘conscious parenting’. So, what happens here is you let your child grow the way she wants to grow, just making sure that she is making the right decisions. I’ll give you an example, generally what happens is my daughter, Twesha, she was asked, “are you like your mom or are you like your dad?”, and her answer was, “I am like Twesha!” We were like, how can she get such an answer, we were like perplexed, like did she just say that?
We think that we are educating them as what we think but, actually, we learn a lot of life lessons from them. It actually got me thinking that why should she be like either of her parents, she should be like herself!
Before talking about post-partum depression, I want to tell you about baby blues. So, what happens is, when you give birth, your hormones are haywire. Your body has gone through so much, physically, mentally, it is very exhausting. And your newborn has to be fed every one to two hours which is again round the clock. There is no rest, there is no sleep. We have to squeeze out time to just take a small nap. So, you can imagine if a normal healthy person is not able to sleep, they can get so cranky. And when you’ve just delivered, your body goes through so much, and if you are unable to sleep, it’s even more tiring. So, these things can play a role in making you feel irritated. Also, the baby is always crying, because that is the only way they know how to communicate with the world. Whether it is a diaper change, whether it is for a feed, the baby is feeling cold, or anything a mosquito bite or whatever it is you have to figure out with just one cry. And it is also very new to you.
So, these things make you very frustrated and they make you feel like “oh god what have I done? Why is all this happening to me?” and these things can make your life so baffled that you can start feeling depressed.
So, baby-blues as I said, this is like a sudden dip in the feelings. That one moment you are so happy, and the next moment you are crying, so, there is a sudden change in moods. This is called baby blues. This generally happens 1-2 days after the baby is born, and it should cease by the time the baby is a few weeks old. But if it does not cease there, if it continues for months together, it is post-partum depression. And this is not to be taken lightly. You have to work towards it.
If you’ve had these bouts of depression in the past or any sort of a family history of that, then you are more likely to experience postpartum depression.
I would suggest that you need to maintain a positive frame of mind. As soon as you realize, that this is something that is happening to you, just try to concentrate on the good, try to see your baby moving, laughing, something that makes you feel good. Surround yourself with positive people. If there is any kind of a toxic relationship in your life, just don’t at all get into it. Stay away from all negativity. I would really suggest doing meditation because it really helps you. It really helps your state of mind and it helps you to get that positive attitude. So, that is what you can do. You can read motivational books. There are books like ‘The Secret’ and these universal motivational books that are great during these times.
So, I think every woman is a working woman. Maybe she is a stay-at-home mom, or she can be a work-from-home mom, or she can be a full-time working mom, challenges are not less anywhere and everybody has their own struggles. Because being a mom is around the clockwork, there is nothing like a day-end! So, yes it does affect everyone in some way or the other. In my case, I was working in Amazon when I got pregnant and then later, I thought that I will get back to work, after the 6 months period. But after giving birth and after staying with my daughter for 5 months, I used to get shivers whenever I had the thought of getting back to work. So, I decided that I needed to take a break, and I needed to attend to my child. But everybody has their own take on this. So, it all depends on the family or your career goals. It can depend on a lot of things. Everyone wants what’s best for the child. So, they take their decision according to their life choices. But I think that somewhere, everybody wants the best for their baby.
Firstly, after you give birth, your body is going to go out of shape and you’re going to feel as if it isn’t you anymore, you’re going to have a lot of ‘oh my god, what has happened to me’ moments. But that is totally okay because your body has done something so beautiful, it needs time to recover and get back to shape and all that will happen. But you should never take that to your mind. This is where baby blues and post-partum depression comes from. What matters right now is your baby, so please do not get disappointed by your physical appearance whatsoever, it totally doesn’t matter. Because to your baby, you will look the most beautiful. So, that is one thing. Because I see a lot of people saying, “No mam I’m still so fat, my belly is so big, I’m not getting back into shape.” But that’s okay, you have your entire life to work it out. That’s okay.
And the other thing I want to tell is that parenting does not come with a rule book. There are no rules of what is right and what isn’t. It totally depends on you and your child. Every child is different. If you have 2 kids, then the way you deal with both of them would be different. So, what I say is you know don’t get overwhelmed that “Oh my god I did something wrong, that’s not right, I shouldn’t have done this”. If you aren’t able to do something right, that’s okay, because as your baby is growing, you’re learning at the same time. Just don’t repeat that mistake and see what you can do next and don’t do that again. But never fret over things, never get that mom guilt over you. Never say that I’m not a good mom and things like that.