What to do when motherhood isn’t bringing you happiness?
I am sure all mothers would agree that pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum challenges are truly exhausting. The cooing and laughter of babies comes with an equal share (perhaps a bigger share) of responsibilities. Motherhood throws sudden and unforeseen challenges at you every day. It is natural to feel tired and irritated from time to time, but these feelings are generally transient. What to do if you find yourself heavily burdened with the duties of motherhood and aren’t able to relate to the happiness that other moms talk about?
Why are Indian mothers usually stressed?
If you are an Indian, you probably know the sheer load of household and social responsibilities that womenfolk handle. Right from childhood, a girl is ‘groomed’ in a particular way, so that she is deft at handling household chores later in life. Most of us who had office-going mothers would agree that our mothers handled the double duty of managing the house and their office. Additionally, Indian society conveniently blames the mother if a child does something wrong or is lacking a few ‘ideal’ attributes. Right from the moment they hold their baby for the first time until their last breath, Indian mothers are continuously thinking about their children. In other words, they make motherhood the primary aspect of their identity.
Embracing motherhood without falling in the trap
Saloni (name changed) was a bright IT professional before she decided to quit her job and devote time to her newborn. While at home, she took charge of her baby and managed the house according to her wish. Soon, she became frustrated because she didn’t find the time for herself. She could no longer make trips to the salon, go for movies as before or have a telephonic conversation in peace. The baby rarely gave her few free hours and she started feeling guilty over quitting her job, and sometimes, also for having a baby. She felt as if her life is all about changing diapers, feeding, cleaning and playing with the baby, while her husband is happily living his old life. What would you suggest her?
Stop being too hard on yourself
It is understandable that you want everything to be prim and proper in the house. But after the arrival of a child, chaos is normal. Don’t burden yourself unnecessarily with maintaining a spotless house, an elaborate meal plan and entertaining guests. It is OK to give a little bit leverage to these things. Channel your energy away from these things and focus on things that make you happy, a hobby perhaps.
Ask for help
There is no contest for ‘Best Mom’ in the journey of motherhood. Whether you stay at home or go to office, asking for help is absolutely fine. Hire domestic help for designated chores, ask family members and friends to help you out whenever needed. Involve your husband in raising the child and take me-time breaks at least once a week. Meet your friends for coffee or watch a movie alone after leaving the child with the dad or a trusted friend.
Opt for a daycare/ preschool
I know it is difficult to trust a stranger when it comes to your child, but sooner or later you have to send your child to school. Thus, it is a good idea to send the child to a daycare center or preschool that has CCTV monitoring. These few child-free hours will give you the much-needed me-time. However, talk to the staff members and other parents before enrolling your child.
Respect your motherhood choices
If you decided to take a career break for taking care of the child, see the long-term impact of your choice. You will be able to find a job eventually, but you should always respect the decisions that you made for yourself and pass through turbulent times.
Learn from positive examples
There will be plenty of people to pull you down, but you should get inspired by stories of mothers who made it through their challenging phases. Look around you, there are many women who are trying to make the best out of motherhood without compromising on their priorities.
Chin up ladies. Don’t make motherhood the only aspect of your life. Treat it as one of the many roles you play and never forget to give yourself prime importance. Strive to become a happy person, and you will automatically become a happy mother.
Image Source: Global Villages Space