Motherhood came as a surprise as it was unexpected and we were not prepared. I was perplexed how to accept the news; half of me wasn’t ready for motherhood and the other half couldn’t suppress the joy of being called a mommy soon.
Time flew on its rosy wings and one day I was holding a tiny part of me in my arms, breathing, crying, and peeing. I couldn’t take my eyes off my son, Rihaan. The fact that I was a mommy now was hard to believe (couldn’t believe it for a few days, yeah!). The initial months went in feeding Rihaan, catching up on sleep, taking care of my health, and balancing the roles of a mother and wife.
I never gave much importance to the saying ‘when your baby comes, they become your world. Whatever you do, it is for them.’ But, when I put on the mommy shoes did I realise how true it was word by word.
By the time Rihaan was a year old, I had mastered juggling between meeting his demands and my responsibilities towards Varun (my husband) and the house. I was on a sabbatical since I conceived and was not even thinking about returning to work any sooner. I was totally enjoying the workload, the busyness, and my bundle of love.
The initial five years of a child are the most crucial for their development and foundation. So, I wanted to give Rihaan full attention and put in all the efforts I can to lay a strong foundation for his upbringing.
One day while at a mall, a bookstore caught my attention. (The smell from the pages of a new book and my dream of a huge bookshelf engulfed me. I have always wanted a big bookshelf in my room. I should tuck away this dream now. Who has the time to read a book!- I reminded myself.)
Yet, I went in the bookstore (If I can’t read, doesn’t mean I cannot read to Rihaan) and I bought two books for him.
And, two books for myself.
Something in the bookstore pushed me in buying books for myself too. Though I didn’t think of buying even one, given the fact, I hardly have any time for anything else.
It was long since I bought something for myself, which was connected nowhere with the traits of a mommy, a wife, and a homemaker. Books were my favorite companion, and I was happy I bought two. My happiness knew no bounds.
That’s when the realization hit me. There was a time I couldn’t put away a book once I started it. I was surprised how easily I had forgotten and lost myself in fulfilling my job of being a mother and wife.
The last two years were only about taking care of Rihaan, spending time with Varun, and finishing up the remaining household work at the end of every day. The funny thing is, by the time I am free from everything I just want to hit the bed.
The stranger part is, I didn’t even realize when on the journey of ‘M’other and wif’E’, I lost ‘ME’. I remember reading somewhere, ‘Don’t lose yourself in any relationship’. And motherhood is a relationship too.
Mother and wife are two vital parts of me, but they are not the only parts which define me. Why is it that women always churn in their forever changing lives, trying to live up to all the expectations? What about our responsibilities towards ourselves? We have all the right and the need to keep our core selves alive, don’t we?
So, I decided to spend time with myself and for myself every day, even if it’s for half an hour. I started indulging in activities I like, painting my nails red, wearing make-up, listening to music, baking, and anything, which gave me some ‘ME’ time. Small activities which were meaningful for me. I admit, scooping out half an hour from my daily schedule was a task, but I tried, and I succeeded.
And I realized, I need to keep my spirit, zeal, and space alive. There are things which we all love doing, like we used to do, probably before getting married! So, why not make time for these things now too, after marriage, and even after embracing motherhood. You do not have to set aside some time every day, just a few minutes every now and then are more than enough.
So make a resolution today (new year’s too far). Promise yourself that you will live for yourself too.
Trust me when I say- Rediscovering yourself after motherhood is as imperative as evolving yourself as a mother.
Image Credit: Rajeev Chaube