Here’s How Motherhood Has Helped Me Find Myself

“When you are a mother, you are never alone in your thoughts.” – Sophia Loren

Motherhood to me is taking care of my children and protecting them as they grow up. A mother and a child create a lifelong bond even before the baby comes into this world – the inseparable bond gets created in the womb itself.

Yet being a mother is challenging. The responsibilities that come with being a mother are complex. When I gave birth to my daughter, I was always occupied with things related to her, wanting to look after her in best possible way. I always used to hide my emotions. Much later, I realised that showing emotions was fine, it was even better. Emotions were just another way to show my strengths.

My motherhood journey was full of obstacles and challenges. But, I still remember and cherish motherhood as soft sunshine of the morning, that energizes body, mind and soul.

A Mother Is Born With The Birth Of Her Child

A unique journey of motherhood begins with the birth of a child. The baby depends on the mother for all its needs. A mother understands her baby so well that she can differentiate if the baby is hungry, uncomfortable or sleepy.

Her life does a quick 180 and suddenly she finds herself comfortable in yoga-pants more than trendy clothes.

Late night movies with friends are replaced by co-sleeping with the baby.

Socializing now means finding like-minded mommy friends in the park and discussing the baby milestones.

Instead of makeup accessories in her bag, she is found roaming with a diaper bag full of baby stuff. 

Isn’t it too much of a change in lifestyle for a human? Yet she manages to cope up with it and that’s why it is said that a mother is born with the birth of her child.

Sleepless Nights

I fell in love with my daughter as soon as she was born and placed in my arms. I spent sleepless nights tending to my baby’s needs and it left me in a perpetual state of exhaustion. I was taking care of her as well as managing household chores. As a new mom, I gave up so much of myself – my time, my space, my freedom. My life was extremely busy.

And that’s when I realized how my life was divided between two parts – before being a mommy and after being a mommy. I learnt life-lessons as mom which I want to share:

Motherhood Taught Me Patience

Motherhood has helped me discover so many aspects of myself. Being a mother taught me to be patient. I realized how nothing goes the way you want it to. And impatience is going to make things harder for you and your baby. For example, no matter how impatiently you want your baby to meet a milestone, yet he will meet the milestone when it is the time. So patience is definitely a virtue. 

Motherhood Taught Me The Value Of Relationships

After giving birth to my daughter , motherhood taught me the value of relationships. Every member of the family started paying attention , not only to me but to my child also by offering to change diapers, entertain her and give her unconditional love. I had a good support system and I started valuing it. 

Motherhood Taught Me To Be Grateful

I became grateful, started feeling blessed for everything that I was given. I started appreciating what I have.

I cannot stress enough on how motherhood helped me discover a part of me I never knew I had. I cannot thank my baby enough for changing my life so beautifully!

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Why Moms Are So Tired And How Can We Help Them

“Mother is the name for GOD in the lips and hearts of little children” – William Makepeace Thackeray

So, how does this concern moms? Well, as soon as our toddlers learn to move on their own, they begin to explore their environments. Things that were seemingly safe, like a chair, suddenly become an opportunity for big falls. From sun up to sundown moms are busy in multi-tasking.

Here’s what happens with moms in reality!

Mothers are bound to be involved in a lot of things – be it at home, with the kids or at work. Their mind run wild with anxious worries and their heart churn with constant emotional thoughts. And this is the real reason moms feel so busy all time. They’re never really ‘done’. There’s always something more they feel like they should be doing.

I surveyed my daughter’s friends who are mothers and I immediately identified  a common theme: they’re all tired. Even after the kids leave the ‘up all night’ phase, it’s still incredibly difficult to stay on top of everything. As mothers, they’re expected to basically run the house. Everyone including the husband or helpers need their instructions to work. Whether they work outside the home or not, most families rely on moms to maintain the schedule, buy the groceries, prepare the meals, and get little Bobby to soccer practice on time. It’s like having a second job that they can never take a break from.

Moms Don’t Get Leaves

For moms, there are no sick days, no vacation days, and they don’t get paid. In fact, nine times out of ten they end up pulling out their wallets and buying something for one of the kids when they can least afford it! They are busy with their kids day and night and that leaves them permanently worn out.

Invisible Work Drags Them Down

While men have come a long way in sharing their wives’ workload, there’s still more to be done. Namely, someone needs to step in and help shoulder some of the mental load the moms take on — because all those little things only the moms seem to notice are weighing them down.

A new mother told me that her husband helps her in best possible ways. Yet there are things only she can see, like refilling the ration items, preferred brands for various grocery products etc. These invisible tasks are dragging women down.

The Mental Load Women Carry With Them Is Exhausting

Sleep deprivation is another factor. The hamster wheel is always spinning in the back of their mind. Because if they don’t remember to switch the laundry over, who will? And if they don’t buy vegetables, well, the baby just won’t get any. And doctor’s appointments, prescription refills, vacation packing lists – there are multiple invisible checklist inside their brain. This is the mental load they all carry.

Tips To Help The Tired Mom Sleep Better

It’s no mystery at all that all moms are tired moms. Not because they don’t have things in order. Not because they are necessarily frazzled or running a chaotic home. But simply because it’s tiring to be moms. And when their kids are little, they’re always busy being hyper vigilant.

And, as we know, that the more tired the moms are, the worse they sleep. The worse they sleep, the more cranky they are the next morning. It’s basically an ugly cycle. So here are some ways that  can help moms get back into a well-rested cycle in spite of the fact that they still have a lot on their plate.

Don’t Always Be Thinking

Moms have to make plan themselves to take rest into their normal routine. They must start making decisions, try to fight bad habits, or rely on their willpower when they are already exhausted. Create a plan or routine that will help guard their sleep (more on that later) and do this when they are feeling okay. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, but create a plan and then when you are uber exhausted, stop thinking.

Pre Midnight Sleep 

Generally , it is said that “ one hour of sleep before midnight is worth two.” Basically, The best quality of sleep occurs when the circadian rhythm is at its lowest and this generally occurs between 10 pm and 5 am.

Get An Eye Mask

Get an eye mask .This works for a few reasons. The eye masks block light which helps  brain produce melatonin which is the good sleep hormone that will help moms to sleep. Also, they are a good sleep association. Yes, even adults need sleep associations! They are also great if their spouse likes to read with the light on or watch TV in bed. This eye mask actually has cold therapy and helps with headaches and migraines as well.

Guard Your Evenings

If you’re exhausted and worn out the last thing you have is a large amount of will power and rational reasoning skills.

Use sleep aids

By sleep aids, I mean natural things the moms can use that will help their body calm down and get ready for sleep. This may mean getting a good mattress if they have back or hip issues. If they aren’t able to afford a nice new mattress they can get a thick pillow top mattress that essentially does the same thing.

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How To Support A Friend Who Just Had A Baby

There is no denying the fact that parents can raise their baby independently. There is not much to do. It’s just a few tasks like feeding, cleaning poop, massaging, bathing, dressing them, singing a lullaby, rocking them to sleep, taking them for a stroller ride and repeat without a break in between. And trust me they can do it all. The only thing is, they are humans too. And this is exhausting and stressful at times.

So if they have someone they can trust with their baby, it makes their lives easier. Parents know how comforting it is to have a strong support system. Family and friends are their angels in disguise.

If you are that friend whose BFF just had a baby and you don’t know how to help her or him, this article is for you.

My friend is a new mommy… How I try to help her?

Here are a few ways that I personally follow to help my friends with baby or kids:

    1. Asking parents to take their baby for a stroller ride or a walk

      You can offer to take your friends’ baby for a stroller ride or a walk. This gives the parent some time off their regular schedule. Trust me, having 20 minutes to just have a nice cup of tea or pee peacefully is what a parent crave for.  
      Tip: You ofcourse will have to build that trust with your friend that you are capable of handling their baby with care before making such an offer.

    2. Listen to their concerns and parenting experiences patiently

      Listen. This helps. Let them vent out their frustration, anger and what not. This does not make them a bad parent. So don’t judge them. All they need is a listening ear.

    3. Do you need help?

      Ask if they need help. There are many reasons because of which they didn’t ask for help. But this is the time when they need help and support, both mentally and physically from their family and friends.

    4. Plan outings with them

      Just because they are parents now doesn’t mean you stop inviting them for outings. Share the load. You are also going to be parent some day. Will you be happy seeing your friends changed or abandoning you?

How this helps our friendship?

There is one more fact in this world. A parent loves no one more than their babies. And if they see someone loving them just like they do, they automatically develop more affection towards the person. Helping them with their responsibilities and loving their kids help in strengthening our friendship further.

Final Words:

I believe the “gift of support” is much bigger than gifting a bodysuit for their baby or a maternity dress. What are your thoughts..

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