When I talk to moms about their regrets or frustrations, there are a few common points that all moms do mention:
- Lack of a career for a stay at home mom
- Peak level stress for a working mom juggling two lives
- Not getting enough time in their other relationships
- Not getting enough “me” time
- Feeling of “no-achievement” even after a busy day
- Lack of appreciation from the other members of the family esp for stay at home moms
- Breakdown of a social life other than chatting with mommies of other babies
- Children loving dad more even though it’s the mommies who break their head with the kids all day
- Not being as young, as thin or as pretty as pre-mommy days
- Not being as creative, as vibrant or as energized as pre-mommy days
These are undoubtedly the top 10 points every mom struggles with. You might have experienced some or all of them yourself.
Here are some easy and effective ways to deal with these top 10 “TANTRUMS OF THE MIND” as I like to call them…..
Tantrums because mostly we are happy in our situation…but there are those days and moods when the mind just vomits these tantrums!! Isn’t it?
Lets tackle these tantrums one by one.
However, universal rule is that don’t worry or bother about why you having these upheavals. Its perfectly natural and common. All moms suffer from them. Sometimes we feel we are the only ones going through these issues when we see the other moms around us looking so much in control. But I can confidently state that ALL…I repeat ALL moms go through these tantrums. So you are not alone!
I shall be discussing 2 tantrums in each article as I want the articles to be of a respectable permissible length only. Lets start with 1 and 2:
TANTRUM 1 and 2: Lack of career for stay at home mom/ Peak of stress for working moms:
Moms who have been working before their baby comes do tend to look at their old salary slips and degrees and wonder….just sit and wonder…..how life is so different.
Working moms look at the photo of their toddler on their workdesk and wonder….just wonder….what their baby must be doing, if he is being fed properly etc
Having seen both the sides of the coin of working and non-working mom, I totally understand what you go through. There are days when you start questioning your choice of SAHM (stay at home mom) or WM (Working mom). You start weighing in the pros and cons again. And you wonder again. You have the discussion with your partner again. And you probably shed a tear again.
Let this not make you question your choices though. What you feel and the fact that you weigh the pro and cons so many times doesn’t mean that you are confused, it just means that you care. So don’t be too hard on yourself.
Life is all about choices. To make them easier here are some tips and pointers:
- Make sure your choices are yours alone: The choice to work or sit-at-home should come from you. Nobody can exactly know what is good for you and your baby. So make a choice through your thought process. Once a choice is entirely yours, the hardships that follow are easier to tackle.
- Know that no choice is fool-proof: No matter what choice you make, there are gonna be days when you shall question your choice. It might make you and the people around you wonder the strength of your decisions. However, know that all choices have a loophole. And there will be days when all things will not work out as planned. Give yourself that much credit to just put those few days behind and carry on.
- Know the exact reason you made that choice: No matter what you tell your friends, you should know the real reasons for your choice. It might be difficult for a career driven women in this society to explain why it makes her happy to go to office leaving an infant behind but if you know that your work is as important to you as your baby accept the fact and move ahead with your choice. If monetary constraints are making you step out of your house to work, accept that fact and move ahead with your choice. But if its some pressure, against your will, that is making you work or sit at home- you shall never be happy, trust me on that. So no matter how stupid, mundane or harsh the reasons might seem to the people around you; know that these are your reasons and it makes sense to you. That’s all that matters.
- You don’t owe an explanation to anybody: I have seen debates and debates about whether you should stay at home or work after a baby. If you know your real reasons and the choice was entirely yours, you will realize that you don’t owe an explanation to anyone. It’s the most peaceful state of mind to be in. Not owing anybody an explanation doesn’t mean you are arrogant. Whenever faced with such a situation where I know the person is not important enough to be given an explanation to I just politely say’ “I am not comfortable with this discussion. Can we please skip to something more fun and useful!”
- Assess long term Vs short term consequences: If you are facing confusion in the decision making part itself, there is an easy way to know which set you fall in. Every decision has two outcomes- happy and sad. And there are two time scales involved in it- long term and short term. Borrowing my math knowledge from school days, let me try to explain it in terms of a quadrant.
As you can guess outcome “long term happiness long term sadness” and “short term happiness and short term sadness” is not physically viable.(you cant be happy and sad all the time or in the same instant) So you are left with two options- long term happiness short term sadness AND long term sadness short term happiness.
To make a correct decision it should fall in the long term happiness short term sadness quadrant.
The beauty of this quadrant assumes that no matter what you decide, it will have shades of both happy and sad days for you. However you should assess if your decision is giving you long term happiness ( self esteem, career, monetary benefits and most importantly satisfaction and happiness in case of working mom) and if you can survive the short term sadness with it (the stress level and the sad baby face when you leave in the morning)
For stay at home your long term happiness will be ofcourse the joy of spending time with your baby and doing things with him on a daily basis while the short term sadness is lack of career or goal.
As you can see, I am not advocating one type of lifestyle over the other. I am just saying that the decision that you make should fall in that “long term happy short term sad” quadrant after you asses all the pros and cons.
Then you will always be confident with that decision and not regret it later. Of course there will be sad days, but they shall be temporary and short lived!
This was about tantrum 1 and 2. My next article will have tantrum 3 and 4 in the list covered.
If you have any more to add to the list of tantrum plz leave it in the comment box below and I shall figure out if I can help in those areas or not.
Till then, be happy be confident and be a NIRVANAMA