This article marks the last of my series of articles on “Mommy mind tantrums”. I hope you enjoyed reading my discussions on the top 10 tantrums mommies throw and how you can deal with them.
I am sure there are so many more issues we face each day as moms and I shall be happy to help (if I can) with any other issues you think I should discuss. Please leave it as a comment below and I shall do the best that I can!
As of now, we are discussing two major issues mommies face- not feeling pretty, young and as fit as pre-mommy days AND not being vibrant, creative and energetic as pre-mommy days.
These two issues are actually directly linked to self-esteem. And hence need some time and sincere effort to be worked on with! But they are easily overcome- trust me!
I was reading an article where it said that “I was the best mom only when I wasn’t a mom!”
So true! We have these idealistic theories about how moms are when we don’t have kids of our own and we aspire to be like that. Its only when the dirty diapers, burps and pukes show up do we realize the reality and practicality of the situation we have got ourselves in.
Not feeling pretty is a thing of the past- feeling clean is also a luxury at times!
But don’t worry my darling! Here are some easy ways to overcome the Momzilla days!
Be real: This is what I tell anybody I care about! Mom, dad, young, old, boy, girl- anybody! Our problems arise from the fact that we have a parallel reality in our head that we are living while the practical reality is far from it. It is when these two parallel worlds meet and we see a collapse of our expectations that makes life difficult!
Seeing mommies in control makes us think that it’s the reality. We have hardly ever seen our moms cry or breakdown. We feel that’s the level of ease and peace we should have too as moms. Honey! That is just part of the package of being a mom. You have to SEEM in control even if you are not. That’s not the reality.
So its ok to break down, its ok to crash and burn.
Even superheroes have their bad days.
Know your strengths and weakness: I can’t start to paint like Picasso because my daughter is showing interest in painting! She has her own strength and you have yours. Tomorrow if my daughter is not a science genius I can’t feel cheated either! No matter how much research I might have done in a lab for years, no matter how great my husband is as an engineer or a sportsperson; if my daughter decides to take up painting as a profession I have to support her in that. I might not know it. But I can surely make sure she goes to the best of the schools to take it up professionally.
Make yourself proud on your own: It’s difficult for a mother to treat her baby as a separate individual. Obviously we feel that they came from our womb and are a part of who we are. However the sooner you realize that you are you and your baby is a different individual, life will become much simpler and sorted. I mentioned earlier in one of my post that we should never ever derive our self esteem from our kids. Be happy in their success but their achievements should not be the sole factor driving your happiness or self esteem. Make your own points in life to make yourself proud.
Work towards fitness not slimness: We all have our own metabolism. We did before we got pregnant, we do now too! Hence if Kim Kardashian looks a particular way after baby doesn’t mean you need to! Having said that, using baby as an excuse to not be fit is also wrong. Know what fitness you were at before baby. Be able to run after you kid, be quick to climb stairs, have the energy to not get breathless during the day- these are the parameters you should judge yourself with. Not numbers on the scale or measuring tape. I could climb 8 flight of stairs before baby. Hence now when I become breathless after climbing even 4, I know I am not fit.
Be fit, not slim.
Its all in the mind: I cant tell you how much your body shape changes with the way you look at yourself. It sounds crazy but its actually in your mind. If you think you are overweight, obese, ugly or unfit- you will become so. If you walk tall, think high and feel great- you will start looking fit! Its really that simple a relation. You start looking what you actually feel about yourself. So be really careful with your thoughts- esp about yourself!
We all start with a gym, but you should actually start with the mind!
Age is just a number: I know I have to behave a certain way society dictates a 33 year old Indian woman to be. However, in my mind and my heart I am no older than 12! And I love it! It leads to being immature and foolish in social settings sometimes-but the rest of the time I am happy jumping on and off beds with my daughter! Atleast with your baby, keep your age aside and enjoy the bliss of being a baby even its for a few moments! It will help you forget the cooking, kitchen and bills for sometime atleast.
You wont mind your baby if you are one too!!
Rules are just to civilize the society: To keep us from going wild and unruly, our ancestors thought of laying down some rules to make us into a “Civil society”. However seeing the news for an hour makes me really question our basic civility and humanity. Yes, I think rules were made to form a structure.
Individually, they don’t apply all the time to you. It might sound controversial but lets take an example. If your kid is left handed, doesn’t mean its wrong. Just because he doesn’t cater to the majority doesn’t mean its something you should correct. Just because people stare at my daughter when she throws a fit in a restaurant doesn’t mean she should be reprimanded. People don’t know the day she and I have had and the reason she is cranky. So just because its an unsaid rule to not scream doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t. You could probably take her outside to make sure people who have come to enjoy a peaceful dinner can continue to do so.
But don’t shun her to sit down just because “people are watching”.
Take baby steps to regain your life: When it comes to taking out time to pursue your passion or hobby start with baby steps. I have two major passions- writing and dance/fitness. I figured out that for writing I need to be in a particular frame of mind where thoughts can flow easily. For that frame I need to be calm. For being calm I need to re-start my yoga/dance routine. See how my thought cycle started with one passion and fed into the other!
Hence I decided that my immediate plan should be to start my yoga. Initially I started taking out 10 mins (again, remember to keep it real). That was not too tough. Slowly I started taking out 20 mins and then ½ hour each day. As my baby grew, I could free up a few more minutes. Now that she goes to school, I took up zumba for an hour. And finally I am in a frame of mind to start writing good stuff.
Agreed it took me 3 years to get to an hour of zumba and an hour of writing each day. However, I think taking longer than usual is better than whining and not doing anything at all. I could have just cribbed for the past two years how my life has fallen apart. And believe me, two years is enough time to make a universal whiner- a person who whines for everything and anything under the sun!
You don’t want to be a universal whiner- do you?
Include your baby to stick to your goal: There will always be days when you cant even get that 10 min off for yourself. Of course there will be! Get creative at those times. I have a cute yoga routine that I devised to incorporate my daughter into the routine. Instead of doing certain asanas, I do a different set that has me making body bridges that my daughter crawls under and has her fun. I get to do my yoga, she gets to play funny with mommy! Agreed I get restricted to 5-10 asanas instead of my regular 20 asanas, but I get something done.
1 is better than 0. Right?
So the crux is to train your mind. It takes time. But just because you are a mom doesn’t mean your life has to be a certain way. And just because you are a mom doesn’t mean you cant have your breakdown days.
“Even heroes have the right to bleed”- my fav line from a great song called “Its not easy to be me” by a band called Five for Fighting. It’s a song about superman and how superheroes also have their bad days. And wherever there is a mention of superheroes, I equate it to moms!
Enjoy the song……I have the lyrics too in case the video doesn’t work for you!
I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naïve
I’m just out to find
The better part of me
I’m more than a bird,
I’m more than a plane
I’m more than some pretty face beside a train
It’s not easy to be me
I wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
‘Bout a home I’ll never see
It may sound absurd but don’t be naïve
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
And it’s not easy to be me
Up, up and away, away from me
Well, it’s alright
You can all sleep sound tonight
I’m not crazy or anything
I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naïve
Men weren’t meant to ride
With clouds between their knees
I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me, inside of me [2x]
I’m only a man in a funny red sheet
I’m only a man looking for a dream
I’m only a man in a funny red sheet
And it’s not easy.
It’s not easy to be me.