Women are used to being confined to specific roles throughout their lives. Whether it’s being a daughter, bride, wife, mother or grandmother. Often, these become our entire identity, leaving little to no room for our authentic selves. This is especially true for mothers. Many mothers tend to lose themselves during their motherhood and hardly make any “me-time” for themselves. Despite bringing them immeasurable joy, being a mother also comes with its own problems. Sibling rivalry, loss of self, marital complications, strained sex-life and more. To discuss these, we hosted a #RealTalk on motherhood and me-time on Girl Tribe by MissMalini. We invited Entrepreneur, Mommy Blogger and Mother of 4, Parul Kakad, Neuropsychiatrist and Sexologist, Dr Aparna Bhagat Deshmukh and Deepanka Sekhri, Fitness Blogger, Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker to break this down. Here’s what these real-life mothers had to say on balancing motherhood and me-time:
Dr Deshmukh says,
When mothers schedule all the 24 hours in their day, I insist that their “me-time” is part of that schedule. You have to incorporate it! Your “me-time” should be spent doing something that makes you feel accomplished and happy
For Deepanka, her “me-time” is working out and dancing as it makes her feel radiant and positive. Parul’s “me-time” is all about resting, relaxing and sleeping. Being a mother is exhausting and draining, and taking time out for yourself is not only mentally and physically satisfying, but also very much needed!
As mothers, we should have “me-time”, but we also need to have “our-time” with our partners. My kids know that post-dinner is my time with my husband. Children need to know that they can be alone and they need to discover what they are like by themselves, without us. It’s important to realise how you are as an individual, as a couple and as a family.
When a couple become parents, it is normal for their relationship to change and their intimacy be affected. Dr Deshmukh says that this change in intimacy levels, be it sexual or emotional can stem from exhaustion, lack of privacy and even poor communication. If left unattended, it can result in something negative and resentful in the future. She says it’s important for couples to spend time together, without their kids.
My husband and me have fixed date-nights which we never miss out on. We visit the Gurudwara together as well, and even that becomes “our-time”. You don’t need to really fix a time, any moment you spend together, is your time with your husband. Also, it’s important for your children to see you and your husband together, whether it’s a hug or a kiss. It will positively affect their perspective on relationships too.
For a woman, it isn’t menopause or puberty that changes her brain, it’s childbirth. Dr Deshmukh says,
Scatterbrain Syndrome is very real. New mothers lose some grey matter (the part that holds neurons for thinking and knowledge) in their brain to make space for the new things they will learn during motherhood. This happens to fathers too.
She further added that this mostly leads to absentmindedness and forgetfulness. However, after 2 years or so, they get this grey matter back. Both Deepanka and Parul could relate to this! Scatterbrain Syndrome can result in blabbering, forgetting things, zoning out and more, kind of like Dory from Finding Nemo.
Deepanka says that what motivated her to get back in shape was her love for herself and her body. She wanted to take care of herself and feel good, which is what got her back in shape. However, she adds,
Every woman is different and every body is different. Not everyone bounces back in the same way and mothers need to stop comparing themselves to others, especially on social media. Social media covers flaws and mothers should never take them at face value.
Parul says that she needed a wake-up call to get back in shape, and when she did, she started off slow. While it may be hard, it isn’t impossible. Whether it’s a yoga session, a 20 minute workout or even playing running around with your kids at home, it all makes a difference. You just need to be dedicated and committed to your fitness. She says,
More than being thin, it’s about being fit.
Dr Deshmukh says,
Be realistic about how your house will look. It has to be clean, safe and hygenic, but don’t expect it to be neat and tidy! Mothers should find support groups, online or offline, to feel confident and mentally at ease!
Me-time is important. Remember to fill your cup because you can’t pour into others from an empty one
It’s okay to feel broken and fall down, but the minute you do, get back up, straighten that crown and carry right on!
Balancing motherhood and me-time may be hard, but it is definitely not impossible. How do you balance it? Share it with us in the comments below!