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:
When you become a mother, your focus, just like everyone’s around you, shifts entirely on the baby. You think, ‘no one cares about me, only the baby’ and you tend to lose yourself.
Deepanka agreed with this and how easy it is for mothers to lose themselves and be confused about who they are. Dr Deshmukh added to this by saying that a person’s identity stems from their environment- the people around them, their daily activity and their personality and priorities. When a baby enters this environment, everything changes which lead to a feeling of loss of identity for the mother. It is normal and Dr Deshmukh advises all mothers to find their new identity and take out time to figure it out, rather than being in a constant state of limbo.
Dr Deshmukh says,
Lead by example. You and your family should display the behaviour that you want your children to mimic. Use positive language, kind and gentle gestures and avoid anger, violence and rudeness. This can affect the way your child behaves with their sibling in a huge way
Both Parul and Deepanka agreed that their children sometimes fight for attention, but being positive and patient is very important in dealing with it. Plus, as a mother, it gets easier as time goes by.
Husbands play a major role, especially when you have a second child. Their involvement should be just as much as the mother’s, it is extremely important.
, says, Deepanka. Raising a child is not just a mother’s job, but equally the father’s. Parul and Dr Deshmukh agreed that having a supportive husband is vital to balancing motherhood and me-time.
Many mothers suffer from negative body-image after pregnancy, especially with social media around. The pressure to “bounce back into shape” is always looming, creating stress and anxiety. Deepanka says,
It’s not believing, but knowing that you look good that makes the difference. You should be in awe of the body that’s given you your baby. It’s given you new life! Love it and appreciate it.
You shouldn’t want to get back in shape within the first 9 months after delivery. Take your time. Feel good from within, and that will radiate outside too. Many mothers tend to focus only on the baby post-delivery, but they need to focus on themselves too!
Ask for help. It takes a village to raise a child. Moms need all hands on deck. It could be their mom, aunt, friend, whoever. Don’t shy away from asking for help, including professional help if you think you need it.
says, Dr Deshmukh, who firmly believes that asking for assistance and help is a must for all mothers. Parul, speaking from experience said,
Get help and ask others to do work like cleaning, cooking and laundry so that you can focus on taking care of the baby. That way you’re at peace and can give your attention to your child. A happy mother makes a happy baby!
The bottom-line is, there is no shame in asking for help!
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!