I had never planned on this, but when I changed my mind and started treating myself more than a “mother”, I began getting lot of grief from people for my altered outlook.
Last week a mom asked me,“Do you know what all materials we need to send with the kids for their science project tomorrow, to which I replied looking perplexed,”Oh they have a science project tomorrow….” Another “friend” who was standing close by immediately interrupted and told her while rolling the eyes, “No use asking this one, she is never up-to-date with the kids’ school activities.” The tone of her voice clearly indicated she thinks I am a bad mom.
While we are at it, let me also mention a few other “adjectives” which people might give me if they know that I don’t always meet the so-called standards of perfection placed on mothers.
I am a “lazy” mom since I don’t always pack healthy snacks in my kid’s lunch box. At times they carry ready-to-eat packaged stuff too.
I am an “insensitive” mom too, when while working on the laptop I do not listen to my daughter complaining something about her friend .
I am an “awful” mom, coz once I dint attend my kids’ parent-teacher meeting in the school as I went shopping with my friends to grab last day deals of the sale season.
I am a “careless” mom for the reason that sometimes I let my children watch television for an extra hour in order to get my peaceful siesta.
But “these” certainly do not mean that my kids are not well -clothed, fed, counselled, helped or hugged by me. It’s just that I cannot be their hands-on mamma all 24 hours, 365 days a year. And this is the decision I have consciously made of late, besides the following:
That I will not set high expectations for myself.
That for my mental and emotional well-being I will take out time for myself and do things which I like.
That I can’t be a martyr at the altar of motherhood.
And you know what, by keeping myself occupied with the activities I love, I am in a way preparing myself in advance for the day when my kids will leave home to create their own life. It only makes sense that at that time parents, especially mothers should have some hobbies or interests to pursue in order to remain unaffected by empty nest syndrome.
For more than a decade, I have been doing it all, with my smile and sanity intact; I was my kids nurse, cleaner, chef, chauffeur, stylist, referee, teacher, coach, encyclopaedia and of course, entertainer. Now I ensure that my kids to do stuff themselves (well within their capacity), and also encourage that they make friends with other kids or interact with other adults as much as they can (beyond me) and thankfully they are doing great!!
Of late, I am trying to get my lost mojo back:) and for that I have started doing things away from my kids; and trust me, it’s such a liberating feeling. This brings me to my next thought:
“ True beauty for me is to love myself for who I am.”
Here are a few lines which I have written for myself on a piece of paper and pasted on the door of refrigerator (as a reminder)
Love thyself,for it means taking care of yourself mentally,physically and emotionally;
Love thyself, for it means respect your ideas,forgive yourself, and embrace yourself lovingly;
Self-love is regard for your happiness.
Self-love is normal.
And it is for this reason that I make an effort to do the things which otherwise would have brought guilt-pangs in me earlier. I take the time out to do yoga, dance, write, read, watch movies with friends, hang out more often in a saloon; and most importantly, consciously try not to indulge in self-blame; coz I have understood that it brings nothing but anxiety.
I have realised that this self-love is not selfish because caring for myself keeps me happy which has ripple effect on everyone around me.
Moreover, the beauty of self-love lies in the fact that it’s not making me lethargic or a self-indulgent person; this mindful attitude is taking me to on a path of self-discovery, wherein with each passing day I am learning a new facet about myself; I have realised that there are things I can do, I can achieve, I can learn about.
Most importantly this self-love has taught me that I can be a mother, and can add other titles too to my identity.
I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.
Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.
Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… http://bit.ly/naturalsOF