We are mothers. We are women. We are Wives and according to Beyonce, we run the world. Why, then, do we feel that the only thing we run successfully is the washing machine on auto mode?
If you are anything like me – an MBA, a once-perceived career-girl, a writer, a lover, a dancer, an enjoyer of life in general and a new mother – then chances are, you also feel you haven’t really measured up to your own expectations of what kind of a mom you will be. You, the maverick of (almost) all things related to work and life, had a clear vision of yourself as the quintessential yummy-mummy – a term I pretend to detest, partly because I don’t believe in stereotyping the gigantic power that a woman is, and partly because I ain’t no yummy mummy. Sigh.
And I am not even talking about body image here, because that is a topic for another day. Or week.
I am talking about the capable mother who is organized, who has all the right answers, who has read all the articles there are about good parenting, who other mothers seek for views on all things motherly, and the kind of mother who is in control of things. I had not only the hope, but a firm belief that I will be all those things.
That was when I was just pregnant and the baby was living fuss free in the cosy comforts of the womb. I believed it until Baby G came and decided to not sleep at all during nights. I was hopeful of achieving my super mom status as soon as the breastfeeding thing was under control, after all I had it all planned! Baby G was to be my best friend, my buddy in adventures and my partner in ice-cream crime (when, in my imagination, we would polish off tubs of chocolate chip ice-cream while watching Tom and Jerry and laughing our asses off at something funny the husband said). Why, I had even picked out three similar and insanely cute mommy-and-daughter outfits with matching hair clips. I had too much to lose. My plan had to work, right?
Turns out, as awesome as having a baby is, it often throws rest of thing in our life, right out of the baby-proofed window. Body and figure are now on a to-be-dealt-with-after-2-years thing, Me-Time is generally only restricted to pee time (if you’re lucky, that is), work or career might take a break, friends usually go from the back seat to a totally different vehicle (especially if they are not parents yet) and even the husband falls second on your list of priorities now.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by all the change, and you might, at some point, even question your abilities. You look at that one perfect mom (there always is one in everyone’s world) who makes you feel inadequate, and who is in the top three on your hit list. You now have hit list of people you’d want to kill, theoretically, starting with Karishma kapoor, the very definition of Yummy Mummy. (I kid, of course)
Self doubt begins to creep in. You are doing everything you can, then why isn’t order being restored? You are giving it your best so why aren’t you anywhere close to your idea of the perfect mom?
As strange as it might sound, having a baby often takes the blame for our shortcomings that we accept as ‘normal behaviour’. As soon as girls like us become mothers, and fall in massive love with the little human we’ve created, and feel impossibly proud of ourselves, our lack of total success at the kind of moms we wanted to be is kind of a downer, and it leaves us a teensy weensy bit disappointed.
We ask ourselves, why is it harder than we imagined? Where are all my days going? Am I raising the perfect kid? Why am I not the perfect mom? And most importantly, is Beyonce wrong?
So here’s the wisdom from a freshly-turned-two-year old’s mom who wanted to be everything that there is for a mother to be, but isn’t : Get a reality check.
First of all, the perfect kid is just an idea and the perfect mom, a myth. Actually, it is all relative and I have only just begun to understand it. Second of all, Beyonce is not wrong at all, girls do run the world – but only when they know their strengths, accept their flaws and break the bubble of self imposed expectations.
To accept that you are the same strong and capable girl as you were before the baby, needs you to adjust your expectations. You are a mom. Take it easy. Your first priority is your baby, and will always be till your last day on the planet. Accept that.
You have a human being to shape and nurture, an individual who is your legacy to leave behind for the world. It’s a HUGE deal. So give yourself some credit for taking up this responsibility and faring well at it.
You are right when you chose your little one before, well, pretty much everything, because that is exactly what your heart tells you to do. Trust your heart.
Your life will never be the same after you have the baby, it will be a different kind of better. Stop pushing yourself, you’re doing great. Really.
In the words of the 20 year old you, take a chill-pill, girl, because you are doing the most important job in the world – of being a mother. And you might not realize it, but you are already a super mom, and things only get better form where you are. Honest. (I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will get better)
So relax, learn to appreciate yourself and most importantly, don’t forget to love yourself.
(And in case you aren’t one of the moms who have self doubts and panic moments, then congratulations – you just earned a spot in my hit list. Just saying. 🙂
Aditi Mathur was born on Feb the 14th and since then it has all been awkward for her. A strong believer of “Whatever!”, an ex-advertising girl, a once-upon-a-time blogger, an out-of-place Army Wife and a real-life social person, she has now given up everything for her adorable almost-nine-months old daughter Gauri (Um, also for Twitter, actually). Stalk her at http://damonologue.blogspot.com or @adicrazy on Twitter. Or Not. Whatever.