The other day my husband told me of his evening plans this week. An event dinner one evening, plans with a buddy the next. We mostly spend time together at home, and while I too have my evenings away of non-profit meetings, dinners with girls, really, because of mommy-hood, it seems those plans are less than they used to be for both of us.
The difference for me is that I always need to find childcare. Whether it’s being sure my husband is free, being sure my sister can come over or if our nanny can stay a few extra hours, it’s an arrangement that is solely up to me. Who’s with me on this? Honestly, we should’ve just employed someone from Eden Private Staff, a reliable and helpful Maternity Nurse who would always be on hand to help me out. This way, me and my husband could both make plans without being worried about childcare.
My husband, on the other hand, usually can make those plans without hesitating. Of course he will always check in with me, but it’s never: I need to find childcare before I do this.
Since it’s been some time now and the newness of mommy-hood has worn off, I started wondering… if everything I work towards is for this family, am I losing “myself”?
And while it’s been my choice to make a career less than part-time, (dentistry), and to start other part-time work that fits my ability to raise and be there for our child, (teaching yoga/mommy blogging), I still manage to help my husband with his work, (write his blog articles for him every week and continue to edit his book in progress), do philanthropic work and of course manage a home/family and all that entails, which we as mommas know can be A LOT.
Amidst it all…the thing is… I love losing myself in their love.
I love night-time whispers with her, the healthy meals I make that my husband loves, the dance parties I have with Laila in the morning. I even love her tight hugs when she is cranky, her pout face when she doesn’t want to come out of the bath, her sweet way of saying hi after I come home from teaching. Her little body in my lap, my husbands smile when he sees us, it’s all worth it to me. Nothing could be greater in life than that.
But there are times I miss my dynamic as just Puja, not Laila’s mommy. So, I decided to make this list, to get back on my own track, and to remember “me” in the moments I need a lift of empowerment in these “oh so crazy days” only mothers can share and know. I hope this serves as a gentle reminder for you too, to remember who you are among these beautiful sacrifices of motherhood.
1. Keep dreams alive: Don’t give up on any of your dreams. It doesn’t matter how far-fetched they seem, how long it will take you. Even if it means working on your company logo while you are pumping or writing that novel while your little one naps or recording song lyrics into your smart phone on your drive home from work…it will get done one day and that’s all that matter. Just don’t ever give up.
2. Make time for you: It could just be a ten minute walk, but whatever it is, let there be breathing time for just yourself. Recently I did a 7 minute meditation since it’s all I could squeeze in that day and it totally helped my mind settle. Take time for yourself, schedule afternoons, even if it needs to get in your calendar a month in advance, to do what you love doing. Take a hike, go to a yoga class, visit an art museum.
3. Talk to girlfriends about “other stuff”: Sometimes I can catch myself talking about Laila non-stop. Have conversations with your friends about your favorite movie, about what moved you in world events, about your spiritual practice, whatever it is that you don’t get to talk about in baby-talk mode.
4. Explore your talents: I remember when I was really young, my mother would paint these unbelievably beautiful oil paintings. As the years passed, and after having two more kids, she never painted. She didn’t have time, there was work and being a mom and taking care of everyone and everything. So for a recent birthday, we bought her art supplies to start it up again. I decided to constantly explore my creative side, (which is writing poetry and fiction stories). I even recently started reciting my spoken word poetry at a local cafe randomly. The more I write, the more connected to my true self I feel.
5. Be present: As moms, we can definitely start to feel like we are living in the future. The what ifs, what needs to be, how to be, will it be etc. etc. Just be present. I am learning it helps with every situation, even non-mommy related stuff like my parents’ health. Stay present and it will teach your little ones on how to be and not react in situations with stress or anxiety of a future event that is not in your control.
6. Remember that you are still someone’s baby: Sometimes as moms, we take on everything. The weight of our world and expect ourselves to be okay. Remember to be vulnerable at times. Connect to your inner child and know that you are still someone’s baby, you too, can lean on your husband/partner or mom/dad or whoever it is that you need to. Even super mom needs some lovin’.
7: Get pretty: It always feels good to get dolled up every once in a while, in whatever way suits your personality. Don’t let mommy-hood take away your style, momma. You still got it goin’ on. 🙂