Motherhood is a lot about always giving unconditionally. We’ve heard the term give and take. Ever wondered why it is not the other way around? Clearly, whoever said that probably meant unless you give you won’t get.
The last couple of years being home with my toddler got me into doing some soul searching. It was the beginning of the journey within me.
Being a mom can be fulfilling, but it also gets lonely. Not many moms will tell you that, but it is a fact. Blame it on the hormones or a new schedule that never lets you have much time for yourself, and add lack of sleep into the mix and you definitely have a lethal combination of mood swings and feeling left out.
For an extrovert like me, I wasn’t prepared for the kind of shift in norm that motherhood brought. Since I was taking care of my little one all alone, I had to adjust my social life accordingly. That meant getting to check my voice mails at night, replying to emails and messages during midnight and showering in the wee hours of the morning. My life was turned upside down and it constantly shifted gears. I couldn’t cope, I felt myself shutting down and slowly that contact list started shrinking as well.
My big-hearted nature also took a U-turn. I am the kind of person who always reached out, irrespective of the fact that I would ever get anything in return. Slowly, I started getting wary of giving selflessly, having a child was demanding as it is. I had enough of un-returned calls, messages, emails and waiting for people who could never make the time to see me or be with me. On more than one occasion I would say, “I miss my old self, I want it back”. I had that sinking feeling, and it was hard to stop myself from going further.
Redemption came in the form of my child. I had so much to learn from her. She loved me so much. There were no barriers. True unconditional love. It didn’t matter what I did or didn’t do. Her adoration and attachment never faltered.
Apart from that, I made it a point to keep some time aside for myself. I read, stepped out on long walks, met loved ones and sometimes did nothing. I have to thank my husband for giving me that opportunity. It helped me gather myself. When the baby slowly started getting into a schedule, I started making time to do things that made me happy. It included writing, singing, yoga, a daily stroll, and of course devoting myself to the little one. I started living each day without inhibitions and felt truly blessed to be given this opportunity to spend time with her. The realization that work will always be there when I get back but this time with her is truly irreplaceable and precious dawned over me.
The friends are still there. Not everyone understands what I am going through, and I don’t expect them to anymore. That is liberating. Someday, they too will learn. When they come back, I’ll still be here for them. People come and go in to our lives for a reason. We aren’t perfect. The ones who stay are the ones who care to look beyond those imperfections and they are worth holding on to.