Dear Mommy, did you blow yourself a kiss today?
Only when one is truly happy from within, can they spread joy to others.
Haven't we heard this time and again and it resonates so well with me. I could imagine a situation where there is something making me feel low, don’t think I could do a good job of spreading cheer around me. Of course we all face problems in life- work related stress and issues, financial ones, a tiff with a dear one. We cannot expect a fairy tale life where everything is picture perfect and happily ever after is only a myth. No, this is a part of life and it would be foolish to expect a problem free life.
Now let's digress a bit. Being a woman how many of us take time to think about ourselves, our dreams, passion, interests? Haven't we always been conditioned that the role of a woman is to keep her family happy first, cook for them, and take care of her kids. Only such a selfless woman is the epitome of womanhood, the "Adarsh Nari". Once we become moms, the responsibility of raising our kids, nurturing them, tending to them in sickness and so much more takes up most of our time. To that, add the household chores, attending to other family member’s needs , and if you are working then 10-12 hours a day are anyway spent at the workplace. So when do we get time to indulge in things we like?
Do we ever think of it at all or are we so caught up in the daily grind that we just overlook it?
Imagine a group of young ladies, most of them Moms sitting on A Friday evening and enjoying a drink and dinner. The clock strikes 11 and its chaos. It’s like Cinderella’s ball where she keeps fidgeting and before the clock strikes 12 she makes a run. These woman have been constantly checking their phone. Calling back home speaking to the baby sitter or hubby or MIL/Mom and ensuring that the child/children had eaten, are not up to mischief and not crying.
Ladies it’s ok to let loose sometimes. Honestly if something goes astray you are sure to get a call from home. So chill, put your feet up and enjoy these few precious moments that you rarely get. Put that phone aside and its ok to breach the deadline for a change. You are no longer a teenager who needs to seek parent’s permissions for a late night party
Honestly with a corporate job which is demanding and given I truly am ambitious and want to scale up, I hardly get time for myself. With that, being a Mum of a 2 year old leaves with not more than 2 hours on the weekend when she takes her nap to do what I want. I use that time to write blogs, read, socialize with my friends online- but I always find myself struggling to get more me time. I go for the monthly hair spa and let lose my foot at office parties – that’s rare but I do enjoy dancing and this comes as a breath of fresh air. It means staying out late but I do not regret it – I think I deserve sometime for myself.
Coming to the question of how we perceive ourselves, this is again an area where we are always pulling a face or frowning on catching glimpse of ourselves in the mirror. Ouch that fat in the tummy, the stretch marks, does that sound familiar?
Motherhood alters life and it comes with a lot of physical changes too. Expecting to look like that 22 year old just fresh from college is indeed stupid. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying use motherhood as an excuse to feast on what you like, get complacent about your body. Absolutely not. We do need to watch out what we eat, try and exercise, if not at the gym then at least by alternative means like using the stairs instead of elevator, try mopping the floor? That works wonders!!
Personally I was never a health or fitness freak and when I got pregnant I would often worry if I would fit into my pre pregnancy clothes. I would stare at the rows of one piece dresses, skirts and high heels and sigh " I cannot imagine giving away all of this lovely stuff". Luckily I did not put on too much weight during my pregnancy and was back to my usual weight in a few months. So luckily most of my clothes do fit me and I am more than happy to buy new ones for those that I discarded. After all when it comes to shopping, the more, the merrier.
What I could not get rid of though is the stretch marks, when I used to look at them I cringed. But one day I just thought "well the clothes I wear conceal them anyways and I do not see myself in a bikini ever so how does it matter. From that day when I look at them there is no frown. They are the signs of my body that carried my beautiful Angel and that's how I look at them. I recall I was 2 kgs short of my ideal weight and it used to drive me crazy. I switched to sugar free, used the stairs even at the risk of tripping in my high heels, watched my diet closely and tried to avoid fried foods, chocolates but nothing worked.
The scale refused to budge. Then one day I stopped fretting about it, I simply let it be and when I checked my weight casually one day I was back to my ideal weight. I realized over analyzing and over thinking about something only causes harm. As Mommies it's important to take care of our body, but it's equally important to love and nurture it. It's important to dress well, stay well-groomed and if you like make up, go for it. Please don't stop yourself t saying that" Oh I am a Mom who will look at me?" the utmost damage you would do is to yourself.
Only when you truly love yourself, invest time in yourself, feed your dreams, water the sapling of your desires and tend to it lovingly, can you raise a happy family. Respecting and loving yourself is the first step in setting an example before your daughter that as a woman learn to place yourself first and a lesson to your son that don't take a woman for granted. She is worth a lot. Don't mistake this for narcissism, if being ones favorite as Kareena Kapoor aptly put it in "Jab We Met", is being proud, selfish or a narcissist, then it's a tag we should take on with no inhibitions
So woman, stay beautiful, stay happy, stay strong you are worth much more than you think. Time to raise the bar comrade.