Motherhood Bliss: Dream Vs Reality – Reading between the lines

Motherhood Bliss – The myth of the bliss or the bliss in the myth

In one of earlier posts, I wrote how my motherhood has been bliss – If this isn’t bliss, then I’m not sure what is!”. Oh, it sure is. But I forgot to ask you to read between the lines. Since time immemorial, motherhood has been made out to be this state of eternal bliss of some kind, which obviously it is not. It’s time truth be told and myths be busted. Is motherhood bliss a truth or a big lie? Let’s find out.

There will be days when your world will be full of love and laughter, while on some days you might even regret having decided to have a child. Motherhood does come in seasons after all. Some seasons will be full of festivities and celebrations while others might be passing by in hope and wait for the festival. Life can seem pretty difficult when it feels to be tangled in knots that can’t be undone.

Motherhood bliss – The Dream

Sometimes I even find myself wondering and questioning if motherhood bliss is even real. Before being a mother, I had read and heard people talk endlessly about it in plenty, and that was one of the reasons why I was eager to become a mother, rather I was desperate to become one. I mean, who doesn’t go gaga over those chubby cheeks, want to coo over those rosy lips and tiny fingers or snuggle and cuddle those cute little bundles of softness. Well, I wanted to, to have my own to hold and love. Not wanting and having children is still not a thought Indian women are familiar with and is considered distinctly odd even for the Western women. But, hold your thought right there, I certainly do not need a child to fulfil my womanhood. I am complete the way I am. Read my take on feminism here.

Motherhood bliss – The Reality

I delivered this miraculous baby love for whom had been building the instant I knew I was carrying him. And I can’t emphasize how much I love him. But, it was after the initial cooing and giggles subsided that my eyes opened to this less talked about side of motherhood – the downside – the physical draining, sleep deprivation, whacky-frenzy hormones, postpartum blues, anxiety, sadness, irritability and crying incessantly for no apparent reason.

But I could not find a single person who could soothe my worried soul and put rest to that dull lingering feeling of sadness that ran on the back of my mind. Nobody talks about these. Even my friends pretended motherhood to be fabulous. But, I don’t know of one new mother who sleeps peacefully even for a couple of hours, let alone for long hours. It’s been 16 months I haven’t been able to sleep for a stretch of 4 hours straight. Sleep is probably the first sacrifice that a mother needs to do for her baby. Talking about hormones, my feminine hormones have been pretty much whacky since the time I entered into womanhood, then the pregnancy hormones wreaked havoc and again postpartum mood swings were the final blow. And who had to take the brunt of it all – poor Mr. Husband (Read my letter of gratitude to him here). I am not going to lie, there have been days when breastfeeding hurt and left me whimpering in agony and feeling terrible. Those days I kept reminding myself of the beautiful pictures and the wonderful feelings of motherhood that I had read about and imagined during my entire pregnancy. It’s tough not being starry-eyed with all the picture-perfect images you see on Instagram and Facebook, but, I have come to realize how impossible it is to visualize and imagine what motherhood is actually like until you delve into it.

Motherhood bliss – The road less travelled

Shaarav is a happy toddler, I absolutely adore him and never in my entire journey of motherhood have I ever wished I hadn’t had him. But when he was little, I did use to wish, that I got some off days and didn’t have to look after him all the time. Sometimes, I do it even today when all of it seems a lot to contain, even if it is just a fleeting thought, to stop everything for a bit. I like to be open about my experiences since I feel it not only helps me vent out my feelings but at the same time might even be helpful to plenty of other moms-to-be and new moms who are struggling and overwhelmed with their newfound responsibility. How I wish I could get the road of motherhood all mapped by the mothers who happened to forage the road ahead of me.

Motherhood bliss – The Acceptance

I so wish there were an apprenticeship for motherhood because at times the tending gets converted into toiling which becomes torture and leaves you frustrated. The sleepless nights of the demanding baby, day after day, was driving me berserk. And if I am being completely honest, some days were hell. My thoughts and feelings came as a shock to me as well and it made my heart swell with a sense of guilt for having a thought like that, even if it was momentarily. But I prefer to be rather open and talk about it than being demure.

Motherhood bliss – The myth of the bliss or the bliss in the myth

I do not deny the fact that I am in total awe and utter love of the magic that has been transforming my life into something that I could never have imagined was even possible. And here I am spending my days just staring at my baby sleeping peacefully; blissfully unaware of the turmoil my life has turned into. I love my son to bits and not in my dreams do I want to miss out on the tiniest minuscule moment of watching him grow, but, it would be wrong if I say I am lustily obsessed with him. Somewhere in the deepest corners of my heart, I do feel the slightest glimmer of sadness emerging from time to time for how my life has taken a drastic turn- how the things that were my top priorities once do not even make it to the list now. My bookshelves which consisted of romantic novels are filled these days with books of Eric Carle and Peppa Pig. Do you see what I am trying to get at? Some would argue that I could still keep those books, oh yes I can, but where do I find time to indulge in the luxury of reading my own books when my booklover son wants me to read the book where “the very hungry caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly” a hundredth time? So what if it has begun to get boring? Those looks of spark and twinkle in my kid’s eyes make me read to him once again. It makes me wonder where I lost the old me and sometimes even question if it even existed.

Motherhood bliss – The Challenge

Privacy has become the thing of the past. I consider myself lucky if I get my 2 minutes in the loo without my toddler peeping from below, banging the door, sticking out his leg inside the door or inserting whatever toy he finds from below. Forget about enjoying those long leisurely baths I once used to do. Most of the time I am busy planning and plotting for finding or devising ways to sneak in and out of the loo without getting noticed by my all-the-time-alert toddler. But all in vain (sigh)! I have become so busy that I don’t even find time to grieve for the things that once used to give meaning and definition to my being. They now exist just in memories. But yes, this lurking sadness is definitely undeniable and pops its head every once in a while. Many choose not to talk about it, but I, on the other hand, choose to acknowledge it and be vocal about it.

Motherhood bliss – The Realization

Here, I am not questioning “motherhood bliss”, but, as a matter of fact, I am trying to portray its true meaning and what it actually encompasses. I am not afraid of admitting my fear and apprehensions thinking they make me any less of a mother. I am ready to embrace the true motherhood bliss with all its seasons, including the tending and the toiling, and to delve deeper into the motherhood bliss unwrapping the cornucopia of things it has to offer. I have come to understand that it is okay to miss the old me, but, not get too overwhelmed with it. I have also come to the realization that rather than ignoring the drastic identity makeover, acknowledging the unfathomed loss and embracing the profound meaning of motherhood brought me closer to myself and my baby. It made me love motherhood more and that too, guilt-free. If it gives you some relief, just know that every mother has to go through these challenges only some are candid about it though. You are not alone in this and I hope I could be of some help.

Let’s observe this International Women’s Day by celebrating the change rather than ignoring it and enjoy the true spirit of motherhood the way it was intended to be – “a little more of privilege and a little less of sacrifice!”

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

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How Mr. Husband sees me being a Stay-at-home Mother?

I’m proud of her regardless of her being a stay-at-home mother or a working mother.

I am a stay-at-home mother as of now and definitely a proud one (Check out my previous post for more on being a stay-at-home mom). Our son is still small and there’s no one to look after him if I decide to go to work and leave him behind. Moreover, I have trust issues about keeping a nanny to look after my kid while I’m gone. So the situation demands of me to be a stay-at-home mom and I’m doing it happily. Yet, sometimes, in doing the same mundane activities day in and day out, I find my own identity rather lost in this new role.

Mr. Husband has been very supportive of my new role throughout and thinks very highly of me. He is not very expressive of his feelings but when he does he makes it a point to be stark clear. Here is what he thinks of me being a stay-at-home mother.

Stay-at-home mother vs Working mother

My wife is a stay-at-home mother as of now. We conceived when it was the peak time for her to be working and fulfilling her ambitions. But she decided to give her career aspirations a rest to start a family and bring this tiny human being to life which has become our whole world. But at the time, none of us had the slightest idea what we were signing up for.

Even one year after delivering she has had to put her dreams on hold to tend to this little life that we’ve created. Not that she is complaining or she isn’t proud of her new role as a stay-at-home mother, trust me we both truly are. I would have been equally proud had she been working, but we also can’t deny the fact that she did have to make sacrifices and change her priorities to take up this new role.

Not me, but her.

And then, on the other hand, there are also mothers who choose or have to work feeling guilty for having to leave their babies behind. It’s very difficult to choose one over the other, knowing that between the two there’s no such thing called a perfect choice, or even a good or a bad choice for that matter. And though neither of the decisions comes easy and both the decisions demand immense courage, strength, sacrifice, and bravery, it should be welcomed wholeheartedly and appropriately lauded.

Did you just read bravery? Oh yes, you read it right. It is, as a matter of fact, an act of bravery that we must give due credit to.

Why this constant debate about a stay-at-home mother and a working mother?

I feel it’s very shameful for us to even have this constant debate and categorize motherhood into stay-at-home mothers and working mothers. It’s rather pitiful how some of us look down at stay-at-home mothers and secretly diss on them, at the same time judge working mothers for being heartless and make them feel guilty for leaving their babies behind.

We should understand that there’s more to motherhood than what seemingly meets the eye. Motherhood is one true empowering spirit in itself and it doesn’t really matter if she’s a stay-at-home mom or a working one. It’s the feeling, emotions, and sentiments with which she enjoys motherhood and which makes her happy is what really matters in the true sense. Because after all, she’s the centre of everything, she’s the axis on which our lives revolve, men’s as well as the kids’. In my words,

“Children might be the heart of the family, Dads might be the body, but Moms are definitely the soul of the family.”

So let’s not put them in any category, rather just celebrate them for the beautiful souls that they are.
We really need more husbands to think like this. I’m thankful that I’ve got support and encouragement because somedays as a stay-at-home mom can get really overwhelming.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

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My Post-pregnancy Care Journey

I’m a beautiful mommy (I like myself to call that) to our perfectly happy and healthy 14-month-old. I delivered through a c-section in November 2016 and I had gained a whopping 20 kilograms during my pregnancy.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I had grown so huge that random people often asked me if I were carrying twins. But I was soon able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which caught many people by surprise. People also complimented me for the same and were eager to know how was I able to shed all that baby fat so quickly.

My Journey

I told you I was huge!

Being a mother is a beautiful feeling, but mothering is a hard work and highly demanding, and in the overwhelming frenzy of being a good mommy it’s very easy to neglect and stop caring for yourself. Unfortunately, I fell prey to the same thing. I thought it was selfish of me to take time away from the baby and tend to my own needs.

But what I didn’t realize was that by neglecting taking care of myself not only was I risking my ability to take care of the baby, but also my ability to enjoy my motherhood to the fullest. So then Mr. Husband had to step forward and explain how vital it is for me to be well rested, eat healthy, be stress-free and remain healthy both physically and emotionally. So here I am sharing my post-pregnancy care journey, how I took care of myself (still do) and what I did differently:

1) Massage:

Having delivered through a c-section massage wasn’t an option for me until after about 2 months when the stitches healed properly. I was reluctant about having massages initially as c-section wasn’t easy on me. I was too shy to let any “maalishwaali” give me a massage. But Mr. Husband was adamant about giving one and after getting massages I was really rejuvenated. It helped relax my sore back and leg muscles, get my body toned. Not only having regular massages helped me get back in shape, but also fastened my recovery.

2) Eating healthy:

Eating healthy hasn’t ever come naturally to me as I am very fond of junk food. But when I was pregnant, I was overly particular about timely having healthy and nutritious food since I knew that whatever I ate would be directly affecting the baby. And I continue to do the same for whatever I eat still affects the baby indirectly if not directly. I drink plenty of water to keep me hydrated, which is also good for a healthy skin.

3) Taking proper rest:

Feeding the baby every 2-3 hours really took a toll on me and left me sleep-deprived (read turning me into a zombie – a Mombie, if that’s even a word). Well-meaning relatives advised me to nap when the baby naps, but you know it’s easier said than done. I honestly did try, but it only left me with pounding headaches. So, initial 2 months were really difficult for me until the baby got set into a proper sleeping and waking pattern. Now I enjoy good amounts of sleep if not for very long hours.

Happy to be pregnant! Pregnancy Photoshoot.

4) Exercise:

Having been gifted with an athletic body I never felt the need to exercise as such, but I continued having brisk walks and leisurely strolls regularly for an hour or so, both in the mornings and evenings. This helped me recuperate back to my shape and restore my health. Losing those extra pounds wasn’t difficult for me, all thanks to breastfeeding the baby exclusively for the first 6 months.

5) Personal care:

During pregnancy, I suffered from the skin pigmentation which resulted in dark and patchy looking skin. I had pigmented and patchy looking skin all over my body, especially tummy, neck region and underarms, for which the pregnancy hormones were to be blamed. I was very upset, but whatever I did about that didn’t improve my condition one bit. But now that those hormones are getting flushed out of my system the darkening is fading out itself. Still, I used to frequently lather those areas with a good moisturizer which also kept my skin moisturized.

6) Maintaining mental and emotional health:

Maintaining a sane mind in pregnancy and post-delivery can be quite tricky. All thanks to pregnancy hormones! With all the sleep deprivation, frequent mood swings (read anxiety) and round the clock demanding baby it can really get on your nerves. But a good mom is the one who maintains close relationships with friends and gets help when she realizes she isn’t coping well. She needs to talk to any trusting soul and ask for help if needed. I have kept in touch with my friends and other moms from my various communities to get all the information I need on baby care and mommy care and also ask for help if need be. It not only makes me stress-free but, also helps me cope better, have a positive attitude and get relaxed.

This is how I have been taking care of myself and now I’m far more equipped to raise a healthy child. In the end, kudos to all the mothers for their unconditional love for their little ones. And yes, we are definitely not being selfish by taking care of ourselves! So stop feeling guilty. Go on and pamper yourselves as much as you can.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine


I am learning how to grow my blog with Neha from Bloggingmadeeasier.com. In case if you are interested in joining for next batch – Join grow your blog challenge here (https://bloggingmadeeasier.com/grow-your-blog-challenge-fundamentals-of-a-profitable-blog/). Also read Lessons I learned from my pregnancy by Deepshikha, Power Yoga For Healthy Mind & Body by Silja and How I Lost That Baby Weight – 10 Realistic and Practical Ways by Kuhoo.

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