In a new initiative by Rabitat ‘Meet the Mom,’ we invited super moms Shweta, Radhika, and Neha to discuss the joys and issues that come with motherhood.
Shweta is a full-time mother of a three-year-old, a photographer, and a Social Media Influencer for many moms and moms-to-be. Radhika is again a full-time mother of a three-year-old and an independent HR Consultant. Neha is also a full-time mom of a 10-year-old and Digital Marketing Head at Rabitat.
With Meet the Mom, we intend to share awesome tips, tricks and hacks with you all. We aren’t only focused on delivering the best baby products to you, we also believe that you should have the best time of your life being both a mother and a wife. Most importantly, we value your womanhood and the never-say-never spirit.
A Happy Mother = Happy Child
In this episode, the three moms discussed the challenges we all encounter when it comes to keeping ourselves happy. Even though I know that happiness is something that comes from within, I still have to look out for reasons to be happy. Like it isn't easy to be where you are at the moment. The mind is always (always!) running from here to there and you just can't help but sit and try to catch up with the world.
So, as the conversation starts, Neha asks the two mothers about it. And I totally agree with Radhika when she says, "A happy mom for sure equals a happy baby. If you’re not happy, your child, no matter how young he is, is surely feeding off your energy, the vibe, you know, that’s in the house. So, like you said, it’s a huge challenge to keep yourself happy. Specially at the time when you just deliver."
The Baby Blues
Do you remember? Remember the time when you'd just delivered an entire human growing in your body? I mean, remember the baby blues? My days were amazingly annoying. I was on the top of the world at one point and on the opposite the other times. But one of my friends had it way worse - she suffered from postpartum depression and I can never ever ever describe the pain as I saw it. Damn. Those days are just weird in their own peculiar way and you can't understand what's going on. Whatever your homies say, I recommend you to get help whenever you feel the situation to be getting out of your hand. Please.
Coming back to the discussion, Neha brings up this one point - "There's so much advice floating around… And now, I mean, you’re running back to your doctor for every little thing! And you’re also getting a lot of information at home. 'Do this, don’t listen to the doctor, they don’t know anything.'" Okay so, can you relate as much as I can? I mean, this actually pierced through my heart because of how much I can relate with this. So we run back and forth the doctor, our mothers, sisters, and grandmothers give us innumerable mini packets of information that aren't easy to process, at least I wasn't able to process them. So there's an information overload and then there's the internet! I still think about that time and trust me, my head is about to explode! (I, in fact, still have those moments because my daughter is only three.)
If you're going to be a mom and you expect yourself to be enveloped with so much information, listen to what Shweta has to say, "The moment I delivered I told my mom, I said: You need to follow me now. Done with those times now where you say “I’ve also delivered” and all that, whatever my gynae says, whatever my pediac says, I’m gonna follow that because I’m a new mom. Let me experience it myself."
No no no, don't get us wrong. The only thing you can do in such a situation is to decide and rely on one source of information, whether it's your doctor or anybody else that's educated enough to guide you. When you have a lot of sources of information, chances are that the information will overlap and often be contradictory, which is likely to leave you muddled and in the middle of nowhere. And - of course - everybody is meaning well, they only want to make it easier for you, as Radhika tells us, but it's equally important to not get confused and lost. It's important that you don't second guess yourself because you actually don't know what you have to do with the baby.
If I tell you my story, my daughter was only 3 weeks old when she got this fever that scared the hell out of me. Everyone around me was telling me to calm down but I couldn't. I was freaking out. But I decided to go to the pediatrician and get help. The doctor not only helped me understand that there was nothing to worry about, but I also realized that there's a lot that we don't see. No offence to anybody, but my mom was fully with me in this, she's always advised me to go to the doctor because there is always something they know more than us. And they're definitely usually more experienced than any of us. But what happened was that I ended up second guessing myself because it was so hard on me. I realized that my baby is another human altogether. She isn't just a doll that I only have to feed and play with.
Lifestyle Changes Add to it
Then there's not just the hormones that are giving us the 'blues,' it's also a lot of other things. Many mothers have to take a break from their well-established careers, many have to drastically change their lifestyles, many even end up doing what they'd pledged to never do - I am one! I had decided to never be the stay-at-home kind of mom. I've always liked going out. I'm the one that doesn't enjoy sleeping on weekends, I'm the one that holidays… the one that's always on the go. This is something that changed after I delivered my daughter. And it wasn't even something I could control. It came inherently. I didn't have to force myself, I just did it. My daughter is three now and I can't go on holidays as much as I used to.
And I know I am not alone when I hear Shweta explain it too, "You know, you’re doubting yourself; you don’t wanna go out. Then there’s a baby, there’s so much happening in your life, career, again, a question mark… And then... I'm a new person; a completely new person, again, with a new person in my hands. So there's so much happening around you… if you’re not keeping yourself motivated, believing in yourself then you’re just gonna lose it completely. Your sanity is something... you have to have it intact - no matter what is happening around!" Shweta says so much and it actually communicates the feeling with me too well.
On this, Neha comments that the mother starts to feel invisible as soon as the baby comes and becomes the focus. This makes the mother's happiness to take the backseat and something unimportant. "Nobody thinks about it and it's not even something that's discussed!" - She explains.
Shweta further adds that after she left her career of 10 years post the arrival of her child, that is when she actually thought about getting back to her forgotten passion of photography, which she started working on again and became the successful Instagram influencer she is today. While she admits that her work isn't really considered as 'work,' but it helped her because she got something to hold on to, something to fill her days with. Then the conversation leads to them husbands! Ahh, unbeatable. Shweta points out that no matter how much her husband loves her, he couldn't understand her at that point in her life. And I am not very happy to admit that I have been through the same. I guess we all have.
Radhika believes and says, “But I think the more I speak to more of my friends, people are kind of going back to these old wive’s tales.” Which is - again - true. We all have our own potions or Kadhas recipes as an inheritance from our moms and grandmoms that come really handy whenever our child catches a cold or something. Neha reveals that even she gets it whenever it’s being made for her daughter to treat her cold- because, why not!
Girlfriends are a Blessing for New Mothers
Referring to the period of the blue days, Radhika tells us that she totally gives it to her sisters and girlfriends. She tells us that she always looked to them during her lean period as she "really thought that they were the people who could understand what she was going through."
"They can relate to it, even if they don't, you're not looking for advice. Sometimes you're just looking for someone to listen to you." Which I agree with. Hands down. You really need to vent, you want someone to listen to you and just that. No advice on what to do with the baby, the stitches, the stretch marks or the belly! So having that support system is very important and all of us must lend each other willing ears that don't give up on the never-ending stories of pain and happiness.
And then, you know, you have to look for happiness inside you to be happy on the outside too. But I feel that it's easier said than done. Finding inner happiness in the midst of the chaos is… impossible, unless you have something to divert your mind to.
If you ever find yourself in a situation like that, where you're super confused about how to forget the baby for some time - which is equally important for you as well as the baby's health - you have to take Neha's advice. She suggests getting into conversations that don't include the baby. And your friends are the only ones that can make it possible because your husband and family are still focused on the mewborn. "That's where the mother doesn't just feel like a milch cow, and she can be herself. She's more than a mother… she isn't just somebody's mummy." She adds.
Tips from the Mammas for the Mammas
Neha then asks the mums the one thing that they do for themselves - minus the husbands and girlfriends, something pure indulgence to find their peace and happiness.
Radhika says that she takes off to the hills to be by herself or with her friends. I love this tip!
Shweta has it even simpler and kind of inexpensive! She names it - a simple blow dry. She gets it and is home all happy and cheerful and enjoys some music at her home to extend the happy period. I love this tip too! I am not exactly sure how that works but it works wonders. I am sure it would work wonders for you all too.
Sharing her own thing, Neha agrees with Radhika and finds her happiness in the hills. She sends her daughter off for a short weekend when she packs her bags and goes travelling with her husband or friends.
And here's one rule from Neha that I personally feel everyone should follow - plan your trips such that one is with the child and one is without it. So you don't always feel guilty of being too much with or away from them. Even if you're guilty - cope with it because balance is critical.
So while you're planning to do things for your infant's happiness, it's actually more important to be happy yourself because the child feeds off your vibe. If you aren't happy, your child can't be happy. Give your child an elated, cheerful environment in which they can grow up to be healthy and positive. Remember, positivity brings prosperity and happiness brings health.
So pack your bags or go to the salon - or whatever makes you happy. Just let your hormones take you higher than lower.