The concept of Motherhood isn’t essentially about sacrificing yourself for your baby. Taking care of yourself in the first place isn’t selfishness, rather it is the most important thing to do if you analyse things from the futuristic perspective. Taking care of yourself is the first thing that you could actually do for your baby and most importantly, for your own well-being.
Motherhood comes differently to all the mothers and I believe that any form of motherhood is beautiful because a mother knows exactly what is best for her and her child. On the very first visit to my doctor, postpartum, she tried to convince me that I have to sacrifice myself for the baby, considering now that I am a mother. However, I totally disagreed with this very typical point of view.
I believe that a mother already endures too much to bring a baby into this world and absolutely no one has a right to make any comments on how she should raise her infant. Having the courage to give up on your perfect body and let it turn into a canvas of stretch marks with every passing day, seeing your body loose it’s firmness and delicacy, loosing those beautiful strands of hair, seeing those Cinderella feet inflating day by day until one day you wake up with feet of an Ogre. Moreover, missing out on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook just because you don’t feel like posting yourself and memories from the past year, showing how beautiful you were before pregnancy, adding to your misery. Looking yourself up in the mirror and not being able to vibe with your true self.
Being unable to fit into your favourite clothes, not being able to put on that most cherished sparkly diamond ring that your husband gave you on your first wedding anniversary because your fingers have grown in their circumference. Losing that beautiful belly to what looks like an accumulation of jiggly jelly that aches and bounces whenever you laugh and walk, losing your perfectly straight posture because of the weight that you carried for nine months and the stitches that hinder you from sitting straight too early. Having leg and arm cramps at night, episodes of anxiety, crying for no reason, loss of confidence at times, pessimism, depression and baby blues but still putting up a smile because people expect you to act normal as soon as you get the baby out of your belly and even get irritated if you act lazy or come up to them as problematic individual because you cannot afford any problems or ailments now that the baby is out of your body.
Being unable to leave the house and enjoy life as you used to do, not being able to love your partner and enjoy his company and impatience to return back to your old self super fast but not being able to anytime soon. If all these aren’t the sacrifices that every mother makes for her new born, what else should we expect HER to do to prove her loyalty and commitment as a mother?
Sacrifice doesn’t essentially mean to give up on yourself in order to prioritise your baby. Rather, you can love and take care of your baby by choosing what’s best for both of you. You shouldn’t always go beyond your limit to prove your motherly love, rather you can do it the easy way too.
It’s okay to take those selfish naps in the day time while handing over your baby to the ones you could trust your baby with. It’s okay to introduce your baby to the bottle while you’re recovering postpartum. It’s okay to go out for a spiritual retreat as your baby stays at home with his/her grandmother. It’s okay to go out with your friends and have some fun. It’s okay if you don’t shed those extra pounds right after the delivery or even months after because you should determine the period of your physical and mental recovery and no one should have any say in this matter whatsoever. It’s okay if you eat some extra carbs without thinking twice about shedding your weight. Don’t bother the clumsy room and cluttered wardrobes because of the fear that people will judge your management skills. Instead, mind your own health and let people deal with their mental ailments themselves as that isn’t your responsibility.
Many women struggle to enjoy the early phase of motherhood, feel overwhelmed, distracted, anxious and lost. This might be because of so many sudden changes that a woman is going through in this new phase of her life and deteriorated health conditions, but that is also perfectly okay! It doesn’t mean that you love your baby any less. In fact, every mother love her child alike. You will figure it out with time and once things start making sense, you will start enjoying this new era of motherhood as well. Don’t push yourself through it and don’t be hard on yourself, it all gets better in the end.
It’s okay if you are unable to produce sufficient milk to satisfy your baby’s hunger, it’s okay to either exclusively formula or breast feed your baby. It’s okay to indulge in what interests you when the baby sleeps. It’s okay to let your baby cry for a while as you take your time to get up from the bed because every inch of your body aches with pains from injections, epidural, cannulas, internal and external stitches, uterine contractions and physical weaknesses from breastfeeding.
Its okay to try new things and choose yourself first because it is then you can raise your child well and enjoy the wholesome journey when you prioritise yourself and heal naturally, slowly and gradually, altogether. It’s okay if you don’t look like the same diva that you used to be, for quite sometimes, it’s okay to be clumsy without being apologetic, its okay to be forgetful and distracted just because there’s so much going on inside your body that you can’t always explain to others. It’s okay if you stay up some extra hours at night for some “me-time” after putting your little one to sleep because you also have a life of your own and there is so much that you want to do throughout the day but couldn’t because of such a drastic change in your routine.
It’s okay if you can’t control your expressions and look like an angry or depressed wench just because you can’t always smile to please people when you’re physically and emotionally strained. It’s okay if you’re wearing ugly clothes and not those fancy-shmancy attires anymore because your comfort is what matters the most. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Don’t let anyone force you to go beyond your new-mama-comfort-zone because in the end, people are going to judge you anyway. Your delayed recovery will also become a topic without any regard for your extreme sacrifices for the baby. Every mother loves her baby differently, so don’t let anybody tell you how to cherish your own baby.
Take your time, heal, process, explore and make your comeback when you feel like it and not because people expect you to do so!