It’s finally the weekend…while leaving from work I see happy faces, people making plans to go out…movies…parties..catching up with friends…or binge watching some stuff on Netflix.I try to sneek out hurriedly from work as for me “its my time to be with my baby” ..I know it sounds rosy..like the “awww” feel but it may not be what you want every weekend like on a loop sorts. I have no plans..and if you are thinking, I am the adventurous kind who loves to take life as it comes…well No..on the contrary I would rather prefer a manual which helps me navigate through my day to day life..like literally yes that’s what I want at present.
Was I always this boring/predictable? Nopes…I always thought i’ll be the coolest mom ever…like going around meeting my friends…watching movies…shopping…roaming the world with my baby neatly tucked in the baby gear and me all set to conquer the world as the new age mama!! Wasn’t it how we all thought we would be? But little did we realize that how life will change once you become a mom.
Right from the time we bring the baby home…husband back to work after a week.. and there you are with the baby…night and day…figuring out how to put him to sleep…how to feed him..when to feed him…is it time to change the nappy already?? Didn’t I just do it like 5 minutes back? or he is hungry again? Did he just puke? Feed..sleep…change..Feed…repeat on …24*7.
In this whole routine one thing you crave the most is some company. Some one to hear you out..may be just listen to you the whole day and even see you cry…but just be there with you..without judging you…on how are you dealing with the baby…are you feeding him enough or are you making him burp properly. How many of us got that one person? I didn’t. I bet most of us struggled through this phase on our own.Surely our partners and family were there..but I’m sure none of us went to them and spoke about these issues. As we are not supposed…Come on…you just had a baby…you should be ecstatic…almost about to jump from the roof…isn’t that what you always wanted in life..to be a Mom. I do not remember mentioning the word depression or feeling lonely in front of my parents even once. I might have passingly said to my partner once but never did I press it enough for him to realize that I was indeed very lonely. There were days when I used to just stare at the walls of my room…closing on me..and I did not had the will to move out to save myself…I felt I was drowning…deeper and deeper and I cannot do anything about it. I remember writing an email to him once, but I never sent it. It’s still in my drafts and every time I read it I am in tears.
What leads us to this point? I feel it’s a combination of our society’s perception and our own state of mind. Everybody feels the mother needs rest or alone time to bond with the baby..so they tend to stay away (which holds good for a lot of people you would rather avoid) and as far we are concerned, we are anyways lost in managing this challenge of ensuring we survive the sleepless nights and the endless cries. This whole sleep deprivation thing can be extremely bad for our mental health and it just adds to the mess we are in at that point of time.You are irritable, you do not feel like talking to anyone…clueless and confused we are just trying to prove ourselves..that yes we can do this and We do…we absolutely end up ensuring the well being our baby…but what about us?
We are lost in this transition from a woman to a mother…slowly we start to realize that we probably do not fit in with our peers…colleagues or cousins or even our partner who were like buddies earlier. Reason – our whole life surrounds around our babies. We practically cannot talk about anything else for more than 5 minutes without mentioning our baby. Expecting others to be interested in this the whole time is a bit too much to ask..isn’t it? Also now with a baby in life..all your plans revolve around him too…his nap time..his feeding time….his poop time…no really it’s important. Amidst all of this…you only end up looking at pictures of your “Once upon a time circle” on social media…having a drink at your favorite joint or clicking selfies on a holiday you can only dream of right now. You feel left out…like the world has forgotten you and you start questioning your existence. Your maid might get more importance from you…than what you get from your supposed circle (harsh but true).
It feels horrible and incredibly lonesome.You feel like you are trapped, you also feel like leaving your baby and running to some place else where you can actually live your life and like sleep…and there is nothing wrong if you feel this way. It’s the most natural feeling and the world needs to wake up to this.
How do your deal with this? Well I am still struggling to figure out myself but somethings which have worked for me were
- Call up your friends as often as you can – like if you cannot go out…call them home. It might sound crazy but trust me…adult interaction can help you feel normal faster than anything else (even if it’s temporary..it helps)
- If you are genuinely feeling like nobody cares…then dare to go out alone.Take your baby with you if there is nobody to look after…venturing out will do you loads of good…its like a big incentive to get up..get ready and do something you have not done recently.
- Read read read…Thanks to the internet we have lots and lots of books and articles which can help you sail through this time. pick up what works best for you and keeps you motivated enough to survive this time
- Talk to your partner – like seriously if you feel you are loosing it…be open about it. He would never realize it until you give this message with a tone “like you are about to go bankrupt”…you need help and he is the best person to help you out.
In a nutshell, I would say that it’s a big change for us and we can’t really blame others for not feeling the way we do for ourselves…they have no clue! (which is a larger issue that we need more awareness around this topic which can practically help reduce cases with Post par tum depression).For now Mommies…hold on to your babies and let go off your fears…you’ve got this and you will sail through this time. For every tear you shed staying up at night wondering how life has changed for you…there will be a smile ahead when you look back and see – you were strong enough to make it through!