My husband usually doesn’t appreciate certain topics that I touch upon in my posts. He says ‘people might think you are weak’ or ‘they might think you are complaining about them’. But there are some things that I would like to share and talk about and no, it’s not a complaint. Actually, THIS is a humble request to the society at large.
By now, we all know (whether or not we are parents) that becoming a mother is probably easier than BEING a mother. A lot of effort goes into raising a child; maybe not so much in creating one inside. That’s just me!
This time last year, I was at a surprisingly high social presence rate. People (I am not exaggerating) used to gape as to how I managed to move my 8 month pregnant belly and 22 month old toddler from corner to corner of the city, being a social butterfly (social enthu-cutlet, more so). I was actually out and celebrating Diwali 10 days before my delivery. Yes, my folks were shocked and no, I had no issues whatsoever. Once my baby girl came into the world, things changed upside down. If you know me (from my posts and rants), you will know that it’s a nuclear set up in our home and I manage just about everything except sweeping, mopping and washing utensils. So, for me another baby in the mix was a lot of work. When it came to being my social self, that part of life took a back seat. I would say I sent it to the boot.
Nod your head if you agree that dating, marriage and children have changed the width and type of your social circle greatly. I have THREE friends who have put up with my nonsense and loved me through my pregnancy and both kids. They didn’t have babies at that time, but they never said no to me. Post children, I forged different kinds of friendships – virtual ones. Maybe it is the fact that, like me hundreds of mothers find ‘ME’ time in between feeds and at weird hours of the night that brought us together. Props to Facebook, importantly. So, there I was happily forming a safety net online while in real life, I REALLY didn’t have the stamina to get ready and step out.
Seriously, dragging two kids and myself out of the house (looking presentable and not pooped) was an exhausting deal. I decided that I preferred the company of my TV, couch and crochet to that of the outside world, because I just couldn’t head out without wanting to throw myself in front of that Ola cab. It was too much of a task. But I did try! Why I gave up was because it didn’t seem worth it to have two fussy kids in each arm and a puffing-panting me at the end of it all.
You see, the biggest issue that haunts mothers (new and old) is anxiety and depression. Even without being a parent, if you feel neglected for some reason, you tend to put yourself into a lot of stress by over thinking. Especially with new mothers, it takes a LOT of push to keep them positive and going. Believe me, looking at spit-up stained t-shirts and bird’s nest hair every day in the mirror can seriously affect your head. What kept me floating through my anxiety attacks and phases of depression is what I call the ‘sisterhood of motherhood’. Nope, it’s not a cult or something but these are the few people who were and are available for me to fall back on. These are the people who have always pinged, called, dropped even and even called my husband to check on my wellbeing. So what if I wore the same pants three days in a row? So what if the house looked like a mini hurricane had just worked its way through? So what if the children were BAWLING all day? They didn’t leave me alone. They pulled me through most of the difficult times in the past year and they are the reason I am writing this.
Kindly do me a favor and read through below.
If you know a woman who has birthed a child, for the first time or the millionth (not possible, unless she is Kunti), please do this:
- Check on her. Even if you are sitting in a cinema, just ping her and say ‘hey! I am at this movie that’s totally crappy. I wish you had been here, we would have laughed our derrieres through this!’. She can’t make it for the movie, but she just wants to know that she isn’t forgotten.
- Offer to help. Even if she’s as ridiculous as me to be sinking up till the neck but still refuse help. Offer nevertheless.
- Visit her once a while. Yeah, most times will be nap times or boob-times, but you will know that she feels great after a visit. Perked up, actually.
- Involve her. Even if she isn’t coming tequila downing on Saturday night with you, she’d like to know. Hey, everyone likes to feel a bit important.
- Be grateful for the times she’s helped you and been by your side. Don’t let her down when she needs you. Friends happen once and remain through ebbs & flows of time. They aren’t momentary. If they are, then they are just acquaintances.
Really, this is more than just about me. This is about not letting a mom who is already exhausted, feel further like crap. She would be better off without wondering why there were plans being made without her or why none of the friends from before (not you, my 4th standard ‘bench buddy’. I still hate you :P) have checked on her. Every woman deserves better and the least you can do, is send in some good vibes, right?
Of course, the good vibes do mean that she will be super teary-eyed when you give her a hug and might bake breads and cakes at midnight just to show you how much it means to her. But if you don’t do it now, you will never be able to do it again. Not to her, at least.
Do it for your sisterhood of motherhood. Stick around, don’t let go.
~ The Lazy Parent