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A friend came to me asking for advice on how to be a better mom. I said: ‘why do you want to be better, when you are the best? If you don’t believe me, go and see it for yourself in your child’s eyes!’
‘Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.’- George Eliot
Through our life, we constantly question our credibility as a mom. Am I doing good, am I doing enough, am I doing my best? Ultimately – am I a good mom?
Yes, you are! You don’t have to be ‘perfect’ to be a great mom. Also, you are not a bad mom just because you don’t enjoy doing a particular activity with your toddler or sometimes fail to pacify your crying infant, or don’t get enough time to spend with your child. You are doing your best and for your child, you are the best!
Research suggests that early bonding and connection with the primary caregiver plays an important role in the emotional development of a child. Amazing, isn’t it? The experiences that you give to your child and the bond that you form early in their childhood is going to impact the emotional development in your child’s brain! Moms, what a profound impact you have on your child’s life.
Here are a few lessons that I learnt from my journey as a mom that helps me keep my emotions in check and stay happy –
Don’t we say, the moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before, right? It’s a new role and you are learning as you go. The postpartum period also brings myriad changes – emotional, physical, lifestyle and many more. While you are learning to take care of your baby, you must remember to take care of yourself too.
Involve your partner, enlist their support and enjoy the journey of parenthood. Rebuild your strength, get rest and good nutrition. Believe me, your child is going to make you run, once he/she starts walking. Get, set, and go!
According to the World Health Organization, mental health is ‘a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’
The question is how do we do that? Start with making yourself a priority. Value your needs, interests and time. Carve some time out in a day to ensure your wellness. It can as simple as enjoying your sip of coffee (uninterrupted), a short walk, catching up on your favourite show, finishing the book you started or writing your diary. This ‘me time’ will help you to rejuvenate yourself and manage your emotions effectively.
Take out some time to exercise regularly. Research suggests that exercise increases endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and other brain chemicals associated with feeling happy, feeling confident, feeling capable, feeling less anxiety and stress. Eat a healthy diet rich in nutrients. Don’t forget to include fibre to the diet and also consume foods that keep your immunity up.
Make exercise a habit that you feel lost without. It could be anything: a refreshing run, relaxing yoga, or going to the gym. Remember it isn’t selfish to invest time to keep yourself happy and fit.
We often underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation causes many chronic diseases and according to a report- women report poorer sleep quality and have a higher risk for insomnia than men do. Trust your partner do step in when you need to take a break and squeeze in some shut-eye. Seek support from grandparents if required.
Body image is how you think and feel about your body. Sometimes moms find a disconnect with their postpartum body. Although one’s bodily traits don’t define them, feeling positive about it goes a long way in building one’s confidence.
Appreciate all that your body can do and look at yourself as a whole person. Don’t forget to tell your body that you appreciate it and pamper it. Moms, look at your stretch marks and remind yourself of a miracle that you created. Flaunt it and be proud of it.
You need to have friends in your life who can be your source of support. You need people who understand you, can listen to your silence and give a shoulder to lean on.
Moms, remember, you are special. Don’t wait for others to make you feel special. Every time you stand for your child, every time you hug your child, you love your child, you create a beautiful memory for your child. No one else can do it, the way you do! Tell yourself every day that you are the best because you truly are. Do not let anyone dull your shine.
“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” – Robert Browning
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