As a little girl growing up, I had an overactive imagination. I remember I would tie my mother’s Chunni across my shoulders as a cape and run around the house pretending to be She-Ra. I believed I had the power to do everything and anything in the world.
Now, all grown up, I still believe we women have at least one unique superpower of our own and collectively share a range of superpowers – like creating life, making milk, nurturing, high tolerance for pain, multitasking etc. Having said that, I still find myself enfeebled by baby blues.
I read about the emotional roller coaster mothers go through after birth, at some point I thought to myself “ah … I’ll be fine” and sure, NOW, I am fine as I realised there is nothing wrong admitting the blues have come my way and have painted my day. Especially coupled with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in sunny ol’ England, the spectrum of my moods began to shade from blue all through to dark grey.
Already a few days into my baby blues rollercoaster ride, I am past the turn where I indulge in a lot of coffee, cheese crackers, chocolates and rice crispy squares (sorry Arjun…!!) I’m also passed the bend where one feels an enormous sense of guilt, a notion that the world would think less of my parental and maternal skills if I expressed my signs of weakness, and now find myself sliding down a curlicue forecasting into the future, thinking “oooh how will I raise my little one, what will I do different, how will I make ends meet …. or give him the life I so desired to”. I also went as far as to double my age and imagine what my life would be when baby is my age (I would be old …..and ….) I took a right U turn from here because this sure is was whirl and twirl of a mental torturous ride!
I have to admit this is part of the journey into motherhood, I’m far from perfect and far from the land where people go to escape the jolly blue ride. Be that as it may, I find myself at a T junction, hailing a random ride, in hope to find my way back in the direction of my happy place.
A bystander prescribed talking it out, expressing emotions, air drying my thoughts as it lightens the burden carried. My sceptic stoic nature doesn’t quite agree with this. I feel society has advocated this over and over again as though it bears some magic formula that take all woes away. (My scepticism turning to pessimism) I find it hard to do so, it seems to me, the people we speak to simply don’t quite listen or don’t listen attentively or maybe if they do listen, don’t understand. (its not their problem so why should they fully get it…) Many simply tell you what you want to hear and fill your ears with the generics. It’s hard to differentiate lip service from actual communication. Hmmmm so where do I go from here? how can I tap into my superpowers and take the blues by its horns … !
While at my T junction, and trying to hail a ride back to my happy place, I realised I cannot count on the world or anyone to get me there. I had to map my own path and I want to share this map with you all. I want to share with you some of the things I exercised to make me feel in control of my baby blues….. and transport me to a happier self. I believe we hold the power to take us to great places. And I still hold the power to do anything and everything in the world.
First things first, change your mind set. This may seem daunting, easier said than done, and as complicated as changing the wheel of a car! But trust me it is not. Sometimes you find your way back through words, unspoken thoughts pencilled down in words. Yes! write down your feelings. I found the process undemanding and secure. By penning down my thoughts I took ownership of my battles, they belonged to me…..and I owned every word that I wrote about myself. In a way it was relaxing to detach myself yet be in control.
You can set up a blog site, or simply use the old fashioned leather journal and write down a story on your blessings, or a poem on your views, share your likes or the things that make you happy. Create a happy vision, and focus on this vision, use this to turn the negativity that surrounds you into something positive to reflect back to. Does it all go away? no … is the problem solved? no…. but this approach allowed me to gain more strength, control and awareness to face the issues head on.
Within the words you’ll find yourself outlining things that seem to be bothering you. Organize your thoughts (now in words) on a pareto ranging from most important to trivial issues. Next to each write down what you feel you can do about it to turn the situation around. If you have a few that you simply have no control about (as I do ….) simply let it be and accept the fact sometimes not doing is actually doing more.
Another great way to turn the blues around is by showing your baby off!! Get out of the pyjamas and the winter onesies. dust yourself up, dust your makeup on! and get out of the house. Get yourself looking fresh and utterly gorgeous. Don’t forget to get baby’s best grove on too.
Take the strawler and go for a walk in the park, smile at everyone who walks past you. Carry a conversation with atleast one person and tell them about the beautiful journey into motherhood, show them the life you have created and before you know it, you’ll be engulfed with overpouring, overpowering pride exhibiting the results of one of your superpowers!
Get social and meet other yummy mummies, create a new circle of friends. Get on the cyber platforms like facebook, meetup, Twitter etc and reach out to your local community, other mothers in your area and create a group that you can meet face to face over a coffee to share and exchange your experiences. Making new friends and sharing a new phase together is great long lasting fun.
Set up small projects for yourself. This really helped me and gave me another form of purpose that most women feel they loose when they are a full time mom. I started making Arjun his very own personal collection of baby books. This is a fun project, a great way to add that personal touch and create a tailorfit book that you want to share with your little loved one. You can put pictures of holidays, draw cartoons, pictures of your favourite foods, family members name in alphabetical order etc. You have the first degree of freedom to develop something you want for your baby. Its also a great joy to have something to keep within the family for many many years are share with other generations to come.
Bond with Baby. Set up little play dates with your baby. Massaging your baby is a great way to bond with him/her. Or try different games, different toys and see how they react to them. Observe them learn their new world, watch their reactions, what makes their eyes light up with joy, what makes them cry. In turn, by bonding with baby you are inducing endorphins, the happy hormones in you.
And there you have It…… For all the women out there fighting the blues I want to assure you that it is within you to take control of yourself. We have been given the power to curb these sad grey hormones and more importantly remind ourselves of our hidden strengths.
I hope this helps you, you are not at all alone. The pointers above are a few things that help me feel in control, the first step is to take a stock take on how you are feel but don’t sit on it, don’t depend on others, do something positive about it and turn the hue blue of negativity into your bright shades of positivity. And don’t forget to share the positivity with your little one.
lastly, feel free to reach out to me if you want to share your views or make a friend. I’ll be happy to hear from you 🙂