A Gift to Mothers: A Life Beyond Motherhood

lbm_smallBeing a mom is no cakewalk. People might claim to understand that, but only moms know what the journey is like. A mother needs to be on her toes, literally and figuratively, 24x7x365. It is only natural then, that many women, after attaining motherhood, tend to immerse themselves in their new found world and the expectations that accompany it so much so that they tend to forget their original self.

Self-preservation is a critical part of being an effective parent. At the end of the day, how your child experiences you depends on how you feel and what you do. Only mothers know how guilty they might feel when they unconsciously hold a grudge against their child for having taken their past life away from them. The sense of freedom and being carefree is gone. It is important to deal with the fact that the situation has changed in the absence of which, somewhere along the journey of motherhood, existential questions surface. What has happened to me and to my dreams? Is this really all I should be doing? How do I get back to being who I was? Is it selfish to want to do something for myself? Will there be a day when I am able to sit back and relax?

A mother who might be caught up in these questions every day, might find it tough to think about parenting at a conscious level on a daily basis. Remember the time when you tried to reach out to your mother or father or spouse to discuss something of utmost importance and you realized they were so caught up in resolving their own issues that you refrained from communicating with them? Hopefully your child would not experience the same. It is, hence, important to shift the focus of your unconscious mind from yourself to your child. That would happen only when you are able to make a conscious effort to be at peace with your life or to make some fundamental changes that result in a happier and more peaceful state of mind.

Many women around the world traverse the same journey and hopefully, you would feel better knowing that you are not caught alone in this quagmire. Also, know that there are professionals who are trained and specialized in helping you work through your unique situation so that you can carve out a life that is designed to realize your dreams. These professionals are called ‘coaches’. Life Coaches work with you to address aspects of your life that are intertwined with a few others and not limited to your profession or your relationships.  Coaching is goal based and action oriented and is different from counseling or therapy.

To know more about what coaching is and if it is for you, visit http://lifebeyondmotherhood.com or email to me at namrataa@lifebeyondmotherhood.com. You can avail of a Mother’s Day special complimentary trial session till 8-May.

This Mothers’ Day, gift yourself a new life – YOUR life – a Life Beyond Motherhood.

This blogpost is a reproduction of my blog written for Parent Edge (http://parentedge.in).

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Quit smart

aid1794110-728px-quit-a-job-while-on-maternity-leave-step-17With the kind of stress that corporate jobs tend to create, many men and women are choosing to opt out of the rat race to lead better lives. Studies have shown that one of the primary reasons that many women tend to opt out of their careers post having a child is the lack of support from the husband and the family in raising the child. Interestingly, there have been many cases recently, wherein women are moving to full time careers post having children while their husbands are choosing to take on parenting as a serious responsibility.

It is interesting to note that there is no longer a taboo associated with choosing to lead a life that allows one to focus on parenting. This holds good for both the parents. With the kind of changing climate conditions which bring with them new age diseases including many learning disorders, parents are left with limited options and are happy to move out of their full time jobs. Making such a fundamental shift, which impacts your day–to-day life, does entail some unique challenges. If you are such a spouse, who has chosen to take the plunge, you might fear that your decision could adversely impact your relationship with your spouse, albeit temporarily.

Some things that you can do to ensure that you preserve happiness are:

a) Make a list of all the things you and your spouse have wanted to do but have not been able to for lack of time. Include the mundane tasks, of course but also add some exciting ones, like planning a vacation and starting a fitness drive at home.

b) Find productive ways to be engaged through the day. Productive may not always mean you earn money out of it though it is hopefully something that will enable you to earn some money at some point in time. It is ok to invest your time to learn more about something that you want to do.

c) Make time for your social life. It is now time to contact all those long lost friends, meet your relatives and just hang out at some interesting networking events.

d) Don’t shy away from spending within a budget. Agreed that you are no longer in a full time job but denying yourself small pleasures can pull you down. If heavy expenses are something you would like to avoid, indulge in the less expensive things. Go low on money and high on time.

e) Pat yourself on the back for having made a tough call. Remind yourself every day why you chose to give up your job and do something to prove to yourself that you made the right decision.

At some point in time in our lives, the family we hail from, the premier schools we went to and the fat pay cheques we used to get, all seem irrelevant. What matters, at the end of the day, is happiness and peace and anything that leads us to that is justified. What say?

This post is a reproduction of my weekly column on ‘Relationships’ in The Goan (http://thegoan.net).

Adrift

tumblr_o8et6avllt1qdjbb7o1_1280I need to tell the maid to come an hour earlier tomorrow..I have to remember to give my child the second dose of medication when she is back from school…I have to call for some groceries in an hour from now when the store opens…I only have 10 minutes to get ready and get going…(door bell rings – it’s the milkman). ‘Please come tomorrow for the payment’. I have to think about what to wear for that evening with friends tomorrow…Why won’t a plumber come in time to fix this leaking tap?..(phone beeps…it’s a friend). ‘Will get back to you by tomorrow’. I need to buy a pair of gloves for my daughter…All these, in a span of 5 minutes. This is just a trailer from 1 day of a working mom’s life.

If you are a working mom, you know what I am talking about. You go through these moments day after day after day, hoping that things will get better…hoping that soon, you will have half an hour to yourself or that you will be able to enjoy an evening out with your friends…and in that hope, life goes on and on and on. If that moment does not come soon, some of us might fall prey to our deteriorating health or friends and family who seem to be drifting away…or is it that we are drifting away from them?

In the effort to hold on to our strongest anchor, our child and our family, we might find we are slowly drifting away from our vision of our lives and how we had wanted it to be.

The good thing is, we know it when this is happening. We choose to live in that knowledge everyday, day after day. Sometimes, we reach a point when we do not know where our roots lie. We think we don’t have time for ourselves post having a baby when the truth is, we need to be rooted, in ourselves, more than ever. It is because we now have someone else to provide roots to.

The good news is that our roots are still with us. We have just gone adrift and lost touch with them.

You can choose to find your roots again and lead a sane life, just the way you would like to.

Life coaches can help you re-establish your connect with yourself. How? Sign up for a trial session free of charge and experience how it can help you.

Just send an email to namrata.arora@growth-cube.com.

Your life is yours to choose.

Happy New Year!