My family, friends and colleagues used to describe me as fun-loving, energetic, adventurous, independent, ambitious and a big-time foodie. But not anymore. Not after I became a mother. I’m now a boring, stay-at-home mum, occupied 24*7 with my twin boys, not having time for anything else.
Well, I wouldn’t say they are wrong. For the past 10 months, I have been leading an isolated life, away from people and social activities. Once in four months, I get a chance to go out of my home, for an hour or two. I’ve been taking care of the household chores and the babies all by myself. Imagine how exhausting it can be! There are clocks everywhere in the house – in the kitchen, washrooms, balconies and bedrooms. I need to be active, alert and on my toes all the time. If I get 10 minutes for myself, I feel like I am on top of the world.
My pregnancy wasn’t a planned one. We wanted to wait for a few more years. I clearly remember the feeling inside me when the test reports showed positive. I was crying as well as smiling. Crying, because I wasn’t prepared for the new responsibilities. Happy, because I love kids and there would be a baby in my home. And a few days later, when the ultrasound scan showed there’s not one but two lives growing inside me, I wasn’t sure how to react. While the doctor was super-excited to give me the news, I wanted to run away somewhere. I was scared. Several thoughts were running through my head… The responsibility and expenditure would double. However, with time, I started enjoying the pregnancy phase. The heartbeats, the cute movements, the not-so-hard kicks inside my swollen belly – a truly magical feeling!
In July ’17, the tiny babies (we call them Puhor and Niyor) entered the world. Experiencing the first moments of the miracle of life will never be forgotten. And in the blink of an eye, life changed. With that one final push, I became a mother.
While for many, it can be a seamless transition, this new phase of life changed me. And I wasn’t sure if I liked the change. The lack of sleep, the ill-fit clothes, and the dark circles below my eyes were more-than-subtle reminders that I had fallen so far from the girl I used to be.
Before you judge me and call me names, I would like to clarify that I love my babies more than anything else in this world. Staring at them is still my favorite pastime. I enjoy watching each change and make sure to celebrate each milestone. I stay awake all day and night to calm them, play with them, feed them and change their diapers. I fight hard to nurse my babies even though my body fights equally hard against producing milk. I want the best for them – always.
But I also want ‘me’ – the adventurous, independent, fun-loving ‘me’.
Everyone enjoying a holiday in the hill station to beat the heat – that used to be ‘me’. Now, I have responsibilities. There are two little human beings who depend on me for survival and security.
Parenting isn’t what I thought it would be. It is no walk in the park. I find myself challenged to make decisions about how to proceed in a variety of situations. Where I was decisive once, now, I feel paralysed.
I lost myself when I became a mother…
But wait! That’s not the end to my story. This is a work in progress.
My mother made me realise that in reality, I haven’t lost my identity. I’ve just had a major change in my life – and now is the time to redefine my identity, to get over the negative feelings.
I’m not worthless if I cannot keep earning that 6-figure income. I’m not a bad mother if I cannot be as good a mother as mine was. My life is not lacking if I cannot go on a holiday and relax at any given moment.
With two infants of the same age, I cannot live the way I used to live. My mother helped me realign my goals and expectations with my new reality.
I learned to be kind to myself. I joined driving classes on weekends. I am almost done with my debut novel. I go out for movies when the kids are fast asleep at night. I engaged myself in a new hobby – gardening. I’m working on my dream project – taking the first step to becoming an entrepreneur. I am doing things I love. I’m happy. I’ve found the old ‘me’.