Hi, I am Kalyani. I am a regular next-door type of a middle class Indian mother. From what I have seen, we don’t talk about our shortcomings openly. I have been told never to reveal how I truly feel because people will make fun of me. But sharing my story has helped many so I will continue to share it.
Here is my story…
I was the mom who was surrounded by so many other mothers who seemed to have it all together while I battled to stay afloat, I felt like I was suffocating almost all of the time, barely making it through the day while feeling a deep, intense feeling of loneliness. No one understood how I felt and there was no one I could talk to.
I was the mom who served leftovers for meals because it was easier and quicker than making a wholesome meal while trying to soothe a cranky, teething baby. Yes I felt that guilt more so because of the judgemental comments I got from “others.”
I was the mom who would take an extra 5 minutes in the washroom just to have 5 minutes of peace, 5 minutes to myself which left me feeling guilty.
I was the mom who hid in the pantry and stuffed her face with chocolates, chips and cookies because it was easier to stuff down my emotions than it was to deal with those emotions. And yes, I felt guilty after that.
I was the mom who tried to squeeze into her pre-pregnancy clothes every week because all I really wanted was to feel good about myself. I felt guilty for wanting to feel good, it made me feel selfish.
I was the cranky mom who constantly barked at her kids for the most inconsequential incidents and then felt like the worst mom in the world.
I was the mom who was called the worst wife and worst mother in the world by so-called relatives which really made me question myself – was I really that bad?
I was the mom who was silently battling postpartum depression
How did I change all of this? What did I do to put an end to this? The depression broke the wrong parts of me, depression broke my wings but depression forgot that I had claws.
It started with a simple belief.
That I was doing the best I can, all things considered. Even if it was leftovers, the kids were being fed and most important of all, they were happy.
That I was the best mother for my children, that is why I was chosen to be their mother and not anyone else. That is why I always see love in their eyes for me.
I stopped seeking validation from others and started with introspection and words of affirmation, reminding myself that I am valuable, I am a good mother, I matter, I am worthwhile, I am the best that I can be for those who matter to me. This brought about a quiet reassurance within me which enabled me to transform myself and my life to something magically beautiful.
If no one else has said this to you today, let me say it to you – you are an individual who deserves love, respect, recognition, value, dignity, appreciation, honour, adoration: not from anyone else but from yourself to yourself
Treasure yourself, love yourself, respect yourself – it all starts with you, the rest will fall into place.