When I was applying for maternity leave, I was so looking forward for the break. The last long vacation which I had was during college days and afterwards it used to be hardly a week off. I made a list of books I wanted to read, my hobbies which I wanted to pursue and other list of to-dos which I was not able to do due to lack of time. Now I feel that I was so naive that I completely mistook a maternity leave as a vacation. With the arrival of baby everything changed. First three months he kept crying, I was stuck in a never ending cycle of feeding, soothing, rocking my baby. Forget about reading novels and pursuing hobbies, I felt like I have achieved a great feat if I am able to complete my daily chores along with my baby.
After re-joining work everything was becoming more and more difficult. My house looked like a complete mess. Leaving for office itself felt like a job as you have to get ready and make your kid ready. Already it was a tightly packed schedule and now add one more member to that schedule. By the time I made it to office, I used to be completely drained. After coming from office you have to catch up all the lost time with your baby, check on dinner, plan for next day's tiffin and various other tasks. You end up lost in all other works that you actually don't have time for yourself. The stylish, well dressed diva is lost in this process and you start seeing visible changes, I was not like this before. Add to this, is the guilt of not giving enough time to your child and you feel completely heart broken.
Where am I getting wrong?I can see all super moms in the advertisements, commercials. All of them well dressed, their houses clean and they are so perfect in all their roles be it as an employee, as a mother, as a daughter in law. You feel like introspecting yourself, and try to imitate that super mom from the commercials. You start comparing all aspects of your life with hers and try to master every single role of your life. Eventually, it takes a toll on you and you give up and then you wonder whats wrong with me, is it that difficult? Can't I have it all, a clean house, well behaved kids and excellent performance at job?
The answer is No. You can't have it all. The super moms in the commercial are in a hypothetical situations where no real mom has ever been. You don't have to be part of a race where you are trying to prove everyone that you are the best at your role. Yes, you are going to make mistakes as a mom. You are going to clean your house for the nth time till your toddler again makes it a mess just before any guests arrive. No need to plead guilty, its ok if your house is not in good shape just tell people the interiors are designed by your child. Its ok if you cannot make ten different dishes a day and end up making dal - roti even for your guests. Its ok if your toddler paints your wall with his doodles. Its ok if you dont stay back late at office and you dont get the best performance rating. Give you best and let the rest of it work out. Dont push yourself harder on anything. Slow down.....take your own time. You are not a part of any race. You are a wonderful woman and you are honestly doing your job well.