Saturday, 21 February 2015

Pregnancy Crises and my Coping Tricks

The making of a baby inside you and actually giving birth, is indeed an ennobling feeling. I have had the chance to experience it and have loved everything about it! In spite of that, I deliberately use "crises" in the title. With utmost honesty, I am sharing my reasons of pregnancy crises and what actually helped me cope up with it.

The life of both the parents changes for good, but the mother has to give up everything for a certain period of her life to encompass this new phase. The maternity leave doesn't begin with the birth, it begins from the time you declare "you are expecting". On Professional front - your organization starts excluding you from new developments. On Personal front - you start losing your hard earned body (Yes, I am a fitness freak! You can check my page on this topic here!), your food habits (luckily I didn't have to make much changes, but I have seen many struggle with this too!), your sex life (Only safe time is mid-trimester. Some couples have to give it up for all the months!) and lastly, your deep slumber (I am almost a year old mother, and I do not see myself sleeping well in the near future!) I would love to dedicate a different post on how I coped up with the professional front - I was able to work till the last day literally. After delivery, I was back within two months.

Coming back to Personal front, I constantly struggled with the thought of how I am going to balance my personal and professional lives?! What happens to the relationship with my partner and how we still manage "us" along with parenting and our already busy routines?! In all this, how am I going to even think about my own health and fitness?! There was no way I was going to give up on work - an essential part of what I am! At the same time, becoming a parent was my own decision, so everything that goes with it falls in my scope of coping up! Knowing that I am not alone in this, isn't always enough to actually find answers to these struggles! Here's what I did, it worked and I am happy! I am not going to deny the tremendous over burned working round the clock reality, but I definitely have more happy days and very rare frustrated days in a month! All the experienced parents would know, this means, it's already time for a celebration!

So here are a few of my major coping up mechanism.
  1. Have a Support system. Family, friends and day care centers are instrumental! My family knew that I was going to be a working mother even before I decided to have a baby. I needed all their support to make it work. Day care centers are one of the biggest investments you give to yourself and the baby!
  2. Accomplishing something is way too important than perfection at it. At one point, I realized, it is okay to be good at something and not fret over the inability to make it best! When you have a long list of "must dos" in a day, it is important to do them on that very day and not carry forward to the next day. In the pursuit of completing the "Must do" list, I eventually learnt that doing them is more important than how perfect you do them! 
  3. Babies don't come with working manuals. Parenting is a state of bliss but it can be equally confusing. You have everyone telling you different ways of bringing up your child and it induces a lot of pressure (At least it did to me). While it is important to acknowledge what everyone is trying to preach, it's equally important to insist that its YOU (parents) who decide the upbringing of your child. Every child is unique and so are the parents raising one. So implement what suits you best and have your own research to try your own ways.
  4. Disagreements do not mean disrespect. When you disagree on some points with the important people in your life, it surely causes deep guilt and tension within your relationships. Talk it out and convey that it is better to agree to disagree on somethings rather than attach emotions to it. Having different view points is individual and it's best understood that way. You can always try to bridge the gaps but expecting someone to completely surrender is actually disrespecting. I know it is difficult to convey sensitive issues, but it's better to start the communication channel than ruin one of the most pleasurable experiences for all!
  5. There is more to your life than motherhood. This isn't a bold statement at all, it's reality even for the women who think having a child is the only best experience of their lives. Many don't accept it, I am just being bold enough to articulate it! So please, do not slow down under the pretext of parenting. Remember, you are the first example setters for your children and this is your time to take a call of what kind of example you want to be! 
  6. Your condition determines the baby's condition. If you are happy, the baby is happy and vice versa. Do everything that makes YOU happy. I have had people yelling at me for not resting after delivery. But in my defense, I only focused on what was making me happy. I never really enjoy sleeping as a form of rest, not that I don't sleep when I really need it. But I'd rather sleep for sleep and not for "do nothing" sleep. I am happy when I am organizing closets, setting up rooms, cleaning difficult areas, writing, reading and anything that would call for an addition of something different! And that is exactly what I did while I was at home when the baby was sleeping. I even resumed work withing 2 months because that made me happy!
  7. Your fitness will give you everything that it takes to multitask. Parenting in my opinion, is that one thing which will ensure you will multitask for the rest of your lives. On top of that, if you want to be a working mother, you really need to be faster than others at the same things to fit in every bit. I hit the gym as soon as I was one and half months postpartum. And given my genes of obesity, I had to struggle a lot to lose the mummy fat! I accepted the body shape that changed due to delivery will be forever, but I can still attain a good BMI and body to gain confidence of looking good. Once I lost the pregnancy weight, it was nice to fit back into my old clothes! It is absolutely possible to give yourself that time to bring back your fitness. If I can do it, everyone can! And bonus, it will help you sustain your schedules in a great way!
  8. Do not forget "Us". Parenting is inexplicably time and energy consuming. Even if you are prepared for a lack of "us" time when you decided to have a baby, you should still have a time out for yourselves. Having babies does not mean end of your life as a couple! Go on couple dates or just a day all by your selves or if you can manage even mini vacations. Post delivery, you are expected to not have sex for the next 3 months. Lucky couples get to have sex mid trimester of pregnancy. But many couples have to go off sex for a year! And bringing your sex life back on track needs that time and attention. Something as instinctive as sex needs to be given that importance in order to experience its brilliant effects on your happiness quotient. 

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