On Postnatal Depression

Postnatal Depression is real and new mothers often fail to recognise it and reach out for help. If you are a new mother or going to be one or know someone who is, share this article  of mine on the topic. Yes, once again on Mums Write. Don’t forget to show some love by liking the article (only if you like it) 🙂

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I’m on Mums Write

So, I submitted an article to Mums Write and actually got accepted. If you are a parent or are going to be one, this might be some useful information. If you aren’t a parent, then share this with others who are.

http://mumswrite.com.au/putting-yourself-first/

Published on Mums Write

Life’s lessons in the form of a toddler

I have no idea when the terrible twos are supposed to begin. Baby A is 4 months short of being 3 years old and handling her is proving to be more difficult than I had thought. She is generally an easy child. She understands what I say and follows most of my instructions. Things started changing a couple of weeks back when she started becoming more wilful. She started resisting my instructions and doing things I have asked her to please not do. Now, it has reached a point where I am finding it extremely hard  to not scream my head off at her and lose it completely. Something that I end up doing at times.

Today as she kicked and kicked and kicked her high chair before I served her lunch, despite me asking her not too do so. I had to separate myself from the situation to cool my head enough to be able to see it dispassionately. I had already screamed at her and gave two time outs since morning. I didn’t want it to become a norm that she gets used to. The morning had already taken a toll on me. Now that I am calm enough to think about it, I feel that she too must have been frayed at the edges.

It is very easy to let temper take hold of you and do something that you can later blame on it. But the damage would be done and there would be no way to take back what you have already said or done. I am a staunch believer of seeing things from all angles to arrive at a solution/conclusion as to how to handle the situation or the people involved in it. So I took my own advice and left the room. I’m sure I confused her little mind by not saying anything and disappearing from sight. I just sat there in the living room, watching the sky from the window, breathing deeply and just thinking things out, while she thought I was punishing her and started her crying routine. But I wasn’t done gathering myself.

When I dissected the situation, I understood that it wasn’t her that was sending me off the edge. She did trigger my reaction, however it wasn’t the cause. There are a lot of things going on in my life that aren’t how I want them to be and it upsets me. And I have been doing useless things that would take my mind off those things (one of which is internet). And whenever Baby A does something that I think she shouldn’t, it makes me lose it. And her constant amma* this, amma that accompanied by whining doesn’t help either.

Pretty brilliant, eh? Something that seems like you have no control over, just after a few minutes seems so completely, logically workable. It is not her fault that she is strong-willed. In fact I want her to be strong-willed, in the right way, so that she doesn’t get bogged down later in life. I don’t want her to learn to blindly follow what someone in authority says. So it isn’t fair to ask her to blindly relent to my wishes. It is her right to know why she is being asked to do something, so it is only fair to explain it to her. It isn’t easy. It will never be easy. But it is the right thing to do. I should know better than to exploit my authority as a parent. And to do that, I should first get the irritants out of my life. Those that aren’t letting me see things straight.

Thank you little child, for teaching me something wonderful, something worth learning and something important to remember throughout my life.

I will make changes in my life through this coming week, that I believe would help restoring the health of my mind and body. And it starts with “Disconnect and Detox

I plan to disconnect with internet and social media for a week (to begin with) and detox both physically and mentally. Alongside I also want to cultivate some new habits and break the old ones. Of course, I will be back to tell you how it went.

So wish me luck. And see you around later.

PS: And mums, don’t beat yourself up if you do lose it once in a while. Scream if you must at that time, but always ALWAYS apologize and talk about it when when the both of you are calmer and saner. I bet I will lose it again at-least once in the coming week.  It is going to be alright.

*amma is mom/mum is Kannada

Mixed feelings

Phew! Put baby A to sleep only to hear her wail half an hour later and then pick her up, do random dance routines of swaying and swirling while humming something unintelligible, trying to put her back to sleep. The cycle keeps repeating until she refuses to sleep and either wants to feed or coo. And actually I’ve learnt a lullaby from my MIL which works well on her. But I’d like to think even kids want variety.

Baby A and I’ve been staying at home sans MIL for a week now. What?! A week!! And it hasn’t gotten too frustrating yet. She isn’t too fussy and nights haven’t been a problem. Yet. I don’t want to count my chicken too early. However, it is extremely boring and lonely for me at home. I rarely get time to browse or watch TV. Nobody to talk to and the routine of feed, change diaper, put baby to sleep is getting old already. Frankly I’d like some change.

My sister is a darling and offers to take care of the baby while I catch a breath. Hubby has also been wonderful in taking her from me once he is back from office. But once they leave, I feel like crying. And I did. Today morning. I sat and cried while having breakfast. I miss my life, my office, my work, my friends, myself. And I miss my husband and sister when they are away. Its just too much of missing.

I realize I need to be around people and bring some kind of activity in my day, which doesn’t involve baby. Which brings me to this post. Why else would I be writing when I can lay my aching back to rest?

What a wonderful day

That is what I felt when I went for a walk this morning, albeit at 8am. Courtesy (for the feeling, not for 8am), the huge heavy overhanging dark grey clouds and the light drizzle that lasted for around 15 minutes. I sat there, in the park watching it shower, so very mildly. The drops, they seemed like little snowflakes. And the sound they made when they fell on the green, ah, there is something so soothing in it. It wasn’t heavy, there was no thunder and lightening, the works. Though it would’ve been beautiful too, in its own way. But this was something very subtle, as if the rain was concerned about the plants getting hurt.

Green is so pleasing to the eye, isn’t it? More so when it is soaked wet and dripping raindrops and/or filled with raindrops or early morning dew. Have you smelt the rain? I do, every time it starts raining, if I’m anywhere near the ground, I open my senses and take a deep breath. The smell of earth getting wet is simply amazing, but the smell of the rain itself is undescribable.

Cloudy/rainy/grey is usually associated with emotions like depression, morose and sadness. It has the exact opposite effect on me. It opens up my mind, lets the thoughts flow freely and fills my heart with joy that sun can never bring.

And of course, makes me want to write posts like this.

I have always dedicated at least one post in a year to rains. It has been the norm ever since I started blogging. Simply because I love the rain so much and it makes me happy.

I knew it wouldn’t rain much longer, so I sat my time out in the park. Once the drops became scarce, I finished my walk and came home, happier than when I left.

I wish it would rain more often and better in here and make every day as wonderful as it is today.

Un-condition the mind

There are so many things I want to write about. So many things that I have strongly felt about, thought about and worried about. However, I’m finding it very difficult to put those thoughts into words. It is not as easy as it used to be. I used to just vent out everything and get done with it. But now, I’m trying to find a purpose. A purpose to my posts, so people can be educated and informed about things everybody goes through but rarely identifies as potential mind breakers.

If I have you sufficiently confused with my abstract introduction, pardon my flow of thoughts which I’m just translating into words. What I want to talk about here is – individualism and how it affects relationships, independence and expectation and how it is definitely set to hurt. My thoughts and observations are based entirely on my experiences.

People are becoming ever so individualistic. They are mostly called eccentrics and branded mad by the general society, which, if I come to think is fine by me. Now coming to independence, I understand that we are still getting used to the idea of children growing up and leaving homes to build their own. Expectations! Sigh! I don’t remember how much I’ve written about them. They are the stuff that definitely bring hurt. Yes, I know we cannot completely avoid the devil, however, isn’t it sane to notice the pattern and let things go?

And what is with the emotional blackmail that goes around every once in a while? “See I did all that for you and this is how you repay me?”, “You used to be such a nice person, when did you turn into a prude?”,”I brought you up to this level and this is how you repay me?”. Heard them often? Well, it gets to you more if it comes from close quarters, which it often does. Do people even realize it is emotional abuse when they make the other person feel bad about him/herself with their constant reminder of how selfish they are?

It happens with family and close friends usually. Parents or siblings blackmail into getting you to do what they want by reminding you of how nice they have been to you. Friends on certain occasion bring up the favour they did to you to get you to do something for them. Actually, it is not entirely bad or wrong. Until a certain extent, until you feel OK to do what they expect out of you, things will be fine. Once you start getting out of your comfort to make others comfortable is when all the trouble starts. You will be feeling bad about yourself, of how you are a bad person for hurting your close ones and you are also hurting yourself by doing something you really don’t want to.

How is it fair or even OK to tell a your children that you have birthed, fed and took care of them all these years and in exchange they need to do what you say and be what you want them to be. But trust me no parent will accept that they wan this for their children. It is “just this one thing”. If only you would marry this boy I saw for you. If only you would go to this particular college. There is always that one something that they complain about. And most of them make it very evident in their speech. I say we are just short of making agreement at birth that the child will abide to all the wishes/expectations parents will ever have, in return of being brought up in a respectable and nice household. Who wants to have kids for the joy of it?

Some people have a way of expecting dependence. They would want to depend on you for things and they would also want you to depend on them for things. Really? Why? If I’m perfectly capable of doing something on my own, I will insist on not taking anyone’s help. That doesn’t mean I’m keeping them out of my business. And even if I am, how is it wrong? I’m shifting house and not calling you for help means I can do it by myself. That and that only.

Every person is different, and to understand how each person’s brain works is impossible. It is not healthy to think of them as something they are not and then complaining about it. It is OK if someone is not behaving in a certain way you expect them to. It is OK to let go and just let them be. I’ve learnt that accepting a person as they are will give both the parties involved peace of mind and eventually happiness and learning to have a unique way of connecting with the said person. It might not be how you connect with everyone, but you connect, and that is what is important.

Waking up early and related lifestyle changes

Call me for an all-nighter and I’ll be game any day. But tell me I need to wake up early to do something and I’ll probably lie that I will definitely be up and then keep snoozing the alarm. Of course except when I need to travel or trek. Then, I hardly sleep and wake up earlier than everybody else. And on normal days I get lazy and sleep in till 8 am! I find that on days when I coax myself out of bed before 6:30 am, I am fresher and livelier and bounce with a new energy that only early morning fresh air bring.

So what is with this problem of waking up late? Do I even intend to remedy it? What do I need to do to be able to comfortably experience the freshness of the mornings without feeling like I’m losing out on my sleep.

Everybody has an inner clock, which is also called biological clock. Our body works according to that clock which might or might not coincide with the regular clocks that we use. That is the reason some people are early birds and some night owls. I am comfortably the latter. I can stay awake until the wee hours in the morning. I just need to pass my regular bed-time and I can be up for a long time. As usual my body requires 8 hours of sleep which makes me sleep in during the morning. And that is how my own body clock work.

My aim is to change this pattern a little. I want to be able to sleep by 10:30 or 11 pm and wake up by 6am. Hence getting around 7 hours of sleep, which I believe my body should be able to do with. Imagine what all I can do with those extra two hours in the morning. My running and workout schedule can be handled well, so I am left with some free time in the evening to do some more useful things. I do have some plans on what to do when I wake up early, but lets not talk about it before it is done.

I know that tweaking the inner clock might not be that easy. It will definitely take a lot of will power and some incentive to get me out of bed. And I need to make a lot of lifestyle changes. Here is what I plan to cultivate, not necessarily in that order.

1. Early dinner: Eat at least an hour before going to sleep.

2. Exhaustive day: Nothing makes one fall flat on the bed than a laborious day.

3. Healthy mind:  If the mind is healthy without any thoughts, sleep will no more be elusive.

4. Complete the tasks of the day: Trying to accomplish whatever was planned for the day will avoid the thoughts about what all is left and the contemplation time before sleep can be decreased.

5. Healthy relationship: With the husband that is. Helps to have a nice conversation just before drifting off to sleep.

6. Planning for the next day: Plan for the next day after dinner and list out the to-dos either mentally or on a notepad. Helps to remind the mind that there is a big day ahead and that waking up gives a head-start.

7. Have goals: It might be personal or professional or both. Having a goal helps serve the purpose of achieving discipline in lifestyle in order to strive towards achieving that goal.

8. Less TV/laptop time: Decrease the time spent in watching TV or working on laptop by half and thereby sparing more time to finish pending tasks for the day. I practically don’t watch TV so that means I should cut down on internet time.

I am hoping for me to soon be able to follow all of them. Right now I’ll start slow and take them on one at a time.

And on the working out front. I played a great game of shuttle badminton on Sunday that I have a very sore arm. Reminded me to buy the second racquet so I can play with the husband. And have been pretty consistent with walking everyday. All in all I am OK with how I am progressing though I am yet to get started with the core strength and body weight balancing training.

I shall treat myself something besides a good pair of shoes this very weekend if I am consistent with the waking up schedule. Yep my little incentive.