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I got married young, at age 25, and had a child by the time I was 27. The thrill of college and career-building days was followed by marital bliss and the sheer excitement of having a child. Everything looked perfect until I became an on-duty mother.

Although the feeling of becoming a mother is stupendous, not to be compared with any other in the world, at the same time you need to prepare yourself before entering this new phase of life.

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On National Safe Motherhood Day today, I want to share an insightful post for young, first-time moms.

When The Going Gets Tough

Life takes a rapid twist as the little one enters your life. You eat, sleep and do all other routine things as per your baby’s routine. For me, life looked like someone has ‘statued’ it. I had already left my job a month prior to delivery but then came the worrisome part. I stopped taking calls from friends and family and started avoiding social gatherings; I had no time or inclination for socialising! I was also not taking anything about myself seriously—I’d wake up late, not eat on time, and never visit the salon. But I wasn’t too depressed, not yet, at least.

The extraordinary journey starts from the day you conceive. All through your pregnancy, you just keep imagining your life with your baby. And keep hitting down the to-do list. The hardships you will have to bear never bother you before delivery. Afterwards, some mothers sail through and others get stuck. I got stuck too, not too badly, but enough to make me feel tired.

I was just feeling tired. Tired of the daily chores? No. Tired of babysitting? No. Tired of sitting at home? Not really. Tired of what actually, then? I felt tired of not being able to be myself.

After the first few days of joy and celebrations, it was just the baby and me, and all the responsibilities that come with it. Sometimes, I didn’t even get time to eat; I literally had to gobble up my plate and attend to the baby. Add to that, there was constant flow of advice from ‘well meaning’ relatives. All this—while dealing with the issues of hormonal imbalance, weight gain and breastfeeding. Sounds like a lot, right? But at the same time, these were just tiring days, nothing more. Honestly, I was just 27 and it was too early for me to handle so much at once.

The Tough Gets Going

How very sad or anxious I sound, but I was happy about the upcoming part of the journey of motherhood. For me, my husband was my biggest support and thought there were moments when I broke down in the first 40 days after delivery, my child’s face always cheered me up.

If you’re a new mom, plan ahead and prepare yourself for the journey up ahead. Firstly and most importantly, be strong and be mentally prepared knowing that life as you know it, is about to change. Secondly, take up a light physical activity like yoga, which will help strengthen your body to cope with all the physical chores. Try to look for a mommy-baby yoga lesson near you, so that you don’t have to leave the baby at home.

Follow your medicine routine carefully and try to get as much sleep as possible depending on your baby’s sleeping and waking up time.

Further, for mental rest and peace of mind, indulge in a hobby you truly enjoy. I bought a nice pair of headphones and used to listen to music while feeding.

My final bit of advice to all new mommies: learn to ignore sometimes, be patient and hang in there. And most importantly, give yourself enough love and attention. Don’t delay seeking medical advice if you feel depressed or sick. There’s no harm reaching out for a helping hand. It’s all worth it, after all. You are young—life is waiting to happen.

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar

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