While it was "TGIF!!!! WoooHooo!!!" for everyone else, mine is always a tricky business. And one particular Friday was waaaayyyy the other end of the TGIF spectrum. Her toys lay neglected. The little champ came home "drunk" on a basket of whines and a bottle full of crankiness.
Repeated attempts to have a decent conversation in a meeting was driving me up the wall! I was around 28 weeks, coupled with a heap load of squatting, carrying and bending over to her, I developed a huge discomfort in my abdominal area. You think its over. A walk to the car had her trip and scrap her knees. "OHHHH!! You've got to be freaking kidding me?!" I rolled my eyes in disbelief at how much worse things can get. As difficult as it was, I chose to breathe in real deep. I kissed her and talked to her through her whines and cries. I held in it like a bottle of champagne, shaken and about to burst open, foam spilling out. When she'd finally fallen asleep, I quickly retreated into my escape: A shower.
The gentle stimulation of hot water slowed down my breathing and heartbeat. My muscles less tense. The all superb finale, comforting and soothing? My "need-to pamper-for-sanity" bath capsules. I'm serious. The smell, fresh and absolutely divine. Lathering up the creamy bath wash, I was greeted by the aroma. It brought me memories of my trip to the Maldives a few years back, the familiar smell of a spa, the clear waters, the feeling of a relaxed vacation. THAT bath was my very short but oh-so-important private time! I'd emerged from the bathroom, a happy bird. A supermom with an imaginary cape! I walked with a bounce in my strides.
One who is familiar with psychology is aware that smell is highly emotive. Pleasant smells stimulates the olfactory system of the brain (connected to your sense of smell) which then sends a signal to the limbic system (one that controls emotions and recalls memories), releasing chemicals in the brain that can relax, calm or stimulate you.
I'm soooooo glad I had that short yet lovely ‘retreat’! Happy mama, happy family.
Oh, and mommies, should you be tempted to join me and indulge, this giftbox is DEFINITELY it. It's every lovely thing combined! Nurture self, nurture baby.
My Reality: Its evening time and the toddler is back from school. She may need soothing after a long day and imagine this infused with a whole lot of whining and being clingy. I have to go through the motions of both the physical and mental aspect of things.
My 2nd pregnancy: more lethargy, heartburn and indigestion during my first trimester, resulting in a lot of discomfort, especially in the evenings. My tummy gets all bloated to the very top that walking, squatting, bending and even laughing hurts. As my pregnancy progresses, with the belly getting bigger and heavier, caring for a toddler has never been more of a challenge! You know, they are only of a certain height, what are the chances of not bending, kneeling and squatting often?
My battles: Physically, I battle with my own discomfort. Aside from part time involvement of working and activities. I fetch her from school, tend to her needs such as soothing, bathing, preparation of dinner, encouraging her (to eat on her own despite a long day and feeding oneself is hardly a favorite) and playtime. Nursing is her main source of comfort. Since pregnancy, latching becomes a sore and slightly painful affair but knowing how this brings her comfort and emotionally stabilizes her, I do it.
Mentally, when one gets tired, patience is rarely top notch. Honestly, I'm no angelmama. I still do swear from time to time. Don't get me wrong. I don't swear at people. I swear at situations gone wrong or something bad happens. E.g. A child falls. I’d spew something out. Not at her but at the unfortunate incident. With much mindfulness, this act of mine may have decreased dramatically since the toddler was born. It does take quite an effort to hold back, breathe, grow a longer temper and not flip out myself. Easier said than done right? It's true. I realized that it gets tough, especially when the challenges accumulates.
I hit the wall. It happened. I was not conscious of how it was until my husband rebuked me. He brought to my attention that it was getting a little frequent lately and I've got to take a step back. My heart cringed and I backed into the bathroom. Tears welled up. It wasn't intentional. However, it wasn't right too.
It wasn't right, because the child not only hears of the word, she may think that I'm frustrated at her. Think of it this way. A father frowns when he reads the papers. It's his way of concentrating, a habit. A child approaches him, "Papa! Look what I've found!". He looks at her with the same frown he had reading the paper. What does the child think? 'Oh, Papa is angry with me. What did I do to make him angry? Did I disturb him? Did I do something wrong again?'. The father does not mean what the child thinks but his expression exudes the very same facial expression when one is frustrated or disapproval.
Conscious parenting brings awareness to such a situation. The truth hurts. I may be physically and mentally challenged but my child should not have the brunt of it. I've got to get a grip.
For those who want to know more, here's an article that is a good read:
All 3 of us sisters will be sharing stories from our different perspectives. The good, the bad and the ugly, we're telling it as it is.