Friday, August 17, 2018
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Trapped in mommy guilt
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with Aaradhya.

Trapped in mommy guilt

Working or stay-at-home; celeb or not, mommy guilt is all pervasive, here is some help to get over it and to enjoy the bliss that motherhood brings along...17 Aug 2018 | 12:41 AM

Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom... when the world ace tennis player Serena Williams opened up post the worst defeat she faced in her hall of fame career, she was representing millions of moms who suffer from mommy guilt.

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Mona

Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom... when the world ace tennis player Serena Williams opened up post the worst defeat she faced in her hall of fame career, she was representing millions of moms who suffer from mommy guilt. 

‘We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art,’ she continues in her Instagram post representing mummies world over who constantly fight the feeling that no amount of time, care, patience seems good enough for their kids. 

It’s the limit-less expectations that we set, as we take on the mantle of motherhood, that we find ourselves always falling short of. 

For Radhika Singh, an HCS officer, it’s always squeezing in most of the work in her daughter Nalini’s play school and nap times. “Mommy’s guilt is very natural,” she opens up, sharing her strategy to beat it, “I try not to delve into it. Giving my best to my profession and home, I am trying to be a good role model for her and that’s truly satisfying.”

A paediatrician, Dr Manisha Patil, even after 21 months of becoming a mother, still finds it hard to step out to work leaving her son, Kian, behind. She has seen her friends, colleagues do it all the times and as and when she finds herself doubting, her call to pursue her career, she banks on them. “Fortunately I am surrounded by empathetic co-workers who make me feel that we all are in the same boat.” Careers are as much for kids as for self, and Dr Manisha ensures that her kid is calm and settled before she starts her day. 

If you thought the perils of mommy guilt are exclusive to the working moms, meet Ankita Mangla, mother to two, Pritish, 5 and Anvika, 1. “My older one wants way more attention and sometimes I wish I had more hours so that I could spend as much time with my younger one.” 

Her approach is to ensure quality time than quantity. “I try to engage, involve both my kids in age-appropriate activities and keep the distractions away.”

In fact, that’s how Radhika also justifies her position vis-à-vis full time moms. “Even those who stay at home are not with their children all the time. There are chores and more, and effective quality time with kids probably remains the same.” Work aside, how about some me time? Moms agree that a luxury like a coffee with friends or a nail spa is all they could have done with the children running at the back of their mind. 

Balance is the keyword 

“Understand, you are going be a mom the rest of your life,” is counsellor Punita Singh’s first piece of advice to women battling mommy guilt.  Know your parenting style and set boundaries early. If you are an authoritarian mum, ensure fun times. Those lenient ones, set rules. Motherhood is all about striking a balance and preparing well for it. If you are a professional, set a definitive time line. If you are heading a company, obviously work would require more hours. Make arrangements for extra help beforehand. Spend time with the child and also yourself. Just don’t overdo any of it. And, most significantly, be in touch with peers. Children - whether of working mums or homemakers - go through more or less same cycles, address your concerns and get on with life!

A price to pay

If motherhood is challenging, it is even more so for celebs. In the virtual world of vicious trollers if Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been criticised and condemned for her post pregnancy weight and getting away from limelight putting Aaradhya as her priority; Kareena Kapoor Khan invited hate mail for returning to work too soon. A ‘celeb’ human rights lawyer Amal Clooney whose twins - Alexander and Ella - turned one this June says she keeps her morning hours  phone-free in order to spend quality time with her famous husband (George Clooney) and kids. 

mona@tribunemail.com 

 
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