Postpartum bouncing back

First things first! The last part of the series, A New Mother’s Version, will talk about bouncing back after birth. However, this talk exclusively relates to mothers and not children. Secondly, it’s not a parenting guide and to me, it’s too early to talk about a child’s upbringing. Though nothing qualifies me to talk about shaping a child, yet all I can say is that it is pertinent for a mother to stay in the best physical and mental shape.
Resuming a routine or starting a new one is a daunting task. The child is bound to be an integral part of new mother’s life for the next decade and the balancing act is inevitable.  Timeframe to bouncing back will differ from person to person. Some may prefer to start it at very first month whereas it may take a couple of years to a few. It’s every mother’s discretion how long does she want to wait and devote time for a child or start it right away. Again, here we aren’t talking about just working moms. Bouncing back post-childbirth doesn’t absolutely mean joining workplace.  It precisely means deciding the course of mother’s own life.
It will happen at different levels. First and foremost, it goes without saying that a mother has to recover fully, which takes six weeks to three months. Though child is still young and requires mother or an attendant every now and then, a new mom can start finding some time for herself, say half an hour for exercise. Lucky are the ones who don’t put on. For me, the first part of bouncing back was shedding off those extra pounds. It feels immensely light now. Exercise helps a great deal to efficiently shoulder responsibilities that the motherhood unfolds. It’s not about physical shape but about the mental make-up that better equips us to balance the tightrope walk. A healthy mother can ensure healthy parenting.
Like eating for two during pregnancy is a myth, high calorie diet after child’s birth is also uncalled for. Medical experts advise new mothers to stick to normal diet with emphasis on nutrients. Normal diet will rev up a new mother’s efforts to bounce back.
The most important question is, how important is it for a mother to develop her own space, especially in the country where women selflessly sacrifice it all for their families? Everybody would agree that each person needs time and space and so does a new mother. There is nothing wrong in taking shorter breaks from child’s upbringing to unwind oneself. Of course, looking after a child may not wind up every mother!
A small incident happening in every Indian household may answer this question. In her youthful zest, a young mother makes no qualms about addressing every need of her child. Nevertheless, child grows up and starts leading an independent life. Giving grown up children their own space is the need of that stage, which many middle-aged women find hard to fulfill. Not many women can accept the fact that children move on and so should they. And nothing spoils relationship than immaturity to understand each other’s requirements at particular stages.
All said and done, the best gift a mother can give a child is quality time. While bouncing back, a mother shouldn’t come to the point of stressing up herself and hardly finding any time for child. Being there when the child needs her is what counts. Nowadays, there has been a lot of hullabaloo surrounding parenting. Modern psychologists find that excessive emphasis on parenting and tying children to many activities is likely to make them neurotic.  
The bottomline, taking your space at your pace, which will not make you feel spaced out when children take their own space. After all, looking forward with meticulous plan yet living in present could be the key to successful new motherhood.
- KanChan


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