The First Thing To Go Out The Door

Self-care.

As a mother, I think this is the first thing that we abandon when we have kids. Our priorities shift enough that the order of important is the following: kids #1-however many and our partner, work, home, extended family, the world, everything else, ourselves.

We forget we exist until we run ourselves down enough that there is only a shell of our former selves left. Then, all of a sudden, we are locked in a bathroom, crying our eyes out because this isn’t the life we imagined.

We have to take care of ourselves. If we don’t feel good about ourselves, then how can we be a good example for our kids?

I’m not only talking about the physical stuff like showering, grooming, exercising. We have to take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally. We have to take that time in the day where we can focus on ourselves.

Doing all of this other stuff is wearing. It’s tiring. It’s hard to refocus on yourself. When I finally get a few minutes of quiet, I just sit there and stare into the abyss. Okay, the abyss in reality is the tv. It’s like I forget how to function. I can’t even think of what I’d want to do for myself. If I do figure it out, I don’t have the energy.

It’s easy to get caught up in resentment and anger when you get used to putting yourself last. As a South Asian Indian mom, I’m programmed to put myself last. I’m supposed to put my kids and husband first. And every time I feel neglected, I end up feeling a mixture of sadness and anger.

The thing is that you have to find the solution. Your kids are never going to put you first and your partner can only help so much. You have to find the time and energy to do things for yourself. You have to be okay with putting yourself first sometimes. You have to find ways to take care of yourself.

If you have any self-care tips, I’d love to hear them. I am always looking for new ways to take care of myself.

Mama’s Boys

Yes, you know you know them. Yes, you know you might be one of them. 

Let’s get something straight right off the bat. When I say mama’s boy, I don’t mean someone who cares for his parents. I don’t mean someone who wants to spend time with his parents. I’m not even talking about someone who really goes out of his way to make sure that his parents are taken care of. My family has a pretty tight bond and knowing that these are the people who will always be there for you is a great feeling. 

I’m talking about that guy who really can’t function without his mother. And no, I don’t mean when he is 2 years old. I mean when he is 32 years old. I’m talking about the guy who can’t make a decision about his own life without consulting his parents. It’s one thing to have their blessing or advice. It’s another thing to ask your mom for everything you need on a daily basis. 

And this seems so much more prevalent (well, maybe, at least to me) in the Indian community. You get that guy that wants to date you. Well, until he finds out that his parents are never going to like you because of a multitude of reasons: different caste, family background, different religion, age difference, not pretty enough, not thin enough, etc, etc, etc. Then, what? Will he fight for you or will he let you go? Will he have the strength to really stand up to his parents if he knows they are wrong in their decision or will he let them make the last call? 

Again, this is based on the idea that the girl chosen is someone good. It’s based on the fact that there is real love between the couple. I know this is another discussion but just to assert my thoughts on this, I think honesty will come from your friends and siblings. If they like who you are with and will stand by you, then maybe it’s time to stand up to your parents. 

Anyways, back to the idea of the mama’s boy. This is the guy who will still run to his mother if he needs something instead of his wife, even though his wife can probably take care of whatever it is. 

My mom has a theory about these guys. As the women in our culture get more and more educated, they are opting not to marry guys that aren’t independent minded. The problem is that they haven’t had a need to change. If someone took care of me all the time, why would I want to grow up? The women, though, have decided that instead of depending on someone to take care of them, they will go out and make a career for themselves and give themselves options. And they won’t settle for someone just to be married. So where does that leave these guys? 

I’d like to believe it’s changing. I see more and more guys who really have started becoming more independent in their thoughts and actions. There are always going to be those that will marry someone just to fill a void. I know guys who have done that. But, I believe there are now guys who have started really understanding what a relationship is. The relationship isn’t just a duty but something that both partners have to work on. 

I have hope for the mama’s boys. I hope that they will learn that the world is changing and what used to work for centuries won’t work as much anymore. And, in the meantime, to those women who have children, please remember to raise them as the man you have or would have liked to have married. 

The Need to be Needed

It must be a human thing. To feel needed or wanted. When we stop feeling like that and stop feeling appreciated, we lose our motivation to really achieve something. We lose our motivation to love and to care and to really put ourselves out there. 

What is it about being needed to makes us feel worthy? Ideally, we ourselves should feel worthy because of what we accomplished, not because someone praises us or shows us how much they need us. That idea of “you can’t function without me” is something that really is detrimental to our self-worth. We want to feel wanted and needed. Which ends up being that we need or want someone to want or need us. Vicious cycle, right?

I don’t know if it’s possible to be so self-sufficient that you don’t ever need someone to validate you and your effort. It would be an ideal place to be. I definitely wish I could assess my own actions and not depend on anyone else to let me know that I’m doing a good job or or if I’m a good person. I would expend so much less energy if I didn’t question my value. 

The other angle is that I know what I’m worth and I need others to know that well and when they don’t treat me how I would like to be treated, then that’s not a good place to be as well. 

Where does this need come from? So there are 2 aspects. One is that we need this validation to know we are worth something and the other is that we need this validation to know that we are being treated right. 

One day, I hope that I don’t have the insecurities to need validation to know my self-worth. I will always use it as a standard of measure to know that I’m being treated as I should be.