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.

How Do You Talk To An Indian Auntie?

I can’t relate to Indian aunties. If I run into them at different events, it’s literally a “Hi, how are you?” situation and then I’m on my way. I’ve tried the small talk thing but honestly, it’s usually a fail.

I always thought that it was the fact that I was younger and it was something I’d outgrow but after going to recent family events, I’m now accepting that maybe it’s just me. Even now that I have kids and we have more in common than before, I still don’t know what to say to them.

It seems to be mutual. They are nice enough to exchange the social norms with me but that’s as far as it goes.

And I’m not really sure why this is. I can connect to some people but maybe I just don’t have much in common with the aunties. I have some friends who seem to be able to talk to everyone. They are able to be friends and make people laugh and it’s no problem at all. I just don’t seem to have the ability. Maybe it’s also partly that I never developed a relationship with some of them past being their friend’s daughter.

I also started thinking that maybe I’m not an easy person for aunties to relate to. I don’t know how to be myself and connect to them. Maybe it’s a generational gap, maybe it’s being raised in India versus being raised in America, or maybe it’s just a personality thing.

Who knows? I wish I could figure out what makes it easy for us to talk to some people and really difficult to talk to others.

Until then, we just hang out with those who make it easier for us to be ourselves.

 

How Do We Accept Ourselves As We Are?

I have this idealized image in my head about what a perfect person is like. And I have strived for so long to be that person in every aspect. Guess what happens? I fail. Not only once, but over and over again. And I take it hard and then criticize myself and really beat myself up for feeling like a failure. 

Is this realistic? Logically, I know it’s not. How do I accept myself as I am though? How do I make myself realize that I am a human being and bound to imperfection?

Where this idealistic image that we measure ourselves up to come from? Why do we feel this need to be perfect all the time? Why are we not allowed to feel and not allowed to break down? Why do we beat ourselves up for being disappointed that we couldn’t be perfect?

I’ve been working on this for a long time. I still don’t know why I have a hard time accepting myself. Most of us do our best to be good people. Most of us really try to enjoy our lives and be happy. So why do we have such a hard time understanding that being 120% all of the time is not humanly possible?

Maybe if we try to be perfect (and we succeed), no one has the opportunity to dislike us. No one can complain about us or find a reason to not be nice to us. Maybe, on the other side, being less than perfect provides people with a valid reason (at least according to our emotionally confused vision) for walking away from us. We can blame ourselves if a relationship doesn’t work out or if we have fights with our friends. 

I’m not sure how to battle this feeling of being less than perfect and becoming okay with it. I want to accept myself for who I am. And, to those who don’t like who I am, I want to tell them to get lost. How do we find that within ourselves? How do we find the strength to really show people who we actually are with no masks attached?