Freedom From Your Mind
Freedom From Your Mind
I haven’t slept for 6 hours straight for the last 1 year. I guess this is the story of every new parent. Apart from the challenges of breastfeeding correctly, changing nappies, holding the baby, and walking all day to comfort her, the biggest struggle is to get enough sleep. I had imagined that I would be the cool mom who puts her baby in a sling and goes outdoors, who exercises every day, who finds a companion in her child, etc.
To my disappointment, none of this happened. Most of the time I am petrified of my daughter screaming her lungs out as I just cannot figure out what she wants. I pick her up as soon as she screams which has now become a habit for her. She knows that she will be held whenever she wants. The doctors have been asking me to enjoy her babyhood. But I simply cannot. My mind is always occupied with thoughts about her food, her weight, her happiness, and her hygiene. Yesterday my friend and I went for dinner hoping that I would finally get a little break. My mind was still at home worrying about her.
Then I read about the writing prompt “The vacation we often need is freedom from our own mind.” I could immediately connect with this thought. Even when I get some time for myself physically, I am mentally trapped in thoughts and guilt of being a bad mom for wanting Me time. I have spent the last six months worrying about my baby’s well being to such an extent that I cut myself off everything I loved to do before she was born. This resulted in a feeling of resentment towards the baby and guilt of not wanting to be a mother. The little boy in my neighborhood asked me if I had any hobbies. For a second I could not answer him. This made me think about how I have changed. Even if I manage to get a little break from my baby by going for a walk, it won’t stop me from thinking about how I need to get back to her at the earliest. The positive thoughts that I had during my pregnancy have now been replaced with regret and irritation. I don’t need a vacation from my baby. What I need is a vacation from my mind. Sometimes we should just switch off mentally for a few minutes. Babies are always happy because they live in the present moment. Their minds rest when they sleep without worrying about the future or the past. That is what my little girl has been trying to teach me. If we learn to live in the present moment and cherish the life that we have today as it is, then we will not need freedom from our own mind.