Women are judged for everything. Right from what they wear to how they do their hair. From how they look to what they eat. And it gets worse when we become mothers. In addition to being judged for all that, we are now also judged for how we choose to raise our babies, whether we breastfeed or give them formula, and the lowest form of judgement that can ever happen – for how much weight we have gained during our pregnancies and after childbirth, and whether we are working on looking like our old selves or not. The worst part? The people judging new moms are other women, most of them also moms, who, honestly are far from perfect themselves.
As new moms, we are worried about so much because we are responsible for knowing and fulfilling all of one tiny human’s needs, and we don’t want to make a single mistake. So understandably, for some of us, caring for ourselves takes a backseat because sometimes it’s just too overwhelming and maybe we don’t have the time. Honestly, for me, if I do get a breather I prefer to catch up on some sleep, or read, rather than stand in front of a mirror and make myself look prettier (not pretty, prettier. I know I am pretty. 🤗). But it’s just not on my list of things to-do because there are so many other things that I want to do. The fact that it doesn’t matter to my baby how I look makes it all the more easier.
We are all on our own journey with our own obstacles. Fitness should be a personal goal and not a race. So what if it takes you 3 years instead of 6 months? So what if your own appearance is not your priority right now? Our babies will be so little only for so long. So why not soak up some cuteness while we have the time? Or catch up on some much needed rest!
Unfortunately, this has been termed as being lazy, using motherhood as an excuse, and whatnot. It’s disheartening to read women put each other down when really we should be lifting each other up.
And no, I am not judging women who dress up, put on makeup, or have managed to go back to looking exactly like they did before they got pregnant, or even looking better than they did before. That would be hypocritical of me, and I am anything but that. It’s amazing that they are able to do their mommy-duties and care for themselves as well. I have nothing but admiration for you.
Given a chance, I would love to look my best all day. In fact, if you ask my friends, they would say that Nikita’s basic necessities in life are food, clothing, shelter, comb, and kaajal (kohl). Go figure! But that was from a few years ago. Those days, I used to get laughed at for combing my hair every hour, changing my nail polish colour every week, freaking out over a broken toe nail (who even looks at your toes, right?) and putting lipstick on for everything, yes, even to just stay at home!
And that’s what women’s lives have become like, right? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t! We want young girls to not focus only on dressing up, and busy moms to start worrying about looking good in addition to the million things that already worry us. We want babies to be fat and chubby, and mommies to be thin! I mean, why can’t we just let people be?
But wait a minute! Are we dependent on external validation to realise we are awesome? Do we need someone else to tell us that we are amazing? No, we don’t! If we don’t need that, why should we allow someone else to make us feel bad about who we are, what we do, how we do it, or how we look? Like, really, why is my weight and appearance someone else’s problem? Why should someone else be bothered about how I do my hair?
So today I want to echo Geet (Kareena Kapoor’s character) from Jab We Met and say that Main Apni Favourite Hoon (I am my favourite person!) And I want you to be your favourite person! If you aren’t your favourite person, ummm…. why not? Because you cannot be anyone else’s favourite person until you learn to love yourself and be proud of who you are – stretch marks, dark circles, messy hair, loose belly, and everything!
Loving yourself is important – whether you are model-like or ordinary – because you’re setting an example. You’re teaching your daughters that you don’t allow others to tell you how you should feel about yourself, and you’re teaching your sons that external appearances aren’t everything.
And that’s what the WARM July Challenge is all about. Karuna and I are about to take you on a 15-day long journey of rediscovering our awesomeness and sharing it with all the other moms we know. For once, let’s make ourselves feel special because you know what? We are! We do so much for the people around us and we do it happily, selflessly, without expecting anything more than love in return. And yes, our families love us. But let us love ourselves a little more for the next two weeks.