If I had to remember the hardest period of my life, it would definitely be the period after my last pregnancy. Of all the usual problems that women experience after childbirth, the thing that got to me the most was how my physical appearance has changed. At first, I was so occupied with taking care of my children, that I didn’t have time to focus on myself. I thought that baby weight would soon disappear and that I would regain my previous figure. I was wrong. As time passed by, my body image got much worse, which resulted in many negative consequences with myself and my family.
I started feeling self-conscious, I lost my confidence, became angry, grumpy and generally dissatisfied. And during this whole period, what I realized afterwards, is that it wasn’t me who suffered the most, but my husband and my children. My behaviour towards my family was unacceptable and I realized that I allowed myself to become a bad wife and even worse mother. And then, in one moment, something just clicked and I knew I had to do something to change the situation I got us in.
I took my laptop, ordered some gym clothes online and searched the web for some effective post-pregnancy workout regimes. Besides regular exercise, I started cooking healthy meals and snacks for my whole family. I actually managed to involve my kids and my husband in the cooking process and it became a regular thing.
After a certain amount of time, I’ve noticed that I was feeling less stressed and that my confidence was higher; I had a more constructive approach to both my husband and my children. I’ve learned to actually talk to my children rather than yell at them. I have also learned how important and valuable it is to spend time with your children and to encourage and support them in whatever they’re doing. I’ve also noticed doing things I’ve never done before that made a significant impact on my kids. For instance: every day I would take time to talk to them about their needs, feeling and desires. I have never done that before and once I’ve started this practice I realized just how much I can learn from my children. I’ve also learned the value of appreciating my children and telling them how much I love them. I’ve always loved my children with all my heart, but during my crises, I was so self-absorbed that I didn’t think that it was necessary to tell them how much they mean to me every day; I thought it was understood. One of the most important lessons by far was when I learned how to apologize and seek forgiveness from my family. Children are forgiving and wonderful creatures and they deserve to know that nobody’s perfect and that even parents can make mistakes.
All of this, all the hardship and the pain I went through, made me a better person. It made me a better parent. I realized then, that we can’t wait for things to happen on their own, but we have to grab life by the horns and make them happen by ourselves. I was fortunate enough to have my husband and my children by my side the whole time.
I said at the beginning that this was the most difficult period of my life, but what I forgot to mention is that it was also one of the most liberating and valuable ones as well.