Finding Fulfillment Happiness Reflections

The “S” Factor

I'd be lying if I told you travel, dining, and working out are exactly the same after having a baby.

This is not a mommy blog. But being a mom is now part of who I am.

I wanted to be the active, healthy, adventurous and chill mom who could power through her pregnancy with spin class and hot yoga, nutritious home-cooked meals and trips to unpronounceable destinations. I wanted to be that mom who could carry her newborn on her back while hiking snow-laced trails and dine at top-rated restaurants.

Instead, I am the mom who threw up into the air sickness bag during a helicopter ride over Hawaii’s most stunning coastline when I was 29 weeks pregnant. I didn’t exercise once during my entire pregnancy due to nausea and exhaustion, and the only two hikes I ever did were flat and downhill.

I am the mom who ordered so much take-out for my family post-childbirth that my cabinets are now overflowing with plastic carry-out containers. Since I also started a new job that occasionally requires long hours or travel for work, I decided I’d prefer to maximize spending free time with my daughter, Sahana, rather than laboring in the kitchen. If that means dining out more or having our babysitter prepare meals for us, so be it.

I am the mom who now skips over the 4+ starred and $$$ restaurant ratings to find reviews for the most family-friendly ones — those that have just enough noise so as to not upset other patrons if my child starts crying, but also not so loud that it could disturb a sleeping infant.

I guess that just makes me a mom, and that means my travel, cooking, and fitness routines have changed. My husband and I now have to account for the SF, as he calls it— the Sahana Factor. Sahana, which in various Indian languages means strength, endurance, and patience, has, in the end taught me patience since parenthood is the fastest way to find out that nothing in life goes as planned, and you often just have to roll with it.

The Sahana Factor is stopping every half hour on the way to Chattanooga to calm your baby down because she cannot stand the car seat. It’s determining there’s nothing to see in Rocky Mountain National Park because your baby would much rather sprawl out and roll around comfortably in the warmth of the bed at your B&B. It’s getting locked out of your yoga class because you showed up 15 minutes late after your newborn wanted to be nursed just as you were about to head out the door.

For this blog, it means that while we will still be traveling the world as a family, we may, at times, have to change the types of activities we pursue. Recipes may now feature my Instant Pot to help me save time. Fitness will have to be high-impact workouts I can squeeze in during the few free windows I have that overlap with my babysitter’s hours.

I don’t mind. Making adjustments is part of parenting, and compromise is an essential skill in life. At the end of the day, the payoff is that smile from the little munchkin who’s become the center of my universe.


6 comments on “The “S” Factor

  1. EVERYTHING changes once you have kids. Things that were once important are now nonsensical – and vice versa. Enjoy!!


  2. Well said Amritha. Sahana factor did make you sit and think through this and share it with world.


  3. Kalyani

    Beautifully written…touches the heart of every mom I bet:)


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