Sometimes, we expect but it doesn’t happen. Sometimes, we least expect but it happens. The second kind is more interesting. We breath, eat and sleep as though we are aware of what happens inside our bodies. But, we are not even close to being aware of what happens within. This is the first enlightenment that the news of pregnancy brought with it. Developmental biology used to be my most favourite subject during my master’s days. I’ve studied every detail of zygote, embryo, blastula and gastrula; yet when it was happening in reality inside my body, I had no clue of it. It – the miracle of nature – seemed mysterious to me for the nth time. It could have happened with any set of genes of the hundreds of the sperm cells. To put it in a funny way, one man is just half zygote away from becoming another.
There have been times when I have had no involvement in my life. During those years when my parents were hunting for a groom for me (you will understand if you’ve been through the arranged marriage galatta in India), I began to watch animation movies, hoping some animation will come into my days. The disconnect between the man of dreams and the men that bharat matrimony displayed was too much to bear. I have gone to the depths of boredom that I explored several philosophical and occult realms of humanity like yoga, spirituality, past lives, healing and energies. (I am glad now that I did them prior to having kids 🙂 ) Like all dejected humans, I was searching for my anchor – according to Thesaurus, an anchor is something that is used to hold another thing securely – and I was searching what would hold me securely with life.
All through my days when I was living with my parents, I didn’t realize what it is like to be a parent. After marriage, I slowly started looking back how boring and sometimes exhausting it would have been for my mom to have looked after home continuously for years. This looking-back doubled after I had my own children. When my son refuses to eat something I had prepared with lot of love, care and the anticipation that he is going to finish the bowl, I get reminded of how much I must have troubled my mom being a poor eater. When I get worried when the thermometer reading crosses 100 on my son, I recall of those days when my mom used to sit beside me trying to make me sleep during the unwell days. When I run at the last minute to pack my pre-schooler’s snacks box, I feel amazed thinking about the years’ of lunch box packing that my mom did for the family.
As a first-time mother, I have felt withdrawn from activities which were a part of my pre-mommy life. After a few days of the baby’s coming in, seeing 5 to 10 missed calls notifications every day wasn’t surprising any longer. On most of those days, my phone had to remain in the silence mode else those few hours I had painstakingly tried to put the baby to sleep will be wasted in a few seconds. Well, the baby has slept. Can I call a few people now? Yes, after I have my meal, after I have my bath! What?! The baby is up? But I haven’t even had my meal yet. That’s how the initial days pass without much communication with people dear to us.
It’s rare but it does happen to moms once in a while! And that one little beautiful wave, occasionally, is enough to melt down thousand other motherhood guilt!
I wish my children to grow fast as much as I wish them to grow slow. I wish my children to become independent as much as I yearn them to be my dependents. I wish my children to fly far to explore life a much as I want them with me forever. Regardless of what I wish, the sure truth is that they will fly away from this cocooned home one day. And this feeling of sadness that’s awaiting me, is a hard reality. Melancholy – is perhaps the most heart-wrenching emotion of motherhood
My blog turns 7 today, My son turns 4 today, My daughter completes 6 months today, And it has been a liberating feeling having raised the three this far! That’s the irony! In spite of the many little confinements motherhood imposes on me, I feel liberated after all!
Yes, it’s frustrating sometimes, embarrassing sometimes, tiring sometimes. But if you ask me if I want to exchange this experience with anything else in the world, I would have nothing as beautiful as motherhood. Especially, being privileged to be at home with my children for their everything gives a fulfilling feeling. Karma is indeed blissful!
Before I begin to crib and cry about being judged about the mother I am, let me confess, I’ve done my part on judging mothers, as well. When I had travelled in trains before I had children, looking at those children who wouldn’t sit, who wouldn’t stop whining, who would make loud noises, I used to think about their mothers, “What in the world is she doing?” The day when I travelled with my son in train, I understood what they all were doing – trying in vain to control their children, feeling embarrassed for their behaviour and feeling humiliated for being judged by people like me.
“I am not God, I am not a doctor, not even a fortune teller. How can I be sure if my baby is alright?!” was one of the doubts I used to have when my first baby was born. This tiny human being was my responsibility. I am supposed to be aware of everything around him and for him. Is his cradle a safe place? Are there chances that he might fall off from it? Can I make him sleep next to me on the bed? Will I unknowingly rest on his hand in sleep? Is the floor clean enough to let him crawl? What if that imaginary, from-nowhere, dangerous insect nears him? How long should I hold him when he tries to walk? If he falls down and there’s blood on his lips, should I take him to a doctor? Can I make him sit in water for long while bathing? Will he catch cold? How much should I cover him when we go outside? How much heat, how much cold, how much this and how much that?!!!