Monday, June 10, 2013
Being a mother is no piece of cake especially when you are handling a baby on your own with no over-indulgent grandparents or a full-time maid to help . . . And the said toddler being hyperactive and over-inquisitive doesn't make matters easy as well. It does gets stressful. There are days when you look at your life and think is this it? Is this what you left your career for? Sometimes, you even question yourself, were you ready to be a mother? But, the next minute your baby runs up to you and snuggles her face in the crook of your neck and gives you a big sloppy drool-filled kiss and you realize - yes, this is worth all those sleepless nights, all those dirty diapers, and all those screaming crying sessions. You realize - Yes, you
were are ready for it.
There are so many different emotions you experience in just one day . . . from amazing highs to awful lows. There are good days, bad days and downright ugly days!
It’s not all bad though . . . there are moments which do take your breath away like when your baby starts walking without support . . . when she tap-dances to a song on the radio . . . when she calls you Mumma for the first time . . . when she starts recognizing you in a crowd . . . when she runs to you and hugs you tightly . . . when she stands next to you on the balcony, near the clothesline handing you one piece of cloth at a time so you can hang it to dry . . . when she sees you putting your face cream back on the dressing table and runs and gets her lotion and places it next to your bottle. These enchanting moments are too many to jot down.
But, like I said all is not hunky dory all the time. There are bad days too when she is cranky for no reason, when she keeps spitting out her food, when she screams for anything and everything, or when she throws whatever comes in her hand on to the floor! During those days or moments, a mother is filled with doubt. She racks her brain for answers . . . why is she doing it? Is she hungry? Is she hurt? Is she teething? Is she not fed properly? Am I not paying her enough attention? Or am I too indulgent? Tired of playing the guessing game, she starts looking for answers. She logs into the Internet, makes frantic calls to her baby’s pediatrician, refers to the many post-pregnancy books she had stocked as soon as the baby was born to find a smidgen of reason to her baby’s behavior. At last, she does what she had vowed never to do - call another mother. She had promised herself the day her baby was born that she would not do that because all babies are different right? But what is she to do? She needs to find out that her baby’s behavior is normal, that she is not at fault, that she is not doing something wrong . . . and maybe, just maybe, they will be able to answer her and tell her it is alright. She calls a fellow mother and finds solace when she learns someone else’s baby does the same thing too. We, moms, are crazy like that!
But, that call brings a plethora of another fears and doubts to the fore. It opens a can of worms, you can say. Her baby can walk, why can’t mine? He weighs that much, but my baby is so skinny? She has so many teeth, mine only has two! Her baby has never fallen sick, but my daughter fell ill twice last year! She doesn’t breast feed anymore, why does mine still insist on feeding before sleep? These questions only lead to a bigger question that every mother, at one time or another, has been plagued with – Am I a BAD mother?! Am I not taking good care of my baby? Is it my fault that she is acting like this? And she feels guilty for no reason whatsoever because all babies are indeed different. And, the whole rigmarole starts again. She logs onto the Internet going through the discussion threads and trying to make sense of her situation, she looks up recipes to make her daughter fatter, she stocks on teething pills and what not. And God forbid, your baby might fall sick . . . only a mother knows how horrifying and absolutely frightening those days are when you see your baby in discomfort and you can’t do anything to lessen her pain.
Being a mother is indeed no piece of cake. You forget that you are a woman first. Your whole day revolves around taking care of this tiny person who is dependent on you for their every little need and want . . . from brushing her teeth, to cleaning her potty, to making her have her food, to bathing her, to playing with her, to teaching her, to making her fall asleep . . . you are responsible for everything. And then during the day, when she takes her nap . . . Ahh . . . you long for those precious couple of hours when you are truly alone, without your baby clinging onto you for something or the other. How much you crave those hours to do whatever you want to do. Sometimes, you feel like talking to your friends, finding out what is going on in their lives.
But, sometimes, you just want to lock yourself in a room and cry your heart out . . . it does get that overwhelming. And some days, you want to spend those two hours in the whole day not wanting to talk to anybody, not returning calls, pings or messages, or worrying about the food or doing the dishes or the laundry. You just want to spend that time with yourself doing what you want to do. Maybe you just want to sit in the balcony and watch the rain pour while you sip on a hot cup of coffee, maybe you want to take a long shower which has become a luxury nowadays, or you want to watch TV while you paint your toenails, or you just want to curl up next to your sleeping baby and read a book, or maybe you just want to write about something that has been going in your head forever and you haven’t been able to put pen to paper because you didn’t have the time. You are entitled to that, right? You are allowed to spend few hours in a day not thinking about anyone else but yourself. But, then also there are some who make you feel guilty for not taking their call or responding to their message. At those times all you feel like doing is telling them – Go have a baby and then talk.
I reiterate being a mother is no piece of cake . . . it is everything everyone ever told you about and then some. It is stressful, tiring, overwhelming, terrifying, frightening . . . it makes you doubt yourself, fills you with anxiety, makes you feel guilty BUT still it is absolutely worth every minute of your time. Seeing your baby laugh at your antics, looking at her playing with her toys, or her breathing softly while she lays in your arms . . . these are just some of the things that makes it all worth it in the end.
P.S. - Before angry comments starts pouring in about me equating grandparents with maid, I mean no such thing. I just mean an extra set of hands who can take care of the baby for sometime. That's all.