Musings of a New Mother!
I love children. They love me! I have a knack of handling them and they listen to me. This is a trait I inherit from my mom. Motherly instincts were a part of me since I was young.
When I was ten years old, a cousin was born in the family and my aunt lived a street away. When the baby was three months old, she allowed me to carry the baby in my arms from her house to mine. I felt like I achieved something! I loved spending time with her and enjoyed every aspect of her growing up.
It so happened that from then, there was some baby or the other in my house. I loved spending time with them, playing, taking pics, admiring their actions and enjoying their childhood to the maximum.
In my teenage, the idea of marriage meant having children and the thought of having my very own baby used to give me a lot of happiness. I used to write poems about my future child! I wanted 3 babies and had names ready for them!
When I indeed got married, my thought process underwent a complete change! Though I still loved children and they still loved me, the idea of having my own child made me feel jittery. I loved spending time with my husband, I was content and three seemed a crowd!
During my brief stint as a teacher, I understood the implications of parenting and the profound effect it has on children. Suddenly, parenting/motherhood appeared to be a daunting task!
My brother says my thoughts are backward and that I belong to the previous generation and not his, which is quite true. My expectations, actions, thoughts, feelings etc. are so very different that bringing up a child in today's world seemed extremely complicated. The idea of bringing a child into the current world did not seem very appealing.
Having said all this, the motherly instincts in me were very much active. When my nephews came home, I loved spending time with them. When I see a random baby on the road or elsewhere, I couldn't help but smile and talk to the baby. At such instances, the thought of having my own baby bloomed but the other thoughts used to fight with this feeling.
When I discussed this with my husband, he being the optimistic guy who accepts things as they come, said, whatever will happen will happen and we will manage as and when they happen. Though this reply did not make me happy, I found meaning in it. My mom on the other hand insisted the beauty of motherhood and that it is a joyful experience that should be experienced and asked me to wade away all negative thoughts of my mind.
When I discussed with a close friend of mine she bluntly asked me to shut up and have a baby. She said I will be a real good mom and that I am stupid to think otherwise! I felt quite happy and positive at her response, yet, I was quite doubtful about the whole thing!
And then one fine day, it was confirmed that I was pregnant! Mixed emotions overwhelmed me. Fear, anxiety, tension, happiness, excitement and what not! I knew that moment that my life is going to change completely.
I, being an independent woman, felt tied up and as the months progressed in pregnancy became more and more dependent on someone or the other, even going for a walk meant I had to have someone with me.
Though I don't travel much, even the limited travel that I did for my business sake or otherwise meant hiring a cab which was really bugging as I was used to driving my bike!
The first trimester was spent sleeping mostly and the feeling that "I am a mother already" did not really sink into me. As I entered the second trimester, with the growing baby bump, the thought " I am a mom!" struck my mind more frequently. As I started feeling the baby's movements, I realized more and more that a life is inside me growing waiting to come out in another 3 months.
The third trimester was one filled with anxiety and as the D-Day neared I was bored of waiting and wanted the baby to come out and just end the pregnancy woes. I was prepared for the labour pain and was ready to face it. And then it happened, a baby girl, she came out without any tension!
Then started the real motherhood! All these quotes about motherhood flashed in my mind and the picture was not so rosy except the cheeks of my baby girl. I am used to sleeping 9+ hours a day and the lack of sleep was just not okay with me. With the baby crying for reason I can't decipher, nursing woes and problems, fever kicking in, with no energy and rest, I just couldn't understand how and why all women go through this!
Being more of a "brain-person" than "heart-person", I felt claustrophobic inside the same room. I wanted to do something to keep myself occupied but felt perennially drained and energy-less and that drained me even more!
First, it's the one-time extremely painful labour and then the perennial pain and tension everyday till the baby grows up. Is this what motherhood is all about? Isn't that extremely frustrating? Is this what I signed up for?
But then, when my girl smiles in the sleep for reason unknown, when her little hand searches and holds my thumb, when she opens her eyes and looks through me at infinity, when she can sense my presence near her and feels secure, when she is just sleeping peacefully, looking at her tiny tiny fingers and toes, when she cries realising I am away eating in the kitchen, when I just look at her and realise she has the same big fat nose as mine, I understand that this is the feel that cannot be matched. This is the feeling I had yearned for in my teenage. My own baby - day and night always with me! Yes, I AM A MOTHER!
I am now ready to embark on a journey that I always wanted to, one that is sure to be challenging and tiring, yet, happy, exciting and exhilarating - Parenting!