Hi. The other day, a friend and a family member asked me why I stopped writing? The answer I gave them was that I dont have the time. One of them then said that I stopped writing in February 2014 and the “no time” factor arrived only in October. I smiled. So here I am, a whole year later and a whole lot of changes later. When I say change,its a change that will last a lifetime. On 22nd October 2014 at 4:26 pm, I delivered a baby girl. I became a mother.
A lot of things Everything changes. Life is just not what it used to be. It will never be. Priorities change. Attitude changes. The very definition of love changes.
I was never a born mommy. A born mommy is someone who has mother instincts at a very young age. These women like to dress up barbie dolls, play house house, spend play time putting on make up and dressing up dolls etc. The women act like a mom around their friends, protecting them, taking care of their needs, making sure they have food on time etc. I am not and was never that. Neither was I a career woman. The jet setting, always on the run, looking for better opportunities, higher paying salary kind of woman. I am that more of the undecided woman. Likes occasional playing with baby, cooking, a relaxed, happy to go to dream job kind of woman. I like that come and go as you please, carefree tv nights, long nights of uninterrupted sleep, watch movies when I please kind of life. Honestly, I was not ready to be responsible for another human being! Like Das always commented that I was just not grown up, yet!
In March last year when we found out that we were pregnant, I was amazed and stunned and clueless. Thats just three of the zillion emotions i went through at that time! I was nervous and curious and bewildered too. I spent hours on the net reading every bit of info I could find. As months passed, I realised the enormity of it all. The sacrifice and freedom that I’d be giving up. Freedom is never something that a person voluntarily gives up!
She is 5 months now. I have had conversations with a lot of moms lately and somtimes I laugh at the way they feign motherhood! I have raised this girl of mine single handedly(Ro is there ofcourse, but he hardly has time, thanks to dxb traffic) for the past 5 months and will continue to do so. Its not out of choice, its more out of helplessness n no choice. I know for a fact that its really difficult and sometimes frustrating to take care of an infant alone. SO when I mention to these drama moms that I miss the freedom and how I wish someone would take care of our little girl for a while, they feign shock! They act like I am the cruel mom who has no compassion for her child! Oh poor kid are what their facial exprssions say! These are those moms who have full time help plus parents to look at all their needs plus money to buy every mothercare accessory there ever is. My primary identity is not “mother”. Is that my fault? I would spend the time I get wondering if I really was a bad mom.
Its easy to enjoy parenthood. That toothless grin when she wakes up. That constant babbling. The giggle when she is tickled. That smile she gives when I peep out from under the pillow. That feeling that somebody really needs you. All the time. And then before we realiase, the enjoyment begins to fade and you start feeling a bit depressed, scary that good or bad, the way she grows up to be will be your sole responsiblity. Before you know it, ever so slowly, you start waiting for the freedom to be just you again.
After reading up tonnes of literature on being a good parent, I learnt it from a place I should have looked first. My dad’s life. The way he bought me up. The formula to being a great parent and a happy one was simple. The secret was to enjoy the whole things while it lasts. Everything my girl was upto was a passing phase. It would all be yesterdays story all too soon. All I had to do was to give her my unconditional love and time. The less I am enjoying her, the more frustrated I get with her, the less patient I am with her, the less energy I have for daily motherhood tasks, the more I start to resent her. That, she will understand. Motherhood will be frustrating, a constant battle between my selfishness and exhaustion. It will also be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be totally and unconditionally loved, needed, wanted, by somebody who is happy to sit for hours just staring at my face. My face! It was easy. Happy parents make happy children.
The more I begin to enjoy her, i realise, my baby needs me. Me. Just me. Not her dad, not her toys, not her grandparents. Me. And that for me is a privilege.