In the past 26 months, I have learnt a lot. Changed as well. My toddler teaches me life lessons everyday. I am a mother. A working mother. You know what does it take to be one? Lets just say, “a lot”!
“The obligation of working mothers is a very precise one:the feeling that one ought to work as if one didn’t have a child , while raising one’s child as if one didn’t have a job.”
There are days (read: most) when I feel guilty about not being able to spend time with Ami and about how I am missing out on her tiny milestones because of commitments. Commitment to work, family, home and so much more. There are also days when I cannot give a hundred percent to my work because of my commitments at home and because my heart is out there with my girl. My heart feels overwhelmed when I see the lives of some people around me. And I do not feel like this on why their lives are difficult, I feel this for the strength that they display despite of it. My dad is one such person. But that is a post for another day.
Parenting is difficult for anybody. I do not believe in anything that stereotypes us based on our genders. It is equally difficult for everyone. Raising a child well is indeed one of the most painstaking things one will ever do. It burns you out. And even if you are doing everything that you could, it still leaves you with the guilt that you could have done better. Especially if you are working too. And the worst thing is that the result of your most precious investment is very vague and fragile. You can only wish and hope that what you are doing today will someday transform the little one into a good person – a kind, sensitive human being who will have enough potential within, to earn himself a respectable and happy life. I can only pray that the little time I have for my own girl and the time that I teach her about life in general will lay her foundations and lay it strong.
Unfortunately, for the millenial generation, we no longer live in the times where kids were surrounded by a large family. Ask me and I’d say that those were the best of times. Everyone was involved in raising each other’s children. Everyone was responsible to lay the foundation for a child. In reality, now, we raise our kids in isolation. The only people they interact with regularly are the parents. The mom and dad inadvertently become the single source of all that that will constitute the child’s memory, thoughts, actions, behavior and to an extent the very personality of the child. In that case, what about children of working parents who don’t really have the time to even contribute to that little bit? 😦
There is no way you can rationalize to a child about why you cannot attend that sports day or annual day because you got caught up at work. You cannot explain to them either as to why you couldnt sit and watch that cartoon with them because you had to finish the work at home. And you certainly cannot expect them to understand the reason you are working extra hours and extra jobs because you want to make sure that their life is good in the long run.They don’t understand your job is their lifeline too. They don’t understand anything. They just see what you do with them, to them, and will remember that always as faint memories of their childhood – some strange feeling. That is why it becomes even more important to ensure that they end up feeling good, even if there are momentary bouts of discomfort or discontent. Every parent needs to show double the love of what they would do otherwise when they have the time.
Thankfully, love is a resource that is inexhaustible. In fact, it is that one thing, which if you allow it to do, will surround your entire being with itself and transform your sufferings from pain to contentment. Probably the reason that our(Ro and I) world stops and our smile appears as soon as we see our girl in the evening. That hop, skip and jump with a peck on our cheek assures that everything is alright. We tell her everyday how much we love her. And she smiles, like she knows, like she understands. Maybe she does.