Before my daughter was born, I knew everything there was to know about a baby. You feed them, bathe them, and entertain them. After she was born, it dawned on me that I actually knew nothing. The day I was discharged from the hospital, the little one was handed over to me. While making an exit, I must have looked pretty normal. But in my head, I was freaking out. “How can they just allow me to walk out of here with a 3 day old baby?” “I hardly know what to do with her” “What if I drop her?” “What if I fail to understand what she wants” were some of the questions bombarding my brain.
Bit by bit, my notions and my perspective about motherhood and its various phases are changing. Before the little on walked into my life, I had my own theories about everything. All of this accumulated from experience as a maasi to my now 8-year old nephew and all the books and articles I have read over a period of time. But for nothing do they say “Child is the father of man”.
It’s always funny when it’s happening to someone else. And in matters of the heart, it’s always melodramatic. But then it happened to me. And it was no longer funny or dramatic.
When I fell in love with my husband a couple of years ago, I was all rosy eyed. Like it happens with the first real love. Head over heels type. I had never thought I could love someone so much. It was like I had given him a piece of my heart. He could make me happy, sad, anxious, angry, anything. He could play with my heart. I had willfully given him the permission. And every gesture was love. And then we got married 😉
When we spoke of children, I always thought of them as people who would come in our way. In between us love birds. I always sneered at those who said that children brings the couple closer. Or that a child can melt your heart, can you make you do the impossible yada yada. I was cynical of those statements. I was too cool for those emotions.
And then, 4 months back, our darling daughter entered this world. And today, I feel silly for the cynicism. I feel all those things are, infact, understatements. There is no way I can describe my love for this tiny being. Someone who is always demanding, crying, throwing tantrums and yet, she has the biggest space in my heart. It’s like a piece of my heart is out there for the world to see and admire. So beautiful but so vulnerable. And so easy to hurt. No wonder women are such a huge pile of emotions and mush.
Like the 2 sides of a coin, every decision in life comes with its pros and cons. Or to put it in context, 2 sets of emotions. The husband is flying out of country tonight for work. While we are elated at the news because it is an opportunity for him to grow in his professional life, it also means a disturbance in our personal lives because of the separation. This time, doubly hard, because of the kid involved 🙁
We have been separated by the long distance before. And I have been known to bawl my eyes out a week before the departure. And these were just intercity separations. I had no idea how I was going to fare this time. Different country and all. But as I bade goodbye to my sweetheart with a smile on my face, I felt like I have grown up. I was sad and I was tensed. Being with a 4 month old, all alone for the next 30-40 days isn’t child’s play. Pun intended 🙂 But the responsibility of the child did not weaken me. Infact it strengthened me to take it up head on. Motherhood and it’s learnings never stop I guess.
I have always wondered how our emotions shape our entire life, from our careers to our families. Because how we react to situations depends on our emotional quotient and our reactions to situations shapes our life. Most of us carry so much emotional baggage all the time. And sometimes, despite knowing the pitfalls of it, we can’t help but give in to it.
|Because our IQ is just the tip of the iceberg!|
But today, I surprised myself. Not a tear. A smile 🙂 And a prayer for his safety and success. Emotional intelligence, here I come 🙂
When I first broke the news of my motherhood on the blog and Facebook, I was inundated with congratulatory calls and messages. I read through all of them “Congratulations” “wow she is an angel” etc. and some new mommies also threw in some advice and their own experiences.
So many people have this habit of writing angle when they mean angel. I mean, is it really that difficult?? Also, pregnancy and motherhood are a magnet for a barrage of unsolicited advice. Phew!! Anyway, I digress.
So coming back to the point. There was a comment from a dear college friend. If I were to quote her, this is what she said “I know and relate to everything you have talked about. While everyone tells you about how beautiful your life will get after you have a baby, no one prepares you for the emotional tide one goes through and more so, on how suddenly you have to ‘grow up’.” She is the mother of a wonderful girl herself.
When I had read this comment, I was still in the high of being a new mother, and couldn’t ever get enough of my pretty princess. But with time, every new day, I have realised the truth in her words. So simple, but so true. Here I was, a girl, a woman of this world just 3 months back. And one day, I have an infant dependent on me 24×7. I became a mother. But that’s not the thing that changes your spirit overnight. It’s the people around you.
Suddenly you are not allowed to make mistakes. You have got to be perfect all the time. Nobody realizes that might be a 27 year old woman, but only a 3 month old mother. Everybody assures me they are well meaning. I agree, but please, could we hold thy advice horses please?
And then there’s the husband who has also graduated to be a father. All dreamy eyed and in an obsessive love relationship with the kid. Cannot have enough of him/her. But hello, I am the mother of your kid. Wasn’t I also the same girl you fell in love with? Your girlfriend, and consequently your wife before I became a mother.
Suddenly I realize I have to grow up. I have to relinquish the place I had in his heart. I have to step aside to make place for her. And still smile and be happy at being sidelined. Now, I am not the one who is the most pampered and the one who is spoiled rotten. It’s her. Am I jealous? Of course. He was all mine before he became all hers. But I guess that’s how the cookie crumbles in this game. Or is it?