Speaking From The Heart on Mother’s Day
Of course I wanted to write something for Mother’s Day. Not because it is the day when I get to celebrate ‘ME the mother,’ but because It is when I revel in the glory of being ‘me the MOTHER.’ For me it is the day when I get to look back on the 4 years 4 months (+ 9 months) I’ve spend with my daughter. I love to go through our entire library of her pictures. I love to watch her old videos.
More than anything else, I love to talk about her. We mothers have this hilarious habit, to talk about our children. Not in any competitive spirit, but we just generally love talking about our little ones. Telling everybody how she runs and how he eats and how she talks and how he sleeps. We love talking about them so much that we don’t even mind telling strangers about it. Right?
And that’s how I decided that for this Mother’s Day I would want to give mothers a space, a space to just talk about their daughters and their life as a mother and just general mother talk.
I contacted 4 mothers, all of them mothers of daughters and all of them stay-at-home moms. Not that I am biased, it is just that I relate better. I gave them each a question to begin the conversation with. I requested them to write back to me the answer of this question.
I got back from them stories, amazing stories, of their lives, of their passion, of their dreams and their daughters. Their stories are so special – I read them and I instantly got transported to a situation where I too had the same feeling or the same situation to handle. I hope you too relate with them the way I did.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Are there days when you feel like dropping your daughter in a day care and just going out in the job world again?
Janani Murali, mother of Sahasra
I may not be able to answer the question very directly with a YES /NO/MAYBE- reason being that my career changed post baby! I resigned from my job 1 month before Sahasra was born. Although I continued to work from home for a while, deadlines became impossible to meet with a toddler around.
Staying at home with my daughter fortunately gave me more time to rehearse dance (something that was only a serious hobby until then). So I decided to focus on dance because I could do it while Sahasra played around.
Being a dance gives me the flexibility of a stay at home mom but it is also not a 9 to 5 job. If the maid doesn’t turn up and you have a sink full of dirty dishes staring at you, you don’t have the excuse of “Oh! I have to rush to work.” I end up missing practice or postponing some research that I wanted to do and that sometimes frustrates me. And the frustration makes me waste some very precious time on Facebook or on some rather useless Youtube videos! This could of course be avoided but self-pity rules over all other sense or logic!
On a more serious note, I like that I am dancing more than before and actively pursuing what I have always loved. But if I have to travel, it means that my husband will have to take off for those few days. I have trust issues with anyone else aka nannies handling my baby when I’m not around. I think, workplaces need to be more inclusive of kids – it would be great if every office had a ‘when-you-need’ daycare. I don’t see the need for regular day-care since Sahasra sits through (or plays through) my rehearsals and classes. In any case, artistes lose track of time all too often, we’d be the day-care’s worst nightmare!
For me it’s not about restarting the career I left – I still do write to keep my left brain from being numbed and my right brain from overheating – it’s knowing that it will take a few years to stabilize my career in dance or writing or whatever else I chose to do in the years to come.
“When she goes to school full time, I’ll have more time!” How we look forward to Class 1!
Were you ready for the challenges that motherhood brought along?
Rwitabhadra Chatterjee Dasgupta, Mother or Riona
Challenges of Motherhood, is one of the things I was reading up a lot on during my pregnancy. Reading all that seasoned moms had shared all across the world wide web. But no matter how much you read up on, there will be situations where your patience and strength of character are tested. Being pregnant over 30 has its pros and cons, and so did my pregnancy. Staying far away from my homeland, in cold Midwest USA, you tend to prepare yourself to be tough during the challenges that might come up your way. I delivered my daughter after an 18-hour-long labor. It was one of the biggest victories for me, and I was almost congratulating myself in my mind.
But the real challenges were when we reached home a day later. I did not have any family or friends to help me or my husband with the daily chores needed to run a house, that too with a newborn. So despite the third degree tears of mine, I had to suck it up and stand on my feet to get to the kitchen. Breast feeding makes you hungrier than ever, so the simple task of getting a snack was challenging.
Was I prepared for it? Well no. Being a first time mom, you can read up as much as you can, but you learn more on the way. The Baby books and websites might tell you to get a nap whenever the baby sleeps. But in reality that’s not possible. For when the baby sleeps, in between two nursing, is when you have to take a shower, get out of your milk soaked nursing bra or even talk to the other parent, who is around you, but if often scared to speak his mind, lest it wake up the baby. So you learn to talk in whispers, share a cuddle on the couch, and generally roll with it.
You can break down while facing challenges or you can own them, and win them. I decided to go with the flow and try to handle every challenge in my signature way. I won most but I did lose some. But my husband stepped in then. So it’s our team work which helped a lot in going along and enjoying every bit of it.
Above everything else, what is that one thing that you would definitely teach your daughter?
Rajni Mehta Vohra, Mother of Rishita
One thing I always want to teach my daughter who is almost 7 years old is –
‘Whatever the situation, you have to be courageous; strong enough to deal with every odd and even and smile. Life is complicated but we can make it simple and live it to the fullest.
Rishita is very caring and understanding above her age. I remember, back in 2012 when she was 4 years old, her father got sick and had to be hospitalized for few months. Even at that tender age, the way she cooperated was simply amazing. So much that she gave me a shoulder to lean upon. I used to be in hospital with her father and was able to see her just once a week. But she never cried, never complained.
Her father had to be administered injection regularly. Rishita would gently hold his hands at that time and even defy sleep just to be with him. More than the medicines, I think it was Rishita’s touch therapy that worked like miracle.
Though parents always want to teach whatever they have to their children. But more than that, a child learns from the experiences that life bestows upon her – the day to day experiences and the ups and downs of life. I can just tell Rishita to always use her brain and listen to her heart.
Being a mother is testing. There must be times when motherhood makes you feel unhappy.
Meitu Pant, Mother of Katyayani
Being a mother is wonderful…it’s magical…it makes you feel complete – this is what I had heard from the world before I became a mother myself. But no one ever told me how testing, draining, frustrating and mind numbing it is many many times!
My little one Katyayani made me happiest but what is motherhood without its share of pains! And that I felt on numerous occasions. It started right from her birth when a new baby’s birth took all the attention away from me. I was the center of everyone’s attention when I was carrying her but the moment she was born she was the star! I was suddenly relegated to number two after having enjoyed the number one position for months! I hated that to be honest. I honestly shared my emotions with my husband and family. They helped me cope with that situation by giving me all the attention I needed.
With this I started sailing that boat called motherhood on tricky waters of life. As I ventured ahead I realized that there is more to my misery. Like, where the hell was my ‘me time?’ Before this little packet of happiness entered my life I had all the time in the world to laze around, have a leisurely bath, meet my friends, talk on phone, surf the net, paint to my hearts glory and the list can go on. And suddenly with a kid in my life that time went poof! Away! Something as daily and regular as cuddling with my partner is such a dream now till the time she is big and independent enough to handle herself.
Besides this it makes me super unhappy to leave a task in the middle to cater to Katyayani’s demands. I enjoy crafting and painting, and more often than not whenever I begin something while she is awake she has to play with my stuff. This makes the entire process messier and more than that I lose my focus and end up getting frustrated! How I coped with it? Simple! I now do everything when she sleeps! This makes me lose a lot of precious daytime but at least it lets me finish my projects.
Katyayani has brought too much of happiness into my life but not without a healthy share of jolts! Some I have found a solution to and some of which I’m still coping with.
PS – I still don’t know how to bring back that ‘me time.’
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