Life for me could be described in just one word…beautiful.
I was married to the man I had loved for 8 years, had a successful career as an educator and ventured into nomadic ways of life at heart’s behest: my life was beautiful. Lack of culinary skills was the only little sore I could think of, but well, ‘take out’ food in disposable aluminum packaging was always the perfect soothing balm. I could hardly complain. Life moved on…slow paced…leisurely…
Then, one fine day, the stork paid us a visit (btw I had a son).
Life changed. It changed drastically. My perfect life was not perfect anymore. I loved my son to the moon and back. But I also felt like I was drowning. With astounding speed I was getting sucked into a sea of diapers, poop and baby puke. The fact that my first born was lactose intolerant catapulted things into top gear. The long aimless drives with my husband were not aimless anymore. They almost, always ended at the pharmacy or the doctor’s. Fashion- huh?? Yes, I recognized it as a word from the dictionary. Friends- along the road of motherhood, I left them somewhere far behind. The only thing from my ‘pre-baby’ life that I was regularly in touch with was the list of ‘take-out’ restaurants. Time raced. There was no pause. No time to think about what I was doing. Like an automated robot, I woke up every morning and got onto the chores that had been embedded into my psyche. Grappling, struggling and fumbling, I trudged along.
Irrespective of how much I labored, how much I strived, how much I researched (thank God for the internet) I was still struggling. Everything I did, everything I attempted, somehow, was insufficient. The amount of learning I had to do once I became a mom was enormous. Needless to say, what I knew (or so I believed at that point) was redundant. The understanding of Hamlet or Othello that I shared with my class didn’t matter anymore. The comprehensions I made from Arnab’s NewsHourDebate were irrelevant. I mean none of these would help me in making a success story out of my mothering skills. I was yo-yoing between extreme emotions of joy and sadness depending on how each day commenced, unfolded and concluded. A lot of times when it came to my son, I had little clue what to do!!
At this point in life, a person very dear to me (in this case my ‘mama’) said some very wise words. They were are follows: “You are a mother just as old as your son is. You will grow and mature with him.” Amen to those profound words. What was I beating myself up about really? I was indeed a mom, just as old as my son! I learnt that day that motherhood would be what I made out of it. I had to make it beautiful. To my son, it was not important that I was perfect. It was more important that I was there. If my baby was learning to burp, I was learning how to stroke his back. If he was learning to crawl, I was learning to be there for him when he fell. If he took his first step, I was learning how to give him a steady hand to hold. If he was sobbing on his first day of pre-school, I was learning to tear my heart and send him away. Every day was bringing in new lessons for both of us. And both of us, in our own ways were learning from each other.
Hopping through the hoops of motherhood was not such a challenge anymore. I gifted myself a new set of eyes (read outlook) so I was able to see things better. I became kinder to myself. I allowed myself to make mistakes. And I taught myself to take lessons from them. I learnt to smile with him, sometimes about something, sometimes about nothing.
And just like that, life was beautiful again.
Food for Mommy’s thought- The moment a child is born, a mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. – Osho