Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mother's Day Musings!

This Mother’s Day, the Aalayam authors got together to muse about the real  gripes and gushes of Motherhood, and to candidly chat about what Motherhood (round 2) looks like in our households!

Cliché? Not at all. It is only fair that we take a moment to acknowledge the one job that defines our identity, takes over our life, and generally drives us nuts! (and yes of course, the job that is the most fulfilling one in the world!) 

And what better day to take a bow to the job itself, than today! So here’s Deepa, Divya, Smitha and Supriya’s renditions of Motherhood. In their own words.

Deepa says: "This mother’s day is special – I am a mom, again!......after 12 years!  There’s another tiny being in the house that makes our life so much more meaningful – she truly does and I am often amazed at how my heart has expanded to accommodate all the love I feel for this little girl when I could never imagine being able to love anyone else as much as my first born. I am a different kind of mother now – there is so much demanding my attention – my older boy, a super stressful job, the house and the husband and somewhere in the shadow of all this chaos, my little girl is growing - every day and silently. I have accepted that this second stint is going to be VERY different She is going to be 8 months soon! And of course, there is a tiny hint of motherhood guilt as well. I was at home with my boy for 6 years, cherishing, documenting and celebrating every milestone but with her my break barely lasted 6 weeks and then there is also the guilt of focusing mostly on our little one these days making me wonder how my older one is handling all this.

 Being an older mom and a veteran (if I may call myself that) has its advantages too - I am not as jittery this time around, there is much less hysteria around feeding and nap times. There are fewer pictures too. And it seems o.k. This little girl is loved and she knows it and has adapted to the cacophony of the household well.

There are days when I am completely stretched thin and her little coos and my older one’s warm hugs bring me back to the present. These two ground me and help me keep my priorities straight and that is the best thing about being a mom! Our family is different and our struggles are different and yes, there are times when I wish we had handled late night feeds, diaper fiascos and teething tantrums for both kids in one fell swoop. The age gap between our kids defies convention. None of my friends have kids this young and some days I wonder if I will have the energy to keep up with a feisty toddler. But as a family we have always embraced our challenges and this one is no different!

And at the end of the day I am having a lot fun raising a beautiful daughter – she is my latest fashion partner, my dolled-up diva! And I look forward to the challenge of raising a self -assured young girl and encouraging her to grow up into the person she wants to be!"

Divya says: In the last four and a half years, I've been puked on, sneezed at, had my hair smeared with gooey baby food, even had the occasional poop explosion all over my clothes!

As any other person, I have all these naturally strong feelings about not wanting to have another (little) person's snot all over me, or wanting to be able to wee in peace, and you know, just being me.
There are two sides to it, though. The slightly challenging, testing my nerves, make-me-want-to-scream-like-mad side. And then there's also the other side. The beautiful, dreamy side where I've been hugged by tiny warm hands, smiled at like a gazillion times, been kissed by Nutella-smeared lips and been showered with the happiest giggles. The joys and woes of being a mother! The happy things far outweigh all the small inconveniences. Yes, there are times when I secretly wish someone would take them for a day, a few hours, a few minutes so I could actually finish my cup of coffee while it's still hot. But that isn't a real wish, no. It's just some weird chemical reaction in my mad-mommy brain sometimes.

I want their playful presence, the constant chattering, and the never-ending inquisitive questions. I want my Little Miss to tell me all about how she made a picture for me at preschool, I want her to plead me to paint her toenails (with all the colours of the rainbow!), I want her to kiss me goodnight every night. I want my Little Man to hum nursery rhymes all day, I want him to ask me to help him tow his toy truck, I want him to scare me with his loud dino roars.
I want it all. I want all of it, I want every bit of being a mum :-)

The difficult bits, the happy bits, the challenging bits, the fun bits; the love, the laughter, the tears, the frustration; the quiet times, the noisy times, the hunger tantrums, the nap times - I love them all. Because I'm a mum! And because I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Happy Mothers’ Day to all you beautiful and loving mothers!”

It’s Smitha’s turn:Being a mother is learning about Strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed “

Flash forward my life to baby number 2, she was as unexpected as she was a blessing.  Although I was miles away from my mum and loved ones, I took this experience in my stride and didn’t stress about the small stuff; gone were the first time jitters. As there was no one else telling me what to do, I pretty much did everything to my heart’s content.  I stayed out late, I partied hard, and I might have even downed a glass or two of champagne once the trimester had passed. I didn’t play the recommended music to my in-utero baby nor did I read to her. I was so exhausted from working full time and keeping up with an overactive 4 year old that the days rolled into weeks and months very soon.

My only concession to my pregnancy was that I ate out every day. I always chose to eat healthy and funnily enough the smell of curries actually put me off.  So I had to figure out different types of food that I could actually keep it down; eventually I alternated between Korean food and Subway. Today my daughter can demolish a half foot subway in the blink of an eye. Once I introduce her to Korean food no doubt it will be the same. My point is our state of mind during our pregnancy has a direct impact on a child’s personality. No doubt the external factors will also have bearing in a child’s formative years. I always tell where Google fails, a mother’s intuition comes very handy.

Of all the different hats that I wear every day, none as proudly as that of being a mum. Now that they have both grown up a bit, the monologues in my head have converted into fun conversations. I am enjoying their thoughts and their reactions on sports, sex, politics, food, clothes, privileges, gifts and so on. Not every day is like that though; there are days when I just want to be left alone and let them know in not so uncertain terms; it seems harsh but the no-nonsense attitude works for them.

I remember talking with my hubby recently and he was teasing me about the fact that our son is now the same age that I was when I attempted to run away from home with my cousins.( Almost 2 and some decades later, I am still unable to live that incident down!) I was amused at the comparison but I also knew that kids these days wouldn’t give up the luxury of an air conditioned personalised room with unlimited data time on their iPad for a small matter of having an adventure. As funny as the comment was I was also struck at the fact that kids at a certain strata of the society are hardly exposed to the harsh realities of lives. I highly doubt if my kids understood what poverty or homelessness entails. I have since made it my mission to tell my children that I live an ordinary life so that they could do extraordinary things with theirs. I feel passionately about everything in life. I feel like all wrongs have to be righted. This might sound unrealistic to some of you, but we forget that one  day one of our children will rise to lead a nation, be a sporting legend, be a music maestro, be a dancing sensation or a movie star or a celebrated writer or an Astronaut…or whatever their little heart desires. They are only limited in the extent that we let them dream. I have made them promise me that in their lifetime they will work to eradicate hunger - once again I can dream can’t I? and who knows?

It’s that time of the year to take stock of the brave mums who sacrificed their sons and daughters just like ours, so that many others could be safe within their homes. My mother’s day musings are incomplete if I don’t shed a tear to all those mothers and their families who have been cruelly, barbarically and systematically decimated in recent times in the name of religion.
The journey of being a mum is a lot of hard work, loads of fun and infinitely rewarding. Being a mum to two kids’ means that I am constantly performing a juggling act between, work, home and family.

However, as someone rightly said Motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own; to teach the hard lessons to do the right thing even when you are not sure what the right thing is….and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.

Once again to all the beautiful mothers everywhere you are what makes the Earth and the Sun move and don’t you ever forget the strength you have to never give up, despite all the struggles”

 And all Supriya has to say is “Motherhood  brings out the worst in me. It brings out my obsessive need for control, my itching compulsion for order and organization, my panicky fixations at the responsibility of shaping two little girls’ futures, my dire impatience at child-like curiosity and pace when we are running against the clock, my competitive fervor that raises my expectation of myself and my kids to the zenith, and of course, my apoplectic rage when my twin girls gang up on me to push all my buttons at the end of a long, invested day at work. 

Motherhood also brings out guilt. Tons of it. It manifests itself as self-doubt at my parenting philosophies and shortcuts, serious contemplation at my purported inadequacy in comparison to my self-imposed high standards (and of course, the standards established by society, and it’s expectations from moms, who are supposed to be the paragons of patience and tolerance and values!), and paranoid musings about a million “what-ifs” because I am not spending every minute of my kids’ free time with them.

But you know what, Motherhood, albeit with stretch marks, that have only slightly faded, grey hair that are sprouting in the earnest, and love handles that do not go away, stubborn, stubborn, is not that bad. 

Actually, it’s pretty awesome. What started as a never ending saga of giggles, cuddles and canoodles with my chubby little ones (why do those cheeks go away!!), who used to hang on to my every word, listen to my fashion advise, and laugh at all my jokes, now has turned into a slightly more mature, and roller-coasteresque relationship, full of candid conversations during bath times, serious confessions during our walks to the park, impromptu sing-alongs during car rides, and  mild wardrobe wars and existential arguments on life, love and ladybugs. If this is what Year 6 is like, God give me strength for the teenage years.

As the days progress, I am seeing that Motherhood is bringing out the best in me too.

Happy Mother’s day to all the brave and tireless moms and mom-like figures in your lives. 

Mother's Day may not be the same in many households and we recognize that there may be some who are not as blessed as we, or our kids are. 

Celebrate Motherhood nevertheless. It’s the most difficult job in the world”

No comments:

Post a Comment