being a mother

This year my elder son turned 15 and I completed 15 years of motherhood. Yes, motherhood which is often put on a high pedestal, not without reason though. Trust me, I am not one who likes to be treated as a deity or worshipped. I am as human as another woman and terribly flawed too. But motherhood is a journey that changes you like no other and challenges you in ways you never dreamed possible. The conflicts, guilt, second guessing your decision all come with the territory.

Before I became a mother, I was pretty carefree. Responsible only for my own happiness, I was free to live my life the way I wanted (despite being married). I am a person who has always followed her heart, right or wrong. This was completely thrown out of the window from the time I was expecting the first time. No longer could I even eat, drink, sleep, go out to watch movies on a whim (Okay this one I did even when heavily pregnant ;-)). That was the smallest step in becoming responsible for another life, the life that I had helped create and was bringing into the world. The emotional impact is even more staggering as a tiny form squirms in your arms, completely dependent on you for safety, security and pretty much everything.

It was also a time when I felt very close to my mother who I had recently lost. Nothing like becoming a parent that opens up dams of empathy for your own parents because you know how hard you had been on them. Then came the multiple struggles. I wasn’t prepared to be a mother. Are you ever? It was more like an adventure, an exciting journey that I heard of from the others and looked forward to embarking upon. I liked kids. I was hands on with them, had been with my own niece. But having your own child and then children is totally another ball game. It was terrifying at times and intensely joyful and emotional at others. I have made a lot of mistakes. I have lost my temper multiple times. I have yelled, ranted and cussed. I have had times when I wished I didn’t have them. Yes, I have been through the entire spectrum. But I have also been responsible, loving and have tried to be a decent mother too.

I have asked this question to the husband and I already knew his answer even before he said it. Through all the trials and tribulations, angst and joy, frustration and elation, would we do it again in hindsight? Yes, we would! Pray why, you must be thinking. It is because as testing as the journey is, it has been immensely rewarding especially as both the sons are reasonably grown up. In the initial years, you are the parent – teaching them, watching their every precious step, moulding their values, watching your own behaviour and habits so that you are a better role model. In turn, I became a better version of myself. I am more patient, more accepting, more genuine and more open as a person. I am also more mindful. My children are my friends today (except when they quarrel like dogs). I bank so much on them for both emotional and physical support. I know there are times when they say and do things that uplift me. I see them slipping into the role of parenting me then. I have never hidden my flaws from them or shielded them from the realities of life. They know a lot about my childhood and my lesser qualities through the tales I’ve told them. And they are good kids – well mannered, sensitive, empathetic and most importantly independent.

The challenges for me are far from over as the younger son drives me up the wall with his tantrums and behaviour issues. He is working on them and I actively encourage him. The elder son has some tumultuous years ahead as he gets into the thick of studies. There will be stress, anxieties, failures and heart breaks much more than the childhood years. Keeping them well-adjusted and sane will continue to test my parenting skills as the grip of the external world tightens on them and those of the parents loosen.

One never stops being a parent. That is for sure. You just start letting go, little by little till they fly the nest.

This Mother’s Day, I congratulate all the mothers out there who work hard to bring up their kids to the best of their abilities.

We fail; we triumph; but we never give up.

I would love to hear about your parenting journey. Please share in the comments.

Pics courtesy: Shutterstock

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39 Thoughts on “Being a Mother

  1. Hi Rachna: Teenage can be a tough time for both the children and the parents. One one side are dreams and on the other side so much pressure. The kid feels like an adult and behaves like a kid..

    I am sure this too shall pass and the elder one will turn out to be a fine young man.

    May your mother rest in peace..
    Prasad Np recently posted…Dubai with flydubai Business ClassMy Profile

  2. Aniket on May 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm said:

    Nice read Rachna, thank you for sharing:)
    Prayers for your mother..

  3. Parenting is indeed a continuous job. Reading your journey will surely help others in their tough times. Responsibility makes a person mature.

  4. So very well said. Parenting is a journey that never stops. I’d give everything to do it again, as you well know. I always wanted two kids but fate willed otherwise. I don’t regret it, of course, since I do have a wonderful, maddening, joyful and compassionate kid rolled into one.

    Parenting teaches us things like nothing else can. Being a mother is something we can never prepare for and we constantly learn on this journey. Many happy returns of the day to Sid again and to you for your motherhood. Happy mother’s day, Rachna 🙂
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Togetherness: A decade and a half laterMy Profile

    • Thanks Shailaja. You and I share the same values and are so similar in our thoughts. No wonder we get along so well. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to you as well!

  5. well written. best wishes..
    Shrinidhi Hande recently posted…Samdrup: Bhutan border town visit from GuwahatiMy Profile

  6. Well, the teenage years do tend to be the most tumultuous as a boy, I can assure you of that as a former teenager myself 🙂 But the key is going to be communication – keep a line open for him to come to you all with any topic at any time, no matter how difficult he maybe.
    Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…Are you God-fearing… or God-loving?My Profile

    • I can imagine, Roshan. Yes, sure we do talk quite a bit but then it is another ballgame when it is a real crisis situation. Fingers crossed that I will come through should a situation like that arise.

  7. One learns all the way in life, first from our parents and then from our kids. It goes the other way round, too!

    Don’t worry, time would teach the elder one too…and he would have to adjust. Your help will sure go a long way!
    Alok singhal recently posted…Wahweap Overlook and the Horseshoe BendMy Profile

    • True that, Alok. Oh yes, communication is very important. But sometimes the phase is such that the child may not wish to listen. I’ve seen so many such cases around me that it scares me a bit. But I have confidence in my kids. Yet, one worries.

  8. Nobody ever ready to become a mom.. so true.. Beautiful writeup.. happy mothers day to you..

  9. It’s been just 1.5 years and I have had meltdowns because I do miss my carefree life. But then I now know love like I never knew before. It’s tough being a mother and it’s not all cakewalk. So kudos to every mother in the world. And happy 15th year of motherhood to you 😊
    Nabanita recently posted…Fulfil That #OneWeddingWish On Your Own Through A Wedding LoanMy Profile

    • Yes, we keep straddling this dichotomy all along our parenting journey, Naba. Like I said, as they grow older, they become more like friends. Just see how we are with our parents now. It’s not a cakewalk but life would be devoid of colour if our kids were not there.
      Rachna recently posted…Being a MotherMy Profile

  10. They say that you carry them all your life, first in your body and then in your heart. We all can only try to do our best and hope for the best for our children and ourselves. We learn on the job, goof up some, ace others and bumble along. And we all of us are wonderful, make no mistake dear girl!
    Zephyr recently posted…Give a person a good name…My Profile

  11. Beautifully expressed Rachna. I can say you have spoken for most of us moms, the strife, the anxious moments, the dilemma of decisions and the ecstasy of milestones…all of it! You’ve done great and l so agree that you never stop being a parent, its a round the clock all your life job! Love and hugs!
    Kala Ravi recently posted…The White BoxMy Profile

  12. kalpana solsi on May 14, 2017 at 10:40 pm said:

    One never stops being a parent. That is for sure. You just start letting go, little by little till they fly the nest.

    being a parent is akin to hopping on a slow passenger rail journey. moving , stopping, learning and re-learning. but it is a wonderful ‘yatra’ i would say and I totally love this experience. parenting is also a mixed bag, though.

  13. Happy Mother’s Day to you Rachna! Being Mom is the most rewarding and most challenging at the same time..we always want to do the best for our kids. You are a wonderful one and I love reading your posts around this. Hugs! I wish Sid a very happy birthday again and a successful life. All the best to the younger one, too! They’re both going to make you very proud!
    Vidya Sury recently posted…How My Son Taught Me To Be A Better MotherMy Profile

  14. That ending, about the Letting go little by little, is so beautiful. Reminds me of my dad and his philosophy 😀
    Being a parent is such a huge responsibility, to me it looks so overwhelming. I don’t know how parents do this. Kudos to you and your husband, for bringing up two amazing boys. I am sure they are growing up with values and skills that will help them in the long run.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Beginner, once moreMy Profile

  15. I completely agree, Rachna. Parenting does force us to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. Of-course we slip every now and then, because perfection is unattainable in this case. But I feel the important thing is to try. Every single day.

    And I loved the note on which you ended the post – one never ceases to be a parent, we just learn to let go little by little.
    Shantala recently posted…Half Girlfriend Review / Therapeutic Rant on Love & ConsentMy Profile

  16. Happy Mother’s Day, Rachna!

    You are a brilliant mother and it shows so well. I haven’t experienced parenthood yet and not sure if I will ever want to, but if I do, I’d definitely look up to you.
    Soumya recently posted…Monday Musings #14My Profile

  17. Parenting is a double-edged sword, as we all come to realise at some point. We just have to do our best to chug through it without getting too cut in the process.
    I’m sure you’re doing a swell job, Rachna. More power to you.

  18. Beautifully written Rachna. You speak for all of the mothers out here.
    Motherhood helps us in exploring so much about ourselves as an individual of which we had no inkling if those powers or strengths really did exist previously or not. So happy to read the genuineness of motherhood in this post.
    My motherhood journey over the last 6 years hasn’t been easy yet it has been satisfying. It has rewarded me with heightened awareness which often comes with failing to deal with challenges in the first go. Still I have lots to learn and unlearn.
    Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…The Conniving Filmy Kids #MondayMusingsMy Profile

  19. Yes, you never really stop being a parent. Been witnessing this first hand with my Mom and my sister ever since my nephew came into our lives. And I remember how my sister would be terrified to handle things alone and would constantly ask mom what to do, till she gradually learnt to trust her instincts. I dont know what we would all be without our Moms 🙂

    • Hi Ashwini, Long time! How have you been? We have all seen how our parents are always our pillars no matter how old we get. It is a huge responsibility to mould and nurture young lives.

  20. Oh you summed up motherhood so beautifully. It is a hard task but it comes with compensations that makes it totally worth it. At each stage of your child’s growth you have a new role to play, new responsibilities to handle. You’re right about motherhood making you more aware of the challenges your own mum would have faced. That’s so very true. Lovely heartwarming post.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…10 top gifts for new momsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Tulika. Haven’t we all experienced the same? Challenging yet such a joy and so life changing as well. Fingers crossed that I come through for them whenever they need me.

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