Mother’s Day just went by. It wasn’t even a day when we were kids. I remember my olden son was born on Mother’s Day weekend in the US. The nurse there told me when I was in labor, and I cared nothing for it.
I mean, here I was suffering labor pains because the stupid me did not want epidural. I wanted to suffer. Looking back I want to hit that younger me. 🙂
Anyway, when after the entire day of labor I wasn’t dilating any more, they opined that I had to go for C-section. At that point, all I wanted was them to take the baby out.
I remember when I got the epidural, all the pain and suffering magically vanished. I still remember how everyone was so nice and kind to me. The doctor, anaesthesiologist and the nurses were all smiling and friendly. They knew how to calm the nerves of to-be first-time parents.
My husband sat holding my hand while they put a large cloth kind of thing in front of me. I was conscious with only a local anaesthesia administered. My son was born just a few minutes later. I remember when they handed him to me after cleaning up, his big eyes were wide open looking at me.
I don’t really recall what emotions I felt. Nothing dramatic like the movies. 🙂 Only one thought was there in my mind: Oh my God! How tiny is he! That day began the journey of motherhood that has been spectacular.
Not because I achieved anything earthshaking. God knows I have made so many mistakes. I have been impatient and angry, frustrated and bemused. But doing it all, enriched my life in so many ways.
Another child later and then becoming a pet parent, I have realised that becoming a mother honestly has made me a better person. Motherhood revealed to me that I could be resourceful, patient, selfless, deeply caring and loving, capable of high temper, enforcer of discipline and able to resolve crises. I also have two wonderful cheerleaders for life.
Mums are universally so similar. We second guess the parenting decisions we have taken. We stand by our kids steadfastly while also giving them a tough time when needed. Teenage kids and how to handle them baffles the best of us. Mums are ever optimistic that things do fall in place eventually.
Last year, when my older son left for college, it took me weeks and months to get used to his physical absence. But, it was also an exciting time because isn’t this the day for which we raise our kids? We want to imbibe our best in them and then set them free. It is glorious to then wait and see what they do with their upbringing.
The core that is shaped by childhood often holds us in good stead through life. Hence, it is important that as parents we recognise how important our roles are in shaping the future selves of our children. How often have we seen children becoming copies of their parents including their worst behaviours?
When it comes to being a mother, my mother is someone I imbibe the most from. That she passed away when I was in my 20s left a vacuum in terms of sharing my own motherhood journey with her. But her extraordinary simplicity, selfless nature and love guides me even today.
Not to mention her love for cooking and her family and how meticulous she was in doing things from scratch. We do take our moms for granted. Of course, no one can predict when life snatches someone away so unexpectedly. Despite not being physically present, her memories have guided me on my journey as a mother.
That is not to say that relationships don’t have a trajectory. The lows and highs require a lot of navigation. But the understanding that people mean so much more than their annoying habits often lays the path to resolution and reconciliation.
I have held on to this. Raising boys I am also conscious of the fact that they be feminist, fair and gender neutral. I hope having a strong, independent mother will make the path easier for other strong women in their lives.
Ah well! Twenty years after I became a mother for the first time, it really feels like a blink of the eye. Looking back, the struggles seem so dim and inconsequential. All those sleepless nights and worries feel faded in my memories. All I cherish is how adorable they were when they were babies.
I can see how the next phase would be even more wonderful as a parent. I will move from being the anxious mom who constantly worried over every single detail to one that can allow herself to relax a bit. My sons will now move from being my boys to being adults. A phase of life every mother waits for when they begin the journey.
I would look forward to having an equal and friendlier relationship with them. I wouldn’t mind if they would pamper me too. 😉
How has your perspective on being a mother changed or has it remained the same?