Being a mother is very special to me, like it is for many women across the globe. With my girls, I feel special; special for just having them in my life and having being blessed to be a part of theirs. On Mother’s Day, I got thinking. I did bask in the glory of having a day dedicated to mothers for the last 5 years, but this time around the feeling is different.
This time I seem to be carried away with some thoughts and questions. This time, I seem to be asking myself a few questions around this whole motherhood and parenting story.
1. What is motherhood to me?
Motherhood, to me, began the moment I saw the two lines on the strip. And let me be honest, I was not screaming and jumping up and down with joy when it happened. The two lines simply made me feel complete. I was at peace. I knew this was meant to be and my wait was over. However, it was the day my older girl was born that the mother in me was born. I am, because she is.
As Khalil Gibran writes, children are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. So, that made me wonder, what am I to them? And I realised, I am their caretaker. My duty is to take care of my girls, nurture them, impart goodness and make them strong, beautiful individuals. And I should continue to do so forever and ever. And what do I hope to receive in return? Nothing, except love. And that too, no one guarantees. Such are the ways of life.
2. How has motherhood changed me?
Oh! Only changes have been constant since those two lines. First the body, then the mind, then the lifestyle and then, oh well, yes life!
Motherhood has been one of the best teachers I’ve met in life so far. Motherhood has been like a mirror for me. I’ve seen a side of myself, I never knew existed. It’s like a blind spot, discovered!
Mothers always talk about how motherhood ties one down; their freedom, their time and much more. But one fails to realise how motherhood is a catalyst for betterment. Motherhood has unknowingly made me more independent, courageous and free-spirited. Deep inside, I know, what my girls see is what they will be.
3. Have I sacrificed in the name of motherhood?
Oh! I hope not. Let me think. Hhmmm, OK – I do not think I have sacrificed anything in the name of motherhood. I am not against making sacrifices for our loved ones, but – I just feel the word ‘sacrifice’ adds no positive light to a relationship.
To me, my girls will be my strength – if they are not so already today. I do not want to not make trips or follow dreams in their name. They are worthy of the lessons that I will learn from following my dreams. They are worthy of the happiness I will experience on my day out with my friends. They are worthy of all the little moments of glory that I go through while writing, working, cooking, dancing and just living my life.
4. Am I being a good mother?
This question that I ask myself makes me uncomfortable; like I need to compare myself with someone else. But I am not going to do so. I am sure every mother has her own way of mothering, and it is beyond comparison.
I am a happy mother, if not the best. As a mother, I try to practise what I preach. At this point, maybe I am not practising 100% of what I preach, but I am slowly getting there. Else, I am going to cut out the advices I am unable to action myself. Sometimes, trying to ‘show’ my girls what I am saying makes me realise – it’s not right. So, I say sorry and start over.
5. What am I teaching my girls?
To me, motherhood is a responsibility that I have towards the entire mankind. I feel it is not only important to look after and educate my girls, but also help them bloom into beautiful human beings. And I think, these lessons can only begin at home. They always do, knowingly or unknowingly.
Respect, choice, freedom, love, dream and kindness are some of the words, I use quite often with my girls. I tend to explain their meaning, importance and value a zillion times, and I am still afraid of them not getting it. I just want them to know these elements of life are the most crucial, no matter where they are and with whom.
I will keep trying. Today, tomorrow and for years to come. I do not plan to give up. As a mother, I will not give up on my girls. Ever.
Rashmi Balakrishnan says: I am a four year old mother. Been around for 3-plus decades. Learning new lessons and unlearning a few old ones. I try and find happiness in small things. I dream. I laugh. I cry. I hear. And I try and do. Life is all about love, laughter and light for me.