We live only once and every phase of our life calls for a set of duties to be performed. The transition from a carefree bubbly spinster to a coy to a mother-of-two feels like carrying loads of weight on your head. The road is sometimes bumpy or sometimes smooth. There are days when you feel that being a mother is not so easy. It’s like a war of two identities. One who wants to destress and live by her own terms. And the other is calling for your motherhood responsibilities. Then there are SOS situations when you wish you had a third hand to stop your toddler from spilling the milk which you forgot to keep out of his reach when both your hands are busy cleaning his poop!!! This is what I learnt being a mother and it truly was a roller coaster ride.
- First innings of motherhood:
When my elder son was born, I was in extreme trauma. The stitches ached and reminded me of the end of nine months, feeding the baby when needed and above all carefully holding a few days old baby. Though I did have my mother to help me with the do’s and don’ts but it was still the first step of learning to be a mom. Relatives would flock to see, and I didn’t feel like having anyone over. I just wanted to sleep, sleep and sleep. Soon I realised that the journey had just begun and the first thing that I had to sacrifice was my precious sleep. Gone were the days where I would snuggle in my bed with a book and drift off to sleep. Now I would be putting my baby off to sleep and then be alert even in my deep sleep when the child woke up for a feed every two hours.
What I learnt– When I became a mother again, I had already accepted lack of sleep as part of my life for a year or maybe later too.
- Mom should know it all :
My baby was just a few months old and for some reason he was wailing his lungs out. And I really didn’t know how to pacify him. In such instances there is always that one person, completely unaware that you have newly attained the title of motherhood, who asks “Why is he crying?” And you are tempted to snap back “Look, I wasn’t a mother by birth and little have I understood the pattern of my baby’s behavior. How would I know?” But by then someone else would definitely blurt, “You are his mother, you certainly should know”
What I learnt– Your child cries only when he is unwell even after being adequately fed, rested or washed. Only a seasoned mom would be able to tell the reason for crying.
- Me time =gone time:
I do not completely agree with this statement but I am of the opinion that you should take some time out after attending to your children. I diligently try to take my time out and try to catch up a few pages of reading or writing. I even try to experiment with the décor of my house, plant a seed in my mini garden. It is therapeutic and it stops me from cribbing about not having time for myself.
What I learnt– Never let go your time, even if it is only for ten minutes. That will only help you to be a sane, beautiful, and a nimble mom.
- Never let go your passion/ career :
Indian moms have the privilege of a maternity leave of close to six months or even more unlike the ones in USA. And still there are so many of us who give up their career when they attain motherhood. Ladies think about it –is it a 24 hour job to be with your child? He just need your time in their waking hours and not throughout the day. I chose to resign after staying in a banking career of 13 years. But when I did I had the option of an alternate career ready the very next day. I studied further and made a plan for my alternate career when my kids would go to school and their activity classes.
What I learnt – Every woman should have her space, her identity, her career –big or small. Being a mother is a responsibility but the beauty of it is only when you have your identity.
- Ensure your child has a pattern :
When I was working, my son who was just about a year old had a pattern. When he joined preschool he followed a pattern too. He came home from school, my in-laws fed him and put him to sleep. He went on an evening stroll and by then I would be home. We would read the baby book to him and retire for the day. He knew his schedule very well. After a few years we lost the pattern because we changed our residence and we did not take care of our schedule. We really found it difficult to set things right.
What I learnt– Never unsettle the pattern of the child. There has to be strict play time, read time and sleep time. If this is disturbed you may find it challenging to introduce him to a schedule even when he grows up.
So, these are the lessons that I learnt and tried them in my second innings too. But the beauty of being a mother is that she keeps learning and re-leaning and never stops. You will never see that smile fade away even on a tough day at work or home. Enjoy motherhood but never say “I am just a mother.”
Moushumi says- After 12 years of banking experience, I chose to take a sabbatical for my kids and be an enterprising mother. I am a Bachelor in Commerce, Masters in Finance Management and done diploma in creative writing .Writing is my passion and wish to develop it further. My husband is my inspiration to all my aspirations. I am a mother of two sons, my elder being 6 yrs old and younger about 1 month old . I love traveling and writing about places visited and every thought that fascinates me. All this can be read in my blog Life Bytes.