Motherhood changes us in many ways. And whether for good or bad, I’ve become more superstitious than my pre-motherhood years. Never in my wildest dreams did I think of this tremendous change in me. Now that it has happened I live with it.
The moment I held my little daughter smiling with such trust at me, there flowed in me a sense of protection. I pledged that I’ll protect this little being with all my might against anything and I’ll never allow her to get hurt. That feeling of protection which emanates from the total trust that my child had on me, was so overwhelming that I became one obsessed parent.
I asked everyone to wash hands before touching my child – I’ve even eaten with dirty hands many a times.
I told everyone to talk nice things and pleasant words to my child – I know and have used all the bad talk of the language.
I put on good music CD’s making sure they are happy songs – I love the sad songs so much.
These are just a few of the many changes I brought upon myself. Are these changes going to change the fate or destiny? Naah, this was my way making sure that I’ve done my best for my child. Anyway, no one was harmed in this process was my argument.
Keeping the black dot on the chin of the baby – thought to prevent the bad tongues was followed with great tradition as if that was going to change things from happening. But the mother in me went ahead with it all, as the protection instinct was too strong to ignore.
I convinced myself that I am doing things right for my child, when I knew deep in my heart that certain things are so stupid and not called for at all. The superstitions I got into due to too much dialogue with the elders around, made me a paranoid and I couldn’t stop myself then. The sudden responsibility of tiny baby smiling with such trust at me was too much to manage then.
By the time, the second kid came around, I had graduated as a seasoned mother and could waive off many superstitions, as they don’t work at all. But I did follow a few, which I was scared to let it go; it was my job to protect my baby was the over-riding thought.
In today’s terminology, I call it the negative vibes. When I explain this superstition to my teenage daughters, they simply giggle at me. But they do stand quietly to do my stuff of doing three rounds around them, clockwise and anticlockwise and throwing away the salt. But I do it – the mother in me makes me do it – too many things have happened that this superstition has chosen to stay with me.
But I am happy of a different kind of change in me, as a mother.
As a young girl, at my mother’s place, we used to stay separately during our days of menstruation and we cannot touch others. So, going to the temple, during those three days, was strictly forbidden. Having undergone all those small discrimination in the name of a natural occurrence in the human body, made me think. Even now, I am unable to go near the God and light a lamp during my menstrual cycle, as that upbringing has gone deeply into the heart and mind. I know that this natural phenomenon is God-given and that there is no harm in going near the God or to the temple during our menstrual cycles, but my mind is not willing to do it.
But there is one thing I did – I made sure that my daughters don’t feel that way during their menstrual cycles and I allow them to pray to God or go near God. I have even taken them to temples. I told myself I am unable to change my upbringing habits; I should not force such habits on my daughters during such an impressionable age. They should be free to do what they want – the menstrual cycle shouldn’t be a hindrance in the life they want to lead.
And I keep telling my daughters that the rules enforced on women during their menstrual cycle are not compulsory to follow. Only the physical comforts need to be taken into consideration.
So, how has motherhood changed you?
Uma Srinivasan is a mother of two teenagers. While she loves to blog, her daughters help her don hats like Chef / Baker / Parenting Consultant and many more. She manages three blogs, Blog on parenting & every-day conversations, My attempt to fall in love with this city called Chennai and Attempt at sharing my recipes with the world.