One of my favourite documentaries on NGC is Great Migrations. Besides being one of the NGC’s best documentaries ever giving a unique dimension to the world of animals, I like the series because of one part in particular.
Race to Survive chronicles the journey of zebras. During the course of the journey, a mother zebra dies. Her young baby refuses to move on without his mother. Until then, the film shows how the male species does on indulge in parenting. It is only when the mother dies, does the father understand the baby zebra will need more than just a push to carry on.
What makes a mother a mother? What binds a mother and a child in this inexplicable bond? What makes a child look up to his/her mother more than anyone in this world?
Reams of studies, analysis and psychoanalysis has tried to explain this. But really, ask a mother to describe her love for her child and chances are that she will tell you that her world revolves around her child. Mine does too. Every waking moment of my life and even in those precious moments when I get some sleep V is on top of my mind.
Some describe motherhood as a responsibility. A former colleague on BBM once asked me how much does a baby change a woman’s life. I remember telling her that there are two births. With a child is born a mother. A new person, who you didn’t know existed. Her fears were natural.
Does one’s relationship with the husband change? What kind of responsibilities set in? What if a mother is unable to deliver? What if she is unable to give up her life for her child?
How many of you relate to these questions?
A child doesn’t ask to be born. Procreation, I believe is out of willful recreation (pardon my poor sense of humour and clichés) and therefore it is only right that we as parents stand up for it. But really, what makes a mother more evolved of the species? What gives her the ability to withstand anything for the sake of children? What is it that gives her the ability to put her child above everything and everyone else in this world? What makes her stay up nights after nights for her child without a frown on her face? If you ask me, I don’t have an answer for that.
I never considered myself motherly. As in, before V came into my life, I never fancied myself as a mother. So when someone said that I would make a terrific mother, I was surprised and secretly pleased. Now, everyone likes a compliment that you are least expecting! But nearly 20 months down the line, after daily appraisals, anxiety pangs, moments of doubt and revelation, love and exasperation, I can safely admit that yes, motherhood is a responsibility that overwhelms every day of my life.
That moment, when V in the throes of a raging fever was woken up to be bathed, I cannot forget the look of mistrust in his eyes. ‘How could YOU do this to me?’, his eyes asked me. That time everyday when he looks for me around the house when I leave for work…I can hear him say, ‘Mummum, Jaa…’ In his searching eyes when he wakes up every night. Or that in morning when he doesn’t see me the first thing in the morning.
On days when he refuses to let his nanny feed him, clothe him, bathe him. On moments, when he insists I shut my laptop and throw away my books, so that I can play with him. And then when his eyes water up in a fraction of a second when I pretend to be angry. At the time when he rushes into my arms, puts his head on my shoulders for a few seconds to look up at me and run his baby hands across my face…
…there are countless moments in a day when motherhood overwhelms me. But I realise that it is these same moments that I cherish as a mother.
Oh hell yes, motherhood is full of cliches! Those heart tugging Mother’s Day pictures on Facebook, that new J&J advertisement, the pains to motherhood are enough to choke you. So for me, really a special mother’s day is like that annual day function when you don’t know if you will get an award!
Did I get one today? If splashing in the toddler pool with V screaming and laughing his lungs out can be called that… then yes, it was my award.
So until next year, when it is time for the annual appraisal, it’s a whole new session out there…!
The TV junkie is back into the idiot box. Besides pretending to be a superwoman between work and family, Rituparna also dreams of flying free as an entrepreneur! Her son’s student, she is learning the ropes of parenting every day. Rituparna blogs at http://onboardthemommyship.