Now that P is getting on to one, I am a bit more relaxed with him and often take him with me on errands. Of course it is not easy coping with this wriggly, wiggly little boy who insists on craning his neck at every passing object, pointing out things with his incessant “ da, da ,da”.
It is equally hard to keep him from smiling at strangers, a shy questioning grin before becoming a full fledged smile that soon turns into a loud, irreverent “Ey!” But jobs have to get done and it’s not always possible to delegate them to someone or get them done online. One such job this week was getting some pictures framed.
Anyone who has framed pictures will know how difficult a job it is. Not only is it hard to choose a suitable frame but it is equally hard to resist the “suggestions” of the sales ladies who always try to push something that is distinctly not you. So while I was choosing the frame, Little P was busy pointing out to the paintings on the wall and pontificating “da, Da, DA, DA ” when he managed to catch the owner’s eye. The owner who was a handsome old gent also a one year old grandpa as it turned out, tried to distract him with my dark glasses lying around saying “ Do you want to play with mommy’s specs?” I, of course was secretly pleased and told him that flattered though I was to be considered his mother, I was in fact his grandmother.
While returning home, I felt pleased as punch till I realized that I may well have been considered an IVF mother because I understand that with so many young women putting off babies till they are more settled in their careers, they often have to resort to IVF or surrogacy or any other kind of assisted reproduction to have a baby. Older mothers seem to be the trend rather than the exception these days and very often older women at kindergartens are not nannies or grannies but the mothers themselves! Women are not afraid of resorting to medical aid while having babies and while celebrities like Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan are not shy about it, nor are the girls next door who seem as much at ease going to an IVF clinic as visiting the dentist!
Speaking from my own experience, I do think older women make better mothers – not only because they are more patient and understanding but also because they have less baggage to unload. Having “sown their oats” as it were, establishing careers, carving out their own identity, they are less angst- ridden than young women who just happen to plunge into motherhood before they even know what’s happening. In our time, first babies were born almost nine months to the day of the wedding and any delay immediately had prying eyes straying to the waist. But today’s women are more aware of themselves, their aspirations, their needs and their abilities and would rather have a baby when they are ready for one.
So don’t get pressured into having a baby to keep the family name going, or to keep granny happy before she dies or even having a baby before your mother begins crawling or wearing diapers herself! But on the other hand, do remember to not keep it for too late. There is something like a biological clock and it is ticking… sometimes too softly for you to hear. While I don’t judge anyone for going in for assisted reproductive treatment, adoption or even choosing to remain childless, I would like to advise all those who want to have babies and who can, why wait to be an older mother?
As a mother of two thirty-year old daughters and a grandmother of a nineteen week old grandson, Sunita Rajwade has been there and done that. A hands on mom, she has seen two girls grow successfully through baby hood, toddler hood, adolescence and adult hood; solving their maths problems and contributing to their angst of growing up with a mom “who doesn’t understand”. But now as a grandmother, she’s being appreciated for her “wisdom” and “understanding” and would like to share my experiences of this wonderful journey from motherhood to grandmotherhood.