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It is so easy to forget what we hold dear to our heart, in the pursuit of what we consider most important to us in life! It takes a really jolting moment to whack you in the head and tell you – “Hey!! Wake up and get your priorities straight!”

Parental Priorities - Raising Children

We all work very hard to get that elusive thing called success. It can be high grades in class for some, a “white-collar” job, all the money that comes with the job for some, being socially in the ‘high’ status and many such ambitions.

But there comes a time when suddenly, you are faced with the hard-hitting reality that you would give all that up for that special SOMEONE in life. And my moment of truth had arrived in the form of my little baby boy.

I was juggling a corporate career, and being a mother to two energetic children – a toddler aged 5 and a baby aged one. My son had what we thought was just a seasonal flu. This erupted into a full-fledged infection, not letting him eat or drink without throwing up. He was so dehydrated that we had to hospitalize him. His little wrist was punctured with the needle that pumped up vital liquids and salts to keep him alive.

My husband kept himself busy with hospital formalities so that he wouldn’t have to look at our son protesting mildly when the doctors examined him. As his energy depleted, even the mild protests stopped and became just little whimpers. I just held him close to my heart and sang him his favorite rhyme, not trusting myself enough to look at his tired baby eyes.

Mothers are nearest to God, they say. There probably are zillions of poems, songs and stories glorifying mothers like me. But there is a difference – I am human! I make mistakes, and any one of them could have caused so much pain to my baby, sleeping in medicine induced sleep. I was tried  to keep myself free from guilt.

The hospital staffs were very considerate, with only encouraging and comforting words to say. But I could almost hear what they were saying to each other…..

“What an irresponsible mother!”……. “Poor child!”

As my baby lie sleeping, I allowed myself the luxury of self-pity.

“True I am a busy mom” (Ping! Point to Guilt)

“But also true that I loved him and did it all for him.” (Now, why wasn’t that so convincing?)

“He wouldn’t be so ill if I was at home, caring for him all the time.” (Ping! Point Guilt)

I was fast losing the battle to guilt, when I got the call. The voice at the other was my sister – a wonderful mother, and my best friend.  She simply said “I know you must be beating yourself up….. Don’t do it! He needs you to be human. Just snap out of it, and give him all your time. You can get your priorities straight, and make those decisions you need to make. But right now, enjoy your time together. He is getting better, right? So thank God, and start living!”

As the intravenous medication and saline started taking effect, my son started getting better. He woke up after a couple of hours, and smiled when he saw me. And this time, his protests were a little louder when the doctor came checking.

We were in the hospital for nearly a week, and I took a long time off from work after we reached home. My whole team from office came to see us and assured me that they would keep things moving till I join back. The boss told me to take it easy.

I was surrounded by optimism, and none of the things I had kept worrying about ever happened. I still have a job I love, but that doesn’t make me lose focus on life. I take time out to enjoy my children, play with them and gather as many baby memories as I can.

I am sometimes asked if I am compromising on that elusive thing called success. I have only one answer to that – thank God I finally realized how successful I am!!

Meena Bhatnagar is a mother of two, with a passion for the written word. She dabbles with fiction, a couple of them finding their way into published work, is an avid blogger, and works as a corporate trainer to pay for all the damages. She blogs on parenting, social issues and humorous incidents of her life and on hotel & restaurant reviews and corporate training.