Past Perfect, Present Tense
This old friend of mine who is also a mother called me while I was playing with the little one in park at 9 am in the morning. On knowing that I’m running and playing throw-catch ball game with the little one, she asked – don’t you feel tired playing and running around him at this early hour of the day?
I said, “No, I bring him here for the morning sunlight and he enjoys being here, plus even I have started to enjoy these outdoor games with him”. Baffled, she asked – “Are you serious, do you really enjoy this? Getting up early everyday with a crying baby, nappies, milk and now that he’s a toddler, running after him throughout the day? Don’t you miss going to work every morning and have a life of your own? You have always lived out of home, in hostels since childhood followed by an aggressive career; don’t you crave for those carefree days? Yaar you can be true to me, all these goody ‘I love motherhood’ statements can be left for posting on Facebook, but are you really happy with this phase of life? Don’t you miss your independence?”
Well, the conversation went on for long. Won’t go into details of her versus mine way of adjusting to this new phase of life. To each its own! Almost every woman tries to cope-up with this phase and even she has been doing it. And I know it’s not easy.
But to answer her question – “Am I really happy with this phase of my life? Yes, yes and a big yes! Don’t I miss my independence? Yes, yes and again a big yes! But then each phase of life brings some new moments and takes away some old.
Didn’t being into a full-time job take away some of your freedom? Didn’t marriage take away some of your independence? It did, at least for me. There were times when I was really sick or tired but still had to go to office and finish that pending work. There were times when I didn’t want to adjust with certain people or circumstances in my married life but still did. So like every stage, even motherhood has come to me with its good and bad.
But if I look at the changes within me and in my life, I think the good far, far, far outweighs the bad! And no, I’m not speaking of any kind of pseudo happiness in my life, trust me such “forever happy” state exists only virtually. I’m speaking of the real day-to-day feelings of mine that have their own share of happiness and frustration too. Days are mad these days but every night when I go to bed and look at this innocent little face sleeping next to me I get a smile on my face! Mornings are crazy, I really-really wish everyday that he sleeps an extra hour, get irritated when he again wakes up at 5 am but then he winks and smiles and hugs and lo I suddenly look forward to the day with yet another smile.
I have reasons to smile, smile on my own, on silly little things, for silly little reasons, unlike the ones that we forcefully put on our face for that perfect click. Do I need any more reasons to rethink if I am happy?
Last year, someone has sent me this letter as email forward. Searched on Internet to know the original author but couldn’t find it. This is one letter that I now forward to all my ‘to-be parents’ friends.
Dear Mommy and Daddy,
Please keep this letter from me in a place where you can read it and re-read it when things are rough and you are feeling down.
1. Please don’t expect too much from me as a newborn baby, or too much from yourselves as parents. Give us both six weeks as a birthday present, six weeks for me to grow, develop, mature, and become more stable and predictable – six weeks for you to rest and relax and allow your body to get back to normal.
2. Please feed me when I am hungry, I never knew hunger in your womb and clocks and time mean little to me.
3. Please hold, cuddle, kiss, touch, stroke, and croon to me. I was always held closely in your womb and have never been alone before.
4. Please forgive me if I cry a lot. I am not a tyrant who was sent to make your life miserable, the only way I can tell you I am not happy is with my cry, bear with me and in a short time, as I mature, I will spend less time crying and more time socializing
5. Please take the time to find out who I am, how I differ from you and how much I can bring you. Watch me carefully and I’ll tell things which sooth, console and please me.
6. Please remember that I am resilient and can withstand the many natural mistakes you’ll make with me. As long as you make them with love, I cannot be harmed.
7. Please don’t be disappointed when I am not the perfect baby you expected nor be disappointed with yourselves when you are not the perfect parents.
8. Please take care yourself; eat a balanced diet, rest, and exercise so that when we are together you have the patience and energy to take care of me. The cure for a fussy baby is more rest for Mom.
9. Please take care of your relationship with each other. What good is family bonding if there is no family left for me to bond with!
10. Keep the “big picture” in mind. I’ll be like this for a very short time, though it seems like forever to you now. Although I may have turned your life upside down, please remind yourselves that things will be back to normal before long.
Enjoy me – I’ll never be this little again!
Doesn’t it touch your heart, esp. the last line? So, this is what I have been keeping in my mind since the little one has arrived. Instead of remembering my old independent past, let me live & cherish these present moments with him as before I know he will grow up and will never be this cutesy-sweetsy, cuddly-wuddly little teddy bear again! And oh who knows, very soon he might even say – “Mom, I’m not a teddy bear! Please don’t embarrass me by calling me all that as I’m a grown up boy now”.
As they say, “past perfect & present always tense” 🙂. But instead of remembering my so-called ‘good old’ past, I have chosen and trying to make my present good enough. Hope I’m successful so that someday I can remember these days as ‘good old’ past as well 🙂.
A mother, a marketer and a blogger, Kanupriya currently is enjoying her life as a full time mom and a part time working professional. She loves to read and her favorite lines these days are – “New Mum, New Fun. So Blessed, This One. Long Nights, Short Days. Go Back, No Ways ~ Author Unknown“. Connect with Kanupriya on Twitter.