I think we in general glamorize motherhood way too much. I mean yes okay motherhood is a lovely thing to take place in a woman’s life but it doesn’t mean that it comes with a tension free and frustration proof jacket. Let’s come to the terms of it and accept that motherhood does have it’s lows too. Which might be very few as compared to the highs but they are there,period!
Feeling unfit in the mother’s role:
I have no shame in admitting that upon being a new mother, I was feeling a little bit out of place and disoriented along with feeling ecstatic. I mean come on, I was suddenly [well not really but all that 9 months of mental and physical preparation does go out of the window,at least for a while,after delivery] given a tiny human being to handle who depended wholly on me…doesn’t it sound a little scary? What if things go wrong? What if I’m incapable of doing things that a mother is expected to do? and several such questions dawned upon me and they remained on my head for around first three months. In those days,there were several times that I felt unfit for this role.
Delivered? Not everything ends there:
Post partum blues. Not many women even know about it leave alone talking about it. Yes there are post partum blues commonly called as baby blues,which a woman goes through post delivery. The hormones do a jig dance inside your body and on the outside everyone else seems to be enjoying the new arrival/s except the inner you. You feel exhausted, used up and drained for a long while and all this not only at physical level but at emotional level too and then there is another facet that shows it’s face-breast feeding. Breast feeding in itself is a separate subject of motherhood and it is vast! For some it’s as smooth as butter but for others it is not so rosy!
That feeling of frustration:
I’ve learnt one thing-no matter how helpful and involved your partner is in the process of parenting, a mother is a mother is a mother. No one can replace her and things that she can do for her child. Specially in initial months it is only the mother that a child needs around.In later months your child starts becoming a little independent and can manage without you being around her,round the clock. So, when you realize that the stage has arrived where you can take a break and go for a coffee date with you girl friends or go out for a dinner with your husband while your family can take care for your child in your absence, you want to break the monotony and want to step out. Because there are times you feel frustrated performing the same role the entire day.
/a related digression here/ To take a break for a while from your daily routine is not a crime,while some mothers do state it in terms of that. One of my distant relative told me that now that I’m a mother I must stop going for movies, for coffee meets with friends / Husby and should also give up my time that I spend on Internet for a mother should dedicate all her time to her child,every single minute of it! Bah ! I just gave her ‘are-you-kidding-me’ look and left it at that! People like her never leave a chance to make you feel guilty of what a huge crime you are doing by leaving your baby for an hour or two with you in-laws or for that matter your Husby while you catch up with your friend, on your sleep, on your blogs, or even reading! I say I’m a person first and then a mother. If I’ve to maintain my sanity I must do all that it takes to keep my brain functioning. I must read. I must take a break from this daily cooking, cleaning, diaper changing, I must spend some time with my girl friends to be myself, I must get some ‘we’ time with my husband and so on! /digression ends/
Self-Study, no guide:
Motherhood doesn’t come with a manual, a guide or any instruction set as per your baby’s requirement. You do things, you fall,you get up and you learn. Even matters like feeding your baby can get tough on some mothers.
What suits your baby is known to you only. Moreover, when the time comes,people who have been loading you with 1000s of suggestions would disappear saying ‘oh mother knows the best’ .And don’t expect anything from the father cause there is nothing called paternal instinct,yes,it’s true! So, the mother is sole decision maker eventually, which puts pressure on her,cause she might go wrong too,yeah?
There are situations where mothers have to leave their babies/toddlers behind and work. It becomes important for the mothers to do so for either it’s important for them to earn money or to maintain their sanity or both!
Going back to work ain’t easy. There is this guilt factor which is hidden somewhere deep in your heart and peeps out every time some mean soul tries to pull it out. But one has to do it,especially when doesn’t want to and has to. In other cases also it is necessary that mothers who have been working throughout get back to their jobs,cause that’s the way to take a break,so why not! of course this is a personal choice!
But bolder steps are when you have to leave your baby behind for a longer while. When you are not going to be around at all for sometime. That’s the toughest part of it all, me thinks!
One of my school friends who lives in the US dropped her 3 year old daughter with her mother in India for a period of 6 months. She had to do this cause she thought leaving her child with her own mother is way too better an option than hiring a phoren nanny !
RM went to phoren land for her project for a while leaving her 3 year old back with her mother and husband.
My friend from the US, RM or several other mothers who take a tough decision are not stone hearted. They love their babies as much as a mother who is a housewife loves her child. In fact,these are brave women who know their lessons well of balancing the mother and and the woman in them,well. They know how to successfully perform the roles they have taken upon them. I salute to such women.
There is so much I can write and explain on how I feel I’m in a wrong shoe, how I feel I want to do so much as a mother but may be I’m not capable to, how much I love my child but still I need my own space but my words won’t do the justice to my feelings! Just came across this article on the web which beautifully states that being a mother is not easy yet woman take that step!
Having stated the above points of feeling frustrated at times, wanting to take a break and leaving Chirpy behind for a couple of hours to enjoy the evening with the husband or friends doesn’t mean that I don’t love my child or I did not love her even for a tiny second. I love her to death and I think no one can love her the way I do,yes the mother in me takes pride in this! But my child is the reason why I felt insecure and tensed initially,for I was scared of my own self, of me doing something wrong, of me being not able to perform my role properly,my child is the reason why I want to take a break and come back to her refreshed,happy…. I do it for her and myself !
So motherhood consists of feeling guilty, tensed, confused and frustrated too. It’s not only about feeling rosy and aww and all that awesomeness when you give a nod to blow up your belly, weigh more than you ever dreamed of, dance on the tunes of hormones and then pop out a tiny living being and get transformed to a totally new hemisphere!