A Mother’s day thought

This is my first mother’s day as a mother. I’m still debating whether motherhood agrees with me. There are some days when I actually wonder whether my baby is so unfortunate to have me as his mother. And some days make me feel like a super-mom. During days of these roller-coaster emotions, what push me forward are those toothy smiles, the cute bums and the knowledge that a human being is entirely dependent on me. So when my instagram feed is filled with people (everybody in bollywood /mollywood /Hollywood) posting selfies with their mothers, I ask myself. Is motherhood so great? Or is it the new fad among people?

I remember dreaming about tiny hands and feet floating in amniotic fluid inside my stomach when I was pregnant. I imagined the baby swimming in his own little swimming pool and I used to be so amused when he did little back flips inside me. I still remember the fine morning when I woke up and found that my labor started. I went to the hospital, the negative thoughts injected into my mind during the last 9 months echoing inside my head. I could hear snide comments by elders like “You won’t have a normal delivery unless you do household chores”, or some old grandmother boasting to me about how she went to work on a farm when she was 9 months pregnant, or some old uncles advising on how reading the puranas while you are pregnant can make your baby a good soul. Now that was enough –No uterus, no opinion uncles! I went to the labor room silently praying that be it normal or C-section, let the baby be healthy and fine.

Despite the fact that I did not do any household chores, nor did I go farming in the ninth month, by God’s grace I delivered our baby boy in a few hours. So I became a mother with a great start. I was super proud of myself and even felt that I am coming out of the labor room holding a trophy. Literally. Little did I know that a good start never gurantees what follows..

Little Sreeram was born 3 weeks early than his due date. As our baby weighed less than the coveted 3 kgs of normal baby weight, the so called elders found the reason of his low birth weight to be the early labour, which was triggered by the stomach problem I had in the preceding week. I had a small bout of food poisoning in the week before, after eating some homemade food. As the experts of our family discussed on and on about the chubbiness that might have been gained had he spent 3 more weeks in his mother’s womb, the new mother in me gazed at my baby and wondered whether my baby was too thin. I felt the winning mother in my mind putting down her trophy seeing that Sreeram had tiny thighs, hands and feet. I felt sad seeing my baby on the very next day, thanks to the birth experts in town.

Moving forward, Sreeram cried and cried and cried. All day and all night. Living in a joint family, I never realized raising a baby will be this difficult. As soon as the baby starts crying, heads poked around my door when I was breast feeding, when I am sleeping, whenever I was doing anything. Thanks to Sreeram, I never slept continuously. I had time only to feed, burp and change his diapers. I wasn’t even allowed to close our bedroom door at night (the baby needs a lot of air circulation apparently).  There were round table discussions and meetings in the family as to discuss why my baby is crying. And the baby experts came up with numerous reasons – mother having not enough milk, mother keeping the fan in a high speed thereby making the baby cold, mother not feeding the baby in fixed intervals, mother using too thick clothes to swaddle him, mother not recognizing whether he is having a stuffed nose..and the list goes on.

The new mother in me hung her head in shame and humiliation, thinking that I never deserved to be a mother, in the first place. And I felt this small bubble of anger grow a tad bigger in size. Everybody in the world had opinions on how I should take care of my baby, how I should not put baby powder or kajal on him, when to start solids, when to feed him etc etc. But the sleepless nights were completely the mother’s responsibility. When the baby falls sick, its always because the mother overfed him, the mother was careless while bathing him or whatever. Again the mother in me felt insulted to the core. The bubble of anger grew in size and it burst when the husband lightly prodded it. He dismissed all the anger and my anxieties in a single word, hormones!

On this mother’s day, I am fighting all these again with one hand and a baby in the other hand. I don’t want anybody to wish me on Mother’s day. I just want to be treated kindly as a mother.  The only things I crave for the most these days are a sound sleep and peace of mind. So on mother’s day, treat any mothers especially the young mothers kindly. Do not judge them, advise them or nag them. Give them privacy, give them freedom with their babies, basically impart confidence in them. Let them decide what is good for their own babies. Keep your baby knowledge to yourselves, we will ask if we need. Just let the mothers enjoy raising their babies.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Husband or Game of Thrones?

Everyday we have to make so many choices. We choose one dress over another. We chose idlies over dosas. We chose cab rides instead of bus rides. Our days are full of one or the other choices, some we make consciously others unconsciously. Does our choices define what sort of a person we are? Are we labelled according to the choices we made/make/going to make?

Like any other day, I went to office after a long weekend, brimming with energy, pumped at the prospect of getting some work done, rested and happy. I chose not to fall into the traps of Monday blues, I chose to ignore the latest episode of Game of thrones at my fingertips ( chanting to myself, “I’ll watch it at night after putting the baby to bed.”). Things went well as planned, I reached home, and my fingers were aching to take my mobile and start watching the episode. I had shut myself off from the internet to block the spoilers. Every ounce of my restraint were put to test, I faced the feeding session of our baby calmly, put the baby to bed after singing lullabies lovingly and finally took my mobile and sat down to watch ‘The long night”.

The episode started off as every fan’s dream come true and I prayed that Please let me watch it till the end without the baby waking up / internet going down / power going off (it was raining!). I was enjoying myself so much when the husband came to call me for dinner. Something about my reaction to being interrupted in the midst of a war for mundane things like dinner (there are people being killed by ice zombies man!) must have irked him, he left the room with a smug face.

Of course I paused the video and went to serve him dinner. Not because I’m a dutiful textbook wife – because I felt guilty about choosing game of thrones over my sweet better half. As I served him dinner and ate with him, I remembered the unmarried me a few years back, skipping dinner altogether to watch Game of Thrones. I’m happy my choices changed. My choices make others happy. And that makes me happy.

Let your choices be a cause of happiness to you as well as others around you. That’s all it takes to have a happy life.

Beauty and The Inner Beast

The first blog. The first of so many things have gone way too bad for me, so I’m not putting much hopes. So this is my first leap of faith towards a seemingly impossible dream of writing a book someday. My better half suggested, why not try a blog. Well Mister, this has been in my mind for so long but I was too much shy/not confident to let people read my articles. The husband is all praise for whatever I write, for he’s actually a sweet soul but hey, come on I’m one of those perpetual hiding women in this matter…hide from your ex-boyfriend, hide from your old teacher, hide from your boss in the super market…hide from your fears to be precise.

The last time I tried something new was yesterday. It was my cousin’s wedding ceremony and all our family had gathered for the function. The bride’s mom (my aunt) gifted me a beautiful new kanjeevaram silk saree to grace the occasion in. Having a 9 month old baby makes it impossible to get ready on my own from home, so I decided to find a beauty salon for the tedious chore of draping a saree. So I reached the parlour an hour early. The bride was getting ready in the same parlour, so it was absolute mayhem in there. My first mistake – I should have chosen another parlour. But, as professionals in one of the most competitive fields, some ladies gave me their attention and started to drape the saree, do my hair and makeup.

As they were doing the final touches, to my horror, I realized that I haven’t lost my maternity weight gain as I believed(or wanted to believe). I looked like a 35 year old lady with big fat arms, and big..well, everything! My self confidence shattered down like a glass dropped to the floor and my hair looked absolutely hideous all poufed up. The women who did my makeup assured me I looked pretty, but I couldn’t bring myself to step out of the room.

My husband called to pick me up, directed me to come out and wait for him on the opposite side of the road, which included crossing a busy street with lots of people staring at me, to add to my horrors of the day. I prayed for my husband to reach fast, while i deliberately ignored anybody passing nearby me. The humiliating wait barely lasted 5 minutes though it felt like 5 hours. My knight in shining armour came to rescue me, looking so young and handsome (damn you men! How easy for you to become a father!) and I hopped in. For the sweet soul I told he was, he said I looked so beautiful and that he remembered our wedding day. And I wanted to cry when I remembered how slim and pretty I was, once upon a time.

As I walked into the auditorium, my mind in a turmoil…suddenly I felt calm. When did I become so shallow as to panic about my looks? Here I am, a 28 year old woman, well educated, working in a multi national company, earning an income of my own, having a husband and a son who loves me, a family that supports me, and so I’m not as slim as I used to be. Big deal. I gave birth to a human being not a year ago, and I’m proud of the weight that came with it. So I walked in, head held high, holding the hands of a man I love, believing that everybody thinks I’m beautiful. Period.