Saturday, October 20, 2012

Motherhood: A Song for life



This is an interesting contest from Women's web and I could not help participating in it. Nice way to return to the blog world isn't it? Happy reading.


I first became a mother long back. 38 years to be precise. It seems strange to write about my experiences as a new and not so new mother. Was I prepared to handle motherhood? When did I actually become a mother in the real sense? Becoming a mother is easy being one is not. At least that is what I’ve experienced. My experience as a mother is like a spectrum of colors that are dispersed from a prism when light is passed through it. Some were joyous some were challenging. There were ‘Aha’ moments as well as anxious ones. But all these emotions combine into an integrated unit called motherhood. I am really in a philosophical mode and my analysis of the experiences I went through may just help me to define my role as a mother.

I have narrated my traumatic experience during my first pregnancy earlier. For all that I went through I was rewarded with a bouncy baby girl who seemed to be the prettiest girl on earth. She was sucking her thumb when the nurse brought her over after a bath and I remember thinking that she would be the much needed prop to adjust with my acquired family including my husband. I was proud of my princess and was very sure she would win everyone over. And she did! My mother in law was so delighted to hear baby sounds in the house after 20 years that she would not trust anyone to bathe or feed the child. We had to allow her to assess the temperature of milk before pouring into the feeder and she would check if her porridge was properly cooked before giving the child a spoonful. My unmarried sister in law would play with her every waking minute, dress her up like a doll and take her out every evening. It was then that a sense of insecurity that seemed to bother me.  I began to doubt if my daughter would ever bond with me. I somehow felt that she preferred the company of her aunt and grandmother. While I was happy about the affection the family showered on her, I felt left out and unwanted. But children have their own way of expressing their priority and preference and my 11 month old daughter did just that.

My sister in law would put the child to sleep by her side at night and since she was not breast feeding it really did not matter. However she would wake up around 4 in the morning and cry for milk. We would have milk ready in a flask and a duly sterilized feeding bottle by the side. My sister in law would pour the milk into the bottle but the brat would not let her touch the bottle after that. “Pamma”(combining Padma and amma) she would scream meaning that thereafter I had to take charge and give her milk. – it did not matter who filled the feeding bottle. I would squat on the floor and she would lie down on my lap hold the bottle with her hands and drink up the milk. After that she would pick up her little pillow and accompany me to my room and cuddle up by my side. I realized then that I had worried in vain. No one in the world could take my place.

The times when my children got admission to reputed schools in Jamshedpur were momentous. My heart would sink when I would see parents give their children extra coaching for admission tests. I could not afford tuitions so I would frame simple questions and coach them on my own. There were little facilities I could not give them and I felt terribly guilty about it. But these inadequacies did not bother them. It only helped them to become confident and self assured. My second daughter was hardly ten years old when she would come home by town bus along with a friend and her younger sister. On one occasion her friend had raging fever and could not board the bus. My daughter approached an auto rickshaw driver and asked him if could drop them home. She also told him that she only had money for their bus fare and asked him if he would accept the amount adding that her friend was not in a position to board the bus. The man dropped her home and went away without asking her for extra money. It did not even occur to her that she could come home and ask for the extra fare. Her concern for her friend made me proud of her and it was an “Aha” moment for me!

My son got in and out of trouble as a teenager as recounted here and here. The trust he placed in me and his expectation that mummy would set things right makes me realize that motherhood means much more than the joy one feels on holding the little one for the first time. Motherhood was a responsibility and even while standing up for one's children ethics and morals could not be compromised. I am glad I was able to do just that.

My grand daughter rings me up with complaints about her mother and I realize that I am still expected to reprimand my daughter when need arises! My grandchildren see an ally in me who helps them tackle their own mommy. Finally when my 32 year old son calls me up to say that an advice - to concentrate on one thing at a time - that I had given him when he was in school, came in handy when he faced a crisis at work I realized that my hair may have grayed and I may have put on 15 Kgs of weight but I may never ever retire from my post as a mother!

So from what I see motherhood is a song that begins as a lullaby that she sings for her little one. It gets transformed into a motivational song when the kid is being prepared to face life and becomes an inspirational one when the child settles down. The lyrics may change but the essence remains!
  

19 comments:

L said...

You know, what I have come to enjoy the most?.....not being a mother to my daughter.......now, just of late. Sometimes I ask her for advice and sometimes she asks me for advice. We talk as peers.I don't recall just when this happened,when I stopped lecturing, but it is recent and I like it.

Ani said...

absolutely fantastic post.. I came here via RM's blog and loved this post especially as I can relate to it as a mother of 7 yr old daughter. she fills my world with navarasa ranging from anger to laughter :)

Hip Grandma said...

L: My children also act like my guardians and keep a check on my activities. I get scolded for not maintaining my weight and eating sweets despite being diabetic. My claim that I eat sweets once in a while does not register in their minds!

Ani: Welcome here. A 7 year old girl is a delight. At the age of 7 children believe that parents know everything. Only when they start questioning us are we subjected to the acid test of parenting.

R's Mom said...

Awww! thats like one of the sweetest posts you have ever written HHG :) So glad WW could drag you out of the non blogging phase :)

catherine paul said...

When I became a mother the thing I loved the most was just looking her for a long time thinking that this tiny came from within me and feeling her by touching her. Now that she has turned three now I like just listening to her innocent talks.

Kavs said...

Loved your post HHG! :)

Hip Grandma said...

R's Mom:Thanks. It does seem silly to write about motherhood at the age of 61+ but competitions are tempting aren't they? When are you posting yours?

Catherine paul: Welcome here and all the best for your motherhood experiences.

Kavs: Thanks

chaitu said...

During u blog break i have read almost all of your post. Your experiences serve as nuggets of wisdom to me. I am delighted your back to blogging:)

SJ said...

Such a wonderful post - HHG ! Every line you wrote seemed like poetry for me...a budding mother of a 4 year old !

Sirisha said...

I loved the post!
Please dont stop Keep it going for us new mothers.
Also It would have been so much fun to be in a joint family.

I have been trying to put up a comment from a few minutes..The server is acting. Please delete if extra comments appear.

Hip Grandma said...

Chaitu: Welcome here. Did you really read all my old posts? Didn't they seem repetitive and boring? I gave up blogging for the very reason so your comment is an encouragement.I think I will be blogging again even if only to participate in contests!

SJ: Thanks and welcome here. I am in awe of your generation. Accept my salute.

Srisha: Thanks and welcome here.Joint family had its merits but it does not work any more. Elders too want their space and a distant but cordial relationship is preferred these days by those of my generation.

LLT said...

Wow! I loved this post on motherhood the best-the complete range of emotions - from the first time you saw your baby to taking care of not just the children but the grandchildren :-) I could never write a piece like this-ofcourse nor do I have the experience... :-)

Hip Grandma said...

LLT: Your narration on Chutku's childhood experiences is interesting too. Why don't you participate in the contest? or have you already posted your entry?

SJ said...

Dear HHG - You had mentioned " SJ: Thanks and welcome here. I am in awe of your generation. Accept my salute. "
Sorry HHG - my humble question to you - Just couldn't figure out the point of why you mentioned that you are in Awe of my Generation and Why the salutes.
We mothers of this generation are struggling to balance home, kids and work and must learn a whole lot from your generation in terms of hardwork and adjustment. Your generation (included my own mom )were capable of wonders during your times. We are the people who should be Saluting you..I truly do HHG !

Hip Grandma said...

SJ: With your multitasking capabilities and the onus of managing a demanding career and an equally demanding life style your generation is not having it easy. Your generation needs to be appreciated. However, we may mutually salute each other if you so wish!

Anonymous said...

Hi Preeta,
As always, a charming post. All women, who have become mothers, or who plan to become one.. Agree, that Motherhood, gives much more than one gives to it. Its in those little pleasures, we find the essence of being a woman. You may give birth to one or raise a child as ur own, I feel, there is no other responsibility, love, gratitude greater than being a mother. With all it ups and downs, every mother treasures, her memories, as moments, of Deepawali or Christmas. The light of her life, is in hearing a call, saying "MOM" ....
Thank you.

Passer by

Ranjani said...

Nice to see you coming back and writing. Being a mother of a 3 year old, i could relate to some of the things you have told in your blog. Yes, as you have said, no one can replace a mother how much ever others can do to kids.

Hip Grandma said...

Passerby,Ranjani: Thanks for your responses. Without the support and pampering of my readers what would i do?

radha said...

Well said. I have just become a grandmother and do delve in the past and feel the same way !