Every night in the lame attempts of falling asleep, the same chain of thoughts start to cripple my head. We all have failed at some point of time in our lives; failed as a person, as a professional or a student. But how would it be to feel like a failure as a mother? This is the one thing in the world which makes every woman feel divine. Since childhood we are taught, by our society and movies, how great a mother is. But I often end up asking myself, is motherhood divine or a duty?
The common mistake we make as a society is to postulate that just by giving birth to a child, one has achieved great heights as human-being. Truly a woman undergoes lot of physical and psychological changes from the day she conceives, and it needs courage. But did the child force you to bring her to the world? No. Having a child was a choice that we made as adults. We knew what we are getting into. There is nothing divine in taking that decision. What we do afterwards in raising our child that makes all the difference.
Like most of the middle class families, I thought staying at home when I and my husband both can work is to cut down our income in half and that gave me a sense of financial crunch. I resumed work after maternity leave, but soon realized that the corporate world doesn’t give a balance between work and family life. Each passing day I got lesser time for my kid. Then we moved to a foreign country for the career advancement of my husband. Here the working hours are even more stringent. I got a full-time helper. But back in our hometown when I was working, my kid had her grandparents looking after her along with the nanny. I can’t rely just on a stranger with my kid. So the divine mother lets go the extra income for her offspring! But what happens after that?
I have always been a working woman. My mind is a monster when it has no professional work to do. Staying at home made me realize that children can make any task, as simple as getting them dressed, looks like a rocket science. They seek attention and how! Listening their nonstop blabbering, taking care of their endless needs, giving them undivided attention, and taking their tantrums is not a child’s play. But isn’t that something I got myself committed to when I decided to go for a child? I have this realization but yet I fail everyday in giving what it takes. I remember the instances when I scolded my daughter badly instead of talking her into understanding my point, or when I was rough with her just because I have nothing mindful to do in the whole day. I promise myself to be more patient tomorrow. But the next day when she gives me a hard time, in other words behaves like a child, I again lose my patience.
Good Enough Mother
I know the change has to come within me. I need to be a mother. I won’t say “a good mother,” because I believe there is nothing like a good or a bad mother. Being a mother itself means giving unconditional love and nurturance to your child. I don’t commit to being an extremely patient mother or a super human which I am not. You don’t fail because you scold you child; you fail when you don’t give them the time and efforts they deserve. Children always reflect the mood we are in. If you are annoyed, be prepared for your child to give you the toughest time. So what do I do? I take baby steps. I started by giving her one dedicated hour a day apart from the time I give for her daily cores. During this one hour, I read her stories, play with her like a child and talk to her. Even a tiniest improvement in the right direction is a success. And believe me, your child will recognize your efforts and it will show in his/her behavior too.
So let’s start! Join me in the journey if the shoe hurts you at the same place. Or even if I am alone in the world who feels this way, I am fine. Motherhood was never meant to be teamwork. Because there can be no mother to your child except you. :-)