I love my daughter to bits, but I will not let the supposed halo of motherhood to change me into a sacrificing caricature of motherhood.
‘Motherhood’ is often considered as a ‘phenomenon’, something which transcends a woman’s very being to another level. It is not unprecedented to accord ‘godlike’ qualities to women when they become ‘mothers’.
In my almost five years as a mother, I have been meaning to discover this halo of motherhood around me, but in vain. I cannot count the number of times when I despised being a mom and the number of times when I looked back at my pre-motherhood life longingly. I delve into the labyrinths of my ‘motherly’ heart, only to find a human being, who has her own set of follies and foibles.
I have heard women among friends and family claim hysterically that they were ‘cut out to be mothers’ and see them swooning over baby pictures, and chatter incessantly – from what type of food they give their munchkins, to how the only things that matter in their lives are their children.
I do not completely disagree with them. I sincerely do not. But, I wonder – should ‘motherhood,’ once attained, transform a person so much that, you become a totally new person?
Well, my little girl is the apple of my eye. She has taught me so many things. She has taught me patience. She has made me realize that one can care about another being with such phenomenal intensity. She has trodden in my life with her little footsteps and has left an indelible mark of love all over.
But, she has not taken away my individuality from me. I am the same person, who dreamt to do well in life, who devoured books in plenty and went starry eyed watching her favourite stars on the celluloid. She has added new dimensions to my personality but has not taken away the old.
‘Motherhood’ and ‘Guilt’ are two virtues/vices which go hand in hand. And ‘guilt’ sure did hang over me like a Damocle’s sword, but I do not succumb under it. I realize there are good and bad days for me as a mom and that is the most natural thing about being a mother. I am not a demi-god, who is supposed to do certain things to achieve the ‘star performer’ award.
For me, when my girl says that she ‘loves me the most’ and exclaims with a solemn expression that ‘I will understand all your problems and be there for you always’, the moment becomes ethereal. But that does not stop me from being sad when I cannot take up that demanding job as I cannot get myself to leave my girl unattended for long. But then that is my decision as a practical and sensible person. It does not make me this ‘sacrificing’ mother who went beyond her limits to provide for her child.
And I hope I will be successful in never burdening my daughter under the load of the things that I chose to do for her. Also, once she grows up, I want her to see the ‘real me’, not that mother with doleful eyes, who forever banters as to how she ‘changed’ to become the real life Nirupama Roy in her bid to become a mother par excellence. And I am sure she will be jolly proud of me then.
Published here earlier.
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