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So, NO, says this writer, in a funny take on motherhood, that being a mother is not all sweetness and light as the glossy ads would have you believe!
So, recently, I started chatting up with this young mother I had just met. A similar profession as well, like mine; and as usual, we moms got discussing what a challenge it is to work and manage kids.
As the discussion went on, I had this sudden epiphany that she was nothing like me, she was what I would call, a Supermom, or at least an aspiring Supermom. One of those who dress primly – not a hair out of place, and talk in a painfully sweet, patronizing voice, like honeyed venom.
My realisation started with her gushing on about her four and two year old kids, and how she could never forget the beauty of giving birth. I pretended, genuinely pretended, to “Aww” at that remark. Instead my treacherous mouth lined into a snigger; birthing, beautiful?!
They must’ve pumped you with enough morphine to last a lifetime. But of course, I only thought that, didn’t say it. I am a nice person, you know! And then she started speaking about her parenting philosophy that included rules like no junk food, and only thirty minutes of TV time a day.
Wow, seriously?! My kids would devour me, literally, roll around my neck and squeeze hard like the an anaconda, until I either die of asphyxiation or give into TV time.
It continued on to how she would never let her children touch junk food.
I stood there, guilt clutching my intestines at the memory of last night’s burger and chips I had packed for my children’s lunch this morning. Or let us just say every morning, unless it is a Thursday where my kids have to remind me, multiple times, that Thursday in their school is NO junk food day.
Now, imagine me, readers. Standing there, listening to this perfect mother with her honeyed voice, and feeling smaller inch by inch, minute by minute. Fifteen minutes ago, I stood, tall, at 5 feet 5 inches (taller than her, at least) and fifteen minutes of that ‘supermom’ talk reduced me to a mere four feet. I felt tiny, minuscule, reduced to a state of an exotic mini human species that treated their children to TV time and junk food.
So, after an hour of appropriate nods, and completely dishonest phrases like “I know, right?!” “TV is such a freakin nuisance…” “OMG I do that too!” I said my goodbyes to her, while muttering under my breath, “I hope your kids smear Nutella all over your favourite dress.”
What?!….Mine actually did!
However, this encounter got me thinking, how much do I really enjoy motherhood?
Lets see seriously, hmm? Well, I will have to say a “No”.
It is NOT the greatest job in the world. There are so many things about motherhood, no one ever warned me about.
For example: You know how every woman says that popping a child out of her womb was the happiest, most joyful moment in her life. Rubbish, I tell you…absolute rubbish!
How can labour of anywhere between ten to forty hours, where every thirty seconds you bear unimaginable pain, be the most joyful moment of your life? Like, what were you high on? Two pills of ecstasy and magic mushrooms?!
Those images all over internet, showing a beautiful, smiling woman, with not a bead of sweat, glowing because of all the shimmer spread over her face. Holding this perfectly round, little creature, that tore her into half and came out, and as if that wasn’t enough, shrieked non-stop like the devil’s minion.
They are not true… come on!
When I had my kids, I did not glow, or smile. I looked like a pock marked, bloated elephant, that would sweat so much, that even newborns couldn’t bear my smell. And they come out of a tank of stinking bodily fluids!
And it doesn’t end there, now does it?
But before I go there. Let us turn back time a little. Say a few months before your beautiful, miraculous delivery.
You know how these new would be moms, hold their swelling tummy with pride, glowing like as though dipped in shimmer. They love talking about cravings, and nausea, and the kicks, and the diminishing bladder control like another few months and it will all vanish under the amazing experience of being a mother.
Let me, let you, in on a secret, which, believe me, no one – I repeat, no one would tell you about. Not even your own loving mother, who swore to adore and protect you all your life. Come on, why would she, she can’t wait for that chubby chub to play with and show off to her friends. While you do the actual baby sitting.
Here goes. Your beautiful experience of child birth is followed by at least a year of sleepless nights, sleepless days, and a complete transformation from a young nubile woman to a misshapen ghost. Oh and dark circles, are best experienced in motherhood.
Not afraid yet? Well, that was just a summary, let me go into details.
All those breast feeding selfies all over internet petrify me. It is all about glamour, isn’t it? No one talks about how it feels to have a three kilo little bundle latched on to your nipples half the day and night. And guess what, the more it latches on, the heavier it gets. And even though it’s cute, and has no teeth, it has gums. Gums sharper than a crocodile’s canines. So, be prepared to bleed. For a long, long, long time. It was three years for me.
Moving on, you of course want to join a gym or yoga instantly, to get back in shape. It is not like we don’t have enough women, proudly displaying their perfect post baby bodies. Thanks to their nannies and maids names Lakshmi or Shanta. But you know, I am middle class and I say, you can’t, won’t be able to, because suddenly at the prospect of watching over an infant for a mere 60 minutes, everyone around you, including the loving baby daddy, gets cold feet.
And then there is negotiation, you finally agree to make that little, cute, devil’s minion sleep. And if it is anything like mine, it wouldn’t, instead just for gags (literally) it would choose to poop, just before you leave, or just when you sit to eat or just when you are slipping into deep sleep. Good luck with that.
Since, we are talking about pooping, I think we need to discuss, how for the last seven years, there have only been five or six such occasions where I have been able to dwell on my bath for more than fifteen minutes.
My standard five minute time to poop is usually interrupted enough times with my kids, banging, scratching, pushing or generally whining at the bathroom door. I guess, it is because they know that they have popped out of me, and pretty much own my every single cell. But then again, being naked, except for a back open gown that barely covered anything, in an Operation Theatre with at least half a dozen doctors and nurses running around, did diminish any grand illusions of modesty I might have had.
So you pretty much allow the little minions to desecrate your modesty, and then read articles about, which age should the child stop seeing parents undress? Because of course, you are not a pervert. You are just an over worked mother, who is too tired to constantly answer, “Why can’t I be in the room when you change?” or “Why do you have to close the bathroom door when you are doing pee pee? Daddy doesn’t!”
“Daddy is a dork, baby!” you scream, on the verge of tears.
Coming to bathrooms, I wonder what kids do in there. They hate it, hate having to be ushered inside the bath, but once they are in there, they hate having to be ushered out. And, let us not even talk about toilet paper. It is the most in demand commodity in my house. Over the years I have come to believe that my kids don’t use it, they consume it…like candy. Now if only, toilet paper, had any, any nutritional value at all!
You are judging me, aren’t you? Are you one of those pesky non-parents who seem to believe they have their parenting philosophy down to a T? If you are, then hell I have a bone to pick with you.
So, these non-parents, annoy the life out of me, with their unrealistic grand illusions of parenting.
Let’s see, when my son greets them with a, “Hi”, they make a face and respond with “Good morning, Siddharth!” Should I tell them that they are the chosen ones, my son actually bothered to raise his head from the iPad, while he was in midst of Shark Attack? Maybe no, because they are already judging me for using the iPad as a convenient nanny.
Well, judge all you want, you would thank smart phone and tablet manufacturers when you join the motherhood bandwagon. Those few minutes of brief respite that you get, inspite of the constant bang bang from the ipad, it feels like heaven.
Anyways, back to the unrealistically perfect mothers who give no junk food to their kids and limit recreational/TV viewing hours to 30 minutes a day, or make handmade costumes for Halloween and pin it, or bake healthy carrot cookies at home and then splash it all over Instagram. And I am here feeling proud because I did not forget the kids in the mall; where I went to pick up chocochip cookies for the school lunch.
I want to ask them some things.
Don’t you want to do really important and meaningful stuff while your child is glued to the TV? For example: Gossip about your relatives to your best friend, or discuss that annoyingly perfect mom at school, who is always prim, wears Versace and carries Louis Vitton? Hell, even her child’s school bag is a Tommy. Like my minions did not require further motivation to drain my pockets?!
Don’t you…don’t you?! Ah, you don’t, clearly. And you have now decided that I am the worst specimen of motherhood ever created by the God above or my parents in this case. And co-incidently there is a name for mothers like me, Unicorn Moms, all because we are super rare.
Perhaps, the most infuriating parts about motherhood are the grandparents. They seem to know exactly what needs to be done and when. As if they themselves, have raised perfect specimen of mankind. Case in point, yours truly!
Although after this rant does get published, my mother would be the first one to deny that it was written by her daughter, because of course she hasn’t raised me to be a complaining, lazy, couch potato. Then again, I will probably record a reaction video of her when she reads this. Such joy and contentment. What? Even she didn’t tell me what to expect when I was expecting!
They will tell you how to hold your baby, how many seconds to rock it, because anything more than five minutes and you are raising a spoilt brat, and anything less, you ain’t cut out for motherhood. How it is critical that I don’t feed them junk food, however, their grandpa is always willing to oblige the minute they set their eyes on a Snickers bar. And of course you are lucky if both your parents and your husband’s parents see eye to eye in their parenting philosophy. Because if they don’t, third degree torture is more preferable to being sandwiched between two competing grandparents.
So if you think motherhood is scary by now, which you probably do, you haven’t experienced the scariest part yet.
Finally after years you visit a club with friends or spouse, only because the grandparents grudgingly agreed to babysit your monsters. You will see a bunch of 17 something girls drunk, falling all over the place, a bunch of 17 something boys, running around carrying two of these drunk girls in each arm and there would be whispers of ecstasy and LSD.
Your heart would stop, your eyes would be wide, and you will promise yourself that next month you are moving to a convent with your kids and never looking back.
So yes, I am a mother, who doesn’t think motherhood is the best job in the world:
My house will never be spotless, it will be rife with toys. So watch your step.
I know you adore my little minions, but if you wake them, you take them.
I will always be tired, and if I am taking a nap, don’t you dare wake me, else you will see Smaug in true life.
I will whip up a meal in half an hour; it will not be gourmet, it will not be healthy either. But you better not make a face.
And finally, bear in mind, if you say a single un-savoury word about my kids, your ex-girlfriend/stalker would be the least of your problems.
(Note from the author: This article is meant to be a humorous take on motherhood. With no reference to any person living or dead, except for my parents, very much alive and very much entertaining. I think I can take that liberty.)
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Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay