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Motherhood, I Feel Is An Exam Where The Paper Is Different For Every Individual….

Motherhood has made me realize how difficult it is to raise a child. We try to bring up the child as an extension of our selves, and forget that the child is an individual.

Motherhood has made me realize how difficult it is to raise a child. We try to bring up the child as an extension of our selves, and forget that the child is an individual.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” –says  Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

I was prepared for motherhood, or so I thought. See, I became a mother at the age of 32. By that time I had amassed lots of knowledge on how to take care of babies and how to answer their queries and how to guide them by listening to the anecdotes and experiences of my friends and relatives and their super babies.

But I had not reckoned with my child, my daughter. For one, she arrived a few weeks before she was due, so she was underweight. And unlike other people who felt awe when they held their babies for the first time and looked at the miracle they created and thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world and so on and so forth, I thought she looked like a tadpole. Thankfully, I did not mention this to anyone. It would have created a big fuss regarding my mental health.

Being a slow person, the feeling of motherhood developed sluggishly. And my daughter did not help. Here I was mentally prepared for late nights and howls and blubbers and what not, and there she slept for 20 hours. It is very difficult, I tell you, to develop motherly feelings towards a baby who only sleeps and demands nothing.

Feeding, changing diapers, bathing was things you did because you had to, not because she was hungry or wet or irritable. And she would be awake at midnight for two hours. But she would not cry. Just look at us with her large brown eyes. And you cannot go to sleep while the baby is awake, though you know it is not going anywhere or there is no danger of any sort.

So motherhood gradually developed in me…

and just as soon as I would feel that I was doing the right things, my daughter would crash all those castles.

Her whole aim in life seemed to be to prove my theories or ideas wrong or how to think of not plan B, but plan Z in any situation. If there is a contest held on how well you know your daughter, I will not get a single thing right.

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The most difficult thing is to answer her questions. One of my friends said that you should never say that, “You are small you will not understand. You should answer truthfully. They just want answers. If you ignore them, they will think about it and may have wrong ideas.”

I had a chance to test this theory when my daughter once asked me, “Mom, how are we made?” So I sat up straight and thought, here is a chance for me to prove how perfect I am. “See, there is one cell. Then it divides into two and then into more cells. Then some cells come together and form your head and arms and legs and whole of us is formed.”

That I thought was really great of me, explaining in simple words the whole truth to a three year old. But I should have known. I was dealing with my daughter. She trotted to her father and said ”I know how are we made. We are made from batteries,” gaining me a big lecture from my husband.

Thus all the experiences of my friends and relatives are of no use when you are dealing with her. Tell me how to answer such questions as “What is our family doing in Jingle Bells?” “What? Where?” She then explained, “See, Jingle bells Jingle bells Jingle all Dave’s?”

Or the time when she asked me what is the bad smell near the basin. I said, “What?” “Wait, I will show you.” And so she went to the basin and took a deep breath, then trotted back to me and breathed out under my nose and said, “This smell!”

So motherhood to me is an adventure…

of totally unexpected happenings, being prepared for anything and everything and a totally new perspective of things I took for granted.

Yes, I definitely love my daughter and think her to be my greatest creation. But growing up with my daughter, I have learnt many new things.

After her exams she always would say that all the questions were very easy, but then she would get average marks. As I said, I am a slow learner, so it was when she was in 4th class, I found the answer as to why she was getting average marks in spite of the test being easy. I was not asking the right question all these years! That year I said “If the questions were easy, why did you not get full marks?” “Because I did not know the answers.” “What? But you said the questions were easy?” “Yes, I knew the questions but not the answers!”

So as a mother I learnt that logic can be different for different people.

The teenage years were difficult as usual. It was very hard to remain calm and composed and we had huge fights on the usual things. I considered myself modern and forward thinking and we discussed all topics from periods to sex. And when we had arguments, I had to remind her that though I am not against talking openly, there are certain topics which we do not discuss around the dinner table or when elders are present.

Motherhood has made me realize how difficult it is to raise a child. We all want our child to be perfect and most loved and admired. We try to bring up the child thinking that the child is an extension of us and mould it according to our way. But we forget that the child is an individual and will not have same reaction as yours to any situation.

I have made mistakes as a mother while rearing my daughter. I assumed that her likes and dislikes would be like mine.

Motherhood has not been easy…

I had to see her go through broken relationships, quarrels, fights, failure, rejections, injuries, stress and everything and depending on her age, I had to speak or not speak, advice or not advice, interfere or not interfere and worry if I was doing the right thing or not.

Motherhood, I feel is an exam where the paper is different for every individual and there is no pass or fail.

Motherhood is a never ending process. You learn something new every day. Motherhood has made me look at things in a different perspective.

People say you should be like a friend to your child. I feel we should remain mother only. They will have friends in any number, but they will have only one mother.

Disclaimer: Though I have tried to instil some good habits in my daughter and show her the right path (according to me), her opinions are her own. I can tell how she will behave as a daughter. But how she will behave as a wife, daughter-in-law or mother, I cannot guarantee.

Pic credits Albert Rafel/Pexels via Canva Pro

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