I would enjoy it more…
I often watch mother-child duos at the market, in the bus, on the road… And I watch in envy. I get along great with my toddler now, but for the longest time, I seemed to be struggling with parenthood. I don’t remember strolling out into a market with my little one tucked in cozily beside me. I remember frantically figuring out how to get him to sleep, how much to feed him, how to quieten his howls…
No doubt, there are two sides to the coin. When you see a mother and her baby outside, you see the best. You see the baby cutely dressed, the Mom pushing the baby along in a stroller, they smile and coo at each other. You don’t see the sleepless nights, the wailing and the anger, the fatigue and the mess. Unfortunately, before you become a mother, you know only of the former. The latter, you get to know, when it truly hits you in the face.
Yet two years after I became a mother, I’m beginning to realize that while the struggles of new motherhood are indeed a reality, so is the warm feeling of love you experience when you hold your child. While your patience is stretched to its highest limits, so is your smile when you see your little one achieve something new. While you are tired like never before, you are a person like never before. A whole new dimension and meaning have been added to your life.
I’ve tried my best to be a good mother in these last two years, and I believe I’ve not done a bad job. My son has had a happy, healthy upbringing and is of a cheerful, curious nature. If I went wrong anywhere, it was not with him, but with me. Because while I was so busy doing everything perfectly, I forgot to enjoy the journey.
Its a deep regret and I’d like to think that if I were to become a mother again, I would remember to enjoy motherhood more next time. But probably because I did not relax and enjoy it enough the first time, I’m scared of doing it all over again.
There’s still the future to look forward to and I’m trying to change my approach now. I’m trying to forget the mess in the kitchen and instead, lie back with my boy and read a happy book. I’m trying to go out for a walk with my son, and breathe in the fresh air and hear the birds sing, rather than worrying that he’s too cold or he might fall down and hurt himself.
As first time mothers, we often worry so much about doing things the right way, that we forget to pause and live in the moment. I’m writing down my feelings in the hope that any new mum out there who might be struggling with motherhood like I did, can take a moment out to re-look at her approach. Don’t worry about the baby having that extra 100 ml of milk, don’t worry about your toddler not napping enough, don’t worry about your child not getting a better grade in her science exam.
What’s more important is that you and your precious one are having a good time together. Forget the chores every now and then and just sit back and relax with your baby. Sing some songs, count her toes, go to the neighborhood park and lie down under the shade. Play a game together, collect some colorful leaves, tickle each other and laugh.
The laundry can wait a day, the bottles will get sterilized, sleep patterns will fall into place. Trust me, those are not the things you will remember years later. What you will remember and what will become a part of your memories are the happy moments.
So don’t dwell on the difficult moments; laugh them away.
Create lots of happy moments and enjoy the blessing of being a parent.
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Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.