We all play various roles in our lifetime bearing different shades of emotions but the most crucial, difficult and demanding role in the life of a woman starts when she becomes a mother. In fact, the life of a woman can clearly be divided into two parts-pre-motherhood and post motherhood era. And, no girl in the pre-motherhood era can envisage what is in store for her on the other side because as every child is different and so is every mother. She can learn from the examples but the reality hits when she enters the battlefield or in this case she decides to be a mother.
There are numerous physical and psychological changes which starts taking place as soon as a woman becomes pregnant. Though she is showered with all the affection and care during the pregnancy phase but when the baby enters the world, the needs and desires of the woman take a backseat while baby's needs take precedence. Basic functions like showering and eating have to be readjusted to match with baby's nap time. The social circle is restricted to other parents and baby's doctor. In totality, the baby starts to run the show and parents especially mother is just a player at the mercy of mighty director. The babies don't come with a rule book and every mother goes through waves of self doubts whether she is doing the job properly or not. There is a lot of learning involved along the way which is free by the way!
First and foremost thing that any mother learns with the child is patience and self control. A great deal of patience is required when after trying for two hours the baby still doesn't want to sleep. Lots of self control is needed when a three year old insists on buying a toy in the supermarket and on being declined, starts crying nonstop lying on the floor, when a four year old doesn't like the meal, mother has cooked so painstakingly. Overall, a lot of self control and patience is required to deal with kids in day to day situations.
Expected the unexpected-this is another important lesson of parenting. Things will never go as prepared and according to the set plan. All the vacation planning may backfire when a child falls sick or you may get late for a movie or dinner when the kid wants a toilet break as you are about to leave the house. In short, do your best but be prepared for the worst.
Listening also becomes very crucial when the child starts to speak. There are infinite number of questions which mother has to answer on a daily basis. Right from, why does water make us wet and why do I have a baby brother to why is Shahrukh Khan's tummy different from my tummy (six pack abs!), there is no end to the stream of questions and every question is damn important and critical for the little inquisitive mind. The mother not only has to listen to each question carefully but also give an answer to satisfy the kid's curiosity. For instance, I remember watching a movie with my first one and he asks me where are the hero’s mommy and daddy. I said, they don’t live with him. He asks me, why? I said, ‘as anyone grows up, he/she has to leave the parents house to go for college or work. You will also leave us one day’. On hearing this, my son started crying that he will never leave his Mommy. He will always stay together with me. I felt sudden surge of emotions hearing his words.
Kids bring a lot of fresh energy and different perspective in our lives as well. Though with them each and every moment is an experience in itself; from the first toothless smile , first baby steps to first words and then later on those full blown arguments but some moments are really special. Its really touching when he waits for his father to come home to have dinner with him howsoever late it may be. His random acts of kindness and sharing towards his classmates and strangers alike fill me with complete joy and pride.
With my younger one, there are no specific moment as such because he is just fifteen months but his birth will always be cherished in my heart. He was born in South Korea faraway from family and friends. When you are in your own country you have all the support and you know everything so things become lot easier. It is when you are away from the support system, living on your own then you realize your true potential. This is what happened when our second one was born. With no one from the family around us, we struggled and learned along the way. In that sense, my boy is absolutely cool, calm and collected not giving us much trouble since he was born.
Going through all these experiences everyday without fail, a mother becomes a great manager, perfect negotiator, good policy maker and an effective communicator. Yes, motherhood is no easy job and bosses are difficult at time but they give loveliest of hugs and kisses which makes the job worthwhile.
Gujarati version of this article appears on