Imaginary Friend 2.0

You are the character from the book that I felt one with,

To live a thousand different lives in one birth

You are the quotes from great men, celebrities and obscure strangers,

Nevertheless I felt it was one-on-one discussions with me

You are the words that I read in between the lines in that poem,

But could not forget for a day and half

You are the talk shows that I listen to,

For inspiration has to be experienced and not a cacophony

You are the random pics I see on those apps,

And it fills the empty spaces between non-existent conversations

You are the stories I scrolled down at the swipe of a finger,

Only to let it linger at the back of my head for hours

Image result for imaginary friend art

 

You are that imaginary friend from my childhood that never left me,

Or on second thoughts, the one that I did not let go

For you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely

 

 

Secret Wish List of Moms

Motherhood is hands down a wonderful and very satisfying experience. But all is not always hunky dory, as often perceived or sometimes portrayed. As a mom there are things I go through and I feel, is it just me? Then, it moved on to what if there are other moms out there who are going through similar things, but are feeling alone or sometimes a bit lost.

And, ta da! I kicked off “Secret wish list of moms”. For once I didn’t have to do anything but ask around young moms and mom-to-be’s to send in their feelings. Let’s take a look at what moms (includes me) have to say!

Motherhood is hands down a wonderful and very satisfying experience. But all is not always hunky dory, as often perceived or sometimes portrayed. As a mom there are things I go through and I feel, is it just me? Then, it moved on to what if there are other moms out there who are going through similar things, but are feeling alone or sometimes a bit lost.

And, ta da! I kicked off “Secret wish list of moms”. For once I didn’t have to do anything but ask around young moms and mom-to-be’s to send in their feelings. Let’s take a look at what moms (includes me) have to say!

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Perfect mom of her son says “I left my career for a short while to take care of him because I am reluctant to give my son to others’ hand (it is a kind of fear and depression that I don’t want to share him). I like to think that I can leave him somewhere when he gets a bit bigger and with this hope I keep up job searching (not vigorously). Some will think I am not ambitious but that is not the truth. I am just believing my instinct and setting out my own priorities. As my son is 2.5 now, I feel this is the right time to step out, but I am not sure whether opportunity will knock my door too. My secret wish is to live back the life of ‘no responsibility’- just what we enjoy at my own home: nice food, good sleep and no tension. But I know that those days are gone, now I am a mom, wife, career woman etc.

***

Working mom who wishes to spend more time with kid says “I want to spend more time with my kid, but sometimes I shout and beat my kid when she does some naughty things, especially when I am really stressed at work. I keep thinking that I should not turn my tensions into anger towards all, but sometimes I cannot help it. I secretly wish to take some time off and go to some really cool places with my husband and baby.

***

An anxious mom-to-be says “I never thought the red line in the kit that marked the confirmation that I will be mom will bring so much of self-realization and individuality in me. I thought I will be taking this pregnancy along with my husband as a couple together. But things turned otherwise that I was left alone. Of course, I have my parents but no daughter can celebrate the ownership of her parents post marriage, worst case is if you have chosen your own partner. I was staying with my parents after 12 odd years and things were no longer like it was before marriage. Maybe they didn’t realize that I am all alone with no support either from husband or anybody from his family. Then, I voluntarily went to my husband’s place but I was soon sent back again to my parents place citing ill health. There started this journey of self-realization. Four months of introspection and interaction with like-minded friends boosted my confidence and strengthened my valor. Initially I was trying to pull my partner to get him to understand what I am going through. Unfortunately that resulted in pain and fatal arguments between both of us. I felt he was busy concentrating on his own career and his acquaintances. It became worse when we stopped talking for quite some time which has never happened in the 4 years we were together. I was slowly able to overcome all of it and I stopped seeking his attention and time. It was around this time that I was diagnosed with severe anemia and depression. I realized the seriousness of where I need to be. I took some time off, read lot of books, spoke to lot of people, rejuvenated my lost acquaintances and started to surround me with positive people. I slowly built the lost confidence. I have now reached the stage that nothing can demean me and my baby. Even if I am the last human being left on earth I will take care of baby and I will be the best mother to her. I wish and feel pregnancy as a journey should be traveled by both the partners. If it is a single lane it will turn difficult for both of them as they are laying roads in opposite directions. However situations, customs and culture differ and some of the women are left alone at least during their first pregnancy which can be avoided with slightest effort from both the partners. My wish to other moms is to stay fit and to stay strong.

***

A nearly perfect mommy says “I am always worried: that my daughter could be still hungry? How frequently should I change her diaper? Is she meeting her growth milestones perfectly? How can I keep her engaged all day?

I keep worrying almost for everything, while secretly wishing for the day I can start having my road side panipuri (Indian savory snack)!!

***

Full time mom with a full time job says “I guess you are wondering how is that possible being a working mom; but let me tell you that I am a 100% present mom when I am with my son. I get judged a lot because my son goes to a crèche from 10 to 5. It is as though I am a lesser mom and at first it used to bog me down a lot. Trust me, that it is not the easiest thing to give your kid to someone else. There were days I used to wake up and think I wish I don’t have to work or earn a living; but I know it is not for money that I work, but because I truly love to have a career. And, that does not make me a selfish person. Right now we are in a good place and my son adores me, we spend all non-working hours together and I feel this way I am more appreciative of every second that I spent with him. I know for sure that he will find a role model in me and I will have more experiences to share with him as we grow up together. I secretly wish sometimes to have some time to myself- read a book, binge watch shows, paint my toes, go to spa or have some time with my husband. Yes, we do spend a lot of time together as family, but I secretly miss his companionship and wish there is something we can do about it. I also wish that people randomly don’t keep advising and scaring me, but encourage me for the positive things that I do, as some reassurance and validation is what I badly need now.

***

Happy mom with twin interests says “Working out-of-home, I am glad I can spend as much time I want with my two kids, but I miss the ‘me time’ so much. I have once fantasized going on a break for a weekend or so with a best pal or a long lost crush, to spice it up a bit, so that I am away from the monotony.  Preferably a beach, as it relaxes me.  And I come back rejuvenated. Yes! I do secretly wish that my husband notices me romantically. I stocked up a pile of sexy lingerie, but then I realized lingerie doesn’t matter at all 🙂 you know what I mean?

***

New mom of a 2 month girl says “I quit my job to take care of my baby as all that I keep thinking wherever I go is about her. I am not comfortable leaving her with anyone, even my partner. I am always anxious if I am feeding her well or is she growing as per what is mentioned in the baby books and online media. Though, quitting the job was my decision, I am always worried if I will get a good one or if I will be underpaid or if my ex-colleagues and friends will go far ahead of me in this so-called corporate race. All those who suggested that I quit my work, now keep on nagging why I quit and that I shall regret this in future and blah. I feel like staying away from everyone and their stupid suggestions. When I see myself in the mirror, I see that change, a big one indeed. I don’t receive any compliments anymore, no one admires me and I am worried that spending so much time with baby will create a distance between me and my husband. Though he was very supportive all this while, he cannot do much when it comes to the baby. I get anxious and I keep thinking if he was ready to welcome our baby. I know he was, but still these thoughts haunt me. I secretly wish about holidaying with my husband and that is something I have been longing since I was pregnant. Sometimes, I want to do seemingly mundane things like gulping down a glass of beer or wine, or pampering myself at the parlor. But, the most important thing is getting back to office as it keeps me active throughout the day. I am a very happy mom and I feel proud that I created an individual, but somewhere I am worried if I will lose my individuality raising her.

***

A complete woman says – Days and months have paved way to where I am now – an year into my new job after maternity break, going back home to my naughty 2 year old daughter, husband and wonderful in-laws. Beating the blues of the first few months: is she sleeping enough, is she fed enough yada yada; I successfully navigated to the next stage where I could sit back without worries and wholeheartedly enjoy being a mother to my beautiful little daughter who was few months short of year then. A group on a social networking website guided me through the abundant sources of information on the internet and more importantly, made me feel that if it is a difficult day, week or month as a mother – “This too shall pass!”. Sometimes that phrase, as much as it helped me deal with the issue on hand, made me sad too – my lil one will grow up soon.
All through these 2 years (and 9 months), I’ve been wishing that I could walk into my home back in my place, sleep till I want to, eat the food that I ate as a child, enjoy a relaxing spa while my crush texts me with a flirty message, after which I walk into a cafe to meet him – no kiss, no intimacy and definitely no strings attached, enjoy the raw romance and get back to my home – sleep. Wake up to a Monday morning – all refreshed and ready to head back to work – with good health and a sound mind. All through these 6 years, I’ve been wishing that I could go back in time to MY days.
As much as I love my daughter, I have realized and made peace with the fact that I hate my life!
And, by the way, I am a complete woman because I feel so, not indicating only motherhood and career completes a woman. I feel complete because I have all the aspects of my life that I wanted and need.
***

These are women from different walks of life, but I feel they all share one thing in common- strength of their character- the courage and resolve in doing what they ought to do, despite being judged or facing loneliness (not alone) or putting their dreams on the back burner.

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And, at the risk of sounding preachy, I also need to share a snippet. I was telling a guy-friend of mine (who had a baby around same time as me) that I wanted his wife’s inputs for this blog. He disappointed me by telling why I would want his wife to make a list of his shortcomings. I felt he like many men (/people) out there totally miss the point. Whenever a woman seeks help she is either a nag or is pointing fingers at a guy. Most often, we are asking you to be there for us while we figure it out ourselves. To be fair, it probably could be because the way a woman reaches out makes it look like we are complaining all the time. But, sometimes a little support can go a long way. And, as partners we need to do it together and not both of us, separately- that is just not the same.

Finally, a big shout-out to all the moms who put their feelings into words for me (you know who you are ;). Sometimes just putting it out there will help release some steam and get you going. All I have to say is you are not alone! You go girl!

Lastly, when I started this project I was thinking that I am going to help some moms out there. But, now I realize it is the other way round. This whole experience was very humbling and it has helped me in ways I never imagined. I am convinced without an iota of doubt that I need to keep doing things that I believe in, even if that ruffles few feathers and rattles some cages.

P.S

If you are/know a mom and like to share your story, please feel to post it in the comment box below. No pressure!

Everyone is a Winner! P.S: Life is not a race

Most of our perspectives about life are strongly rooted to the conditioning by society. One such perspective is that life is a race, a mad rat race, with the winner being judged as the best. Wherever we turn, situations seem to tell us that it is indeed a race, coming in different hues and colours. Science says it through Darwin’s ‘Survival of the fittest theory’. History tells about all the wars that we fought for supremacy and power. Even in sports, all the matches’ ends with a winner.

It is no wonder that the whole of life time seems like a big competition, considering that the germination of life in itself begins with the triumph of a spermatozoon which beats all other sperm cells to fertilise the ovum. As we grow up, the struggle to outperform others builds momentum through our education system centred on performance in examinations and assignments, and continues through the mad chase to get a job. Next on line is the marriage championship with the ultimate quest to find the most eligible spouse in the world. The cycle takes a full circle, as the competitive genes pass downs to another generation. The battle goes on and on.

Perhaps it could be the sheer need to prove ourselves that we tend to consider everything that we do is yet another conquest in life. Heroes in movies say “I feel like the king of the world”, advertisements offer “Paradises on earth” and we are often caught by the bait of “Living life king size”. Sometimes, it makes me think whether we all are really happy because we achieved something or we want to prove that we are capable of achieving in front of the world. Sometimes, we have just posted about our recent success in Facebook and is waiting for comments to flow in, there comes a pop up that our friend (in this case, a competitor in the race) has achieved something better. Thereafter no matter how many comments congratulating you come, we forget our current achievement and go in pursuit of another one. It may be because success is mostly defined in terms of comparisons with the success of similar people in similar circle. We are obsessed with being the best of all, and easy measure for it, have always been benchmarking against our peers, instead of our own satisfaction.

For the firm believers of “life is a race” concept, I would like to see it in a different light. In my perspective, we should see life as a “marathon”, rather than a rat race. Life is all about performing consistently, finding our own personal best, benchmarking our past achievements and striving to outperform ourselves. Much like in a marathon, it would require us to run at a steady pace, rather than get burnt out at the end of a rat race. We all are winners, if we can discover our unique best, nurture it and in the process enjoying every moment of it.