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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)!!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.
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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!

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Little Mom

Little Mom is my compilation of few snippets from my mother’s childhood. These are bed time or food time stories that she shared to me and now, when I look back I feel that was how I got to know her better. These are stories which when I listened to as a child made me wonder if she was a little child too.

Little Mom’s day out in car

It was not just one of those days for Little Mom. Today was special. How can she not be thrilled, after all, it was her first car ride ever. She was all charged up!! Alas, how can she show it out!! She was supposedly the meek calm one who opens her mouth only when she’s asked to (Some even teased her about being an oyster.  Of course, she clammed up, the pearl within was not for all to see).

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They were visiting her paternal house, and she climbed onto the back of the car, clinging to her mom. It was a delight for her eyes- the long winding roads, trees falling behind, and out of the blue she saw it- the ceramic tile factory, standing tall with long brown-tiled exhaust pipes jutting into sky. She followed it with her eyes, trying to size it up- it was definitely the tallest structure she had ever come across, definitely taller than her house and was it bigger than her school? As they were about to go past it, terror gripped her-what if it just falls on her head?  She ducked her head and waited for the moment to pass- nothing happened. Slowly, she lifted her head up and peeked at the tall chimney through the rear glass. Her eyes became wide with delight- there it was becoming smaller and smaller, as the car trotted its way up the road.

Little Mom’s Cameo Appearance

It was annual day at Lion’s school and Little Mom was all set to go to the function with Big Bro as chaperone. It had not been easy to get permission to go to annual day and after lot of promises to Mother that he will never leave her out of sight, Big Bro and Little Mom set out on a bicycle all excited. At school Big Bro left Little Mom with her friends and went on a round to meet his gang. After all, it was her school compound and Little Mom had sworn not to move from her seat.

It was hardly two minutes since Big Bro left and her class teacher spotted her and beckoned her to join backstage. Little Mom thought for a moment- Big Bro had asked her to remain seated at the same place, but her class teacher was waving at her. Big Bro or class teacher? She took a chance!!

When Big Bro returned, Little Mom was nowhere to be seen. He looked around lazily thinking she should be huddling with her friends somewhere. No sign of her! And then panic hit him and he searched frantically, asking random people if they had seen Little Mom. People had no time for him and nodded absent mindedly, eyes glued to the stage! Mother’s angry face was flashing before his eyes and sweat broke on his forehead. With all hopes gone, he took a sweeping glance across the ground and his eyes locked on someone for a moment. Was it really her or is at delusion due to fear? He took a double take, when it finally sunk in!

From the stage, Lord Subramanian was smiling at him!! Little Mom had pulled a cameo act in the drama as a last minute replacement!! Relieved he had found her; Big Bro went back stage and rushed her to go home, as it was well past the curfew time.

He took Lord Subramanian back home who for a change could not shut her mouth all the way back home on her acting experience!!

Little Mom’s Kind Heart!

Raja Mani was part of Little Mom’s childhood as long as she could remember. She was an all in all staff at her household: cook, housekeeping and caretaker of children.

It was raining cats and dogs that day!! Little Mom had forayed into kitchen to find Raja Mani’s children to play seven stones; they were her play mates. Raja Mani was hanging on to the iron grill of veranda looking at rain clouds forming dark shadows that balmy afternoon.

Little Mom looked enquiringly at Raja Mani’s anxious face and Raja Mani started a litany of her worries- it’s going to rain, then water will leak into her house and they will get drenched. It went on and on. Raja Mani asked Little Mom if she could help her with cleaning the kitchen, so that she can finish up early and leave for her home.

“”Poor Raja Mani””, felt Little Mom and she nodded. It was years later and several excuses later that Little Mom realized that she was being played.

Still when rain clouds form in the sky, she thinks of leaking roof of Raja Mani.

And there are many more stories..

One when she listened to their cook Govindan Nair and tried to befriend a puppy with a piece of jaggery;  then about the kukkoo which comes to their neighborhood trees and sings around the time exams are about to begin. And there is another one about the cow herd Appu Kuttan who though illiterate would copy notes for her and sister by carefully drawing alphabets like a piece of art.

After Note:

I can go on and on…such are the stories from her childhood!! Now for those who have listened to me and said: Shruthi and her stories!!!

Tell me!  How can I not?? I was lucky, I grew up on stories. 😀

I feel a happy child becomes a happy adult- a happy parent, a happy friend and a happy person.

Happy Mother’s Day Little Mom 🙂 🙂