Do you think about the future?
I’m sure you do. Who doesn’t?
There is almost an elusive quality to it which makes thinking about, or rather planning for, it an adventure, a challenge.
I think about my future as well, not too much but not too less either. It helps me stay on course. With S being someone who thinks through every decision, every step, our discussions often revolve around our plans, our list for our life together. The future.
Hence, even when I was pregnant with M, S and I would often talk about where we would be twenty years down the line. Yes, as parents. One thing that we were sure about, or rather thought we were sure about, was to let M go. In the sense, let her fly out of the proverbial nest when she turns 18. You know, live her life, learn her lessons and do whatever she wishes to do? We were so sure that we would be able to let her go. Yes, well, the joke was on us as we realize now.
I don’t know when this happens; this rapport, so strong and deep, when does this take shape? Whether it is formed during pregnancy or after you hold your baby in your arms, I don’t know. In my case, it was probably when she was taken away from me to the NICU due to jaundice.
But I can tell you one thing even as a rookie mother, it is not like the other relationships you form in life. It is the strongest from the moment it is formed. There are no phases, just overwhelming love from the word go. So, even this once skeptical person in me has been forced to believe that when this tiny, little individual makes a home in your heart, you cannot ever imagine life without her. And the biggest truth of all, you don’t ever want to let go. You cannot even think of letting go.
So, I realize how naive we were to think that it would be easy to stay away from her. I was so wrong. How can I just let her leave the nest? Will I even be able to let her leave the nest? Silly as it sounds, I find myself worrying about it. I know it’s too soon and probably even nonsensical to think about it. But I know it is going to be very hard to do so. It is inevitable but it is going to be one of the toughest things that I’ll probably have to do.
I guess some of the cliched things about being a mother are actually true.
Well, well, look who’s become such a sensitive mother?
To tell you the truth, I was never a person who was overtly fond of children. I didn’t know what to say or talk to them about. And I didn’t even have the stamina to entertain them. In fact, I often doubted my potential or inclination to be a mother. So, when I was pregnant, I would often find myself worrying about the kind of mother I would turn out to be. Whether I would be able to give the little one as much love as my mother has given me? Or, if I would just end up being cranky for having to devote most of my time to her? Yes, those were my fears.
I don’t have to stop being a mother to be me and I don’t have to stop being me to be a mother.
But all those fears just vanished. Of course, now they are replaced by others but there is not a sliver of doubt about her importance in my life. I love her to the point I didn’t know possible before, at least for me. I’m sure all mothers feel the same way. Well, I guess some of the cliched things about being a mother are actually true.
It has been a little over 3 months now and I’m fine which I didn’t think I’ll be. Honestly.
Of course, motherhood is no cake walk. It’s a lot of hard work. But somehow I have managed to hold on to my sanity. I know I haven’t faced half the struggles that a mother needs to go through. But at-least now I know I probably can see those through too. Those obstacles will be hard but not invincible.
For now though, I have been able to continue writing along with taking care of M. Small triumphs these, still make a huge difference in my mind. I don’t know how easy it is going to be when I join back work but I don’t intend to give up either. I guess, what I’m trying to say is, I don’t have to stop being a mother to be me and I don’t have to stop being me to be a mother.
Of course, at times I fear if M will grow up to love me as much as I love her. If she will also feel the same way about letting go. I wonder if her eyes will still light up with a smile when she sees me like it happens now, every single time. I wonder if she’ll still find comfort in my arms. It’s a scary thought that she might reject me. I don’t know. It’s outright petrifying to love a part of yourself so much.
And then there is also the fear of not measuring up to her expectations. I have grown up with a mother who not only loves me but has also given me the space to be myself. I just hope I don’t smother M because I tend to do that to the people I love. I hope I can be half as good a mother as my mom. I guess only time will tell.
What I probably mean to say is I hope we share a relationship that brings us happiness and love. I hope that we succeed, fail and then succeed again together. And even though I might find it hard to let her explore life without me, I hope I can do that for her. I hope both of us grow individually and together, just like we did when she was in my womb.
So, parents reading this, tell me is it normal to feel like this?
Labels: MommyTalks, Motherhood