I thought choosing whether or not to become a mother would be the most important decision I ever make. Why not? It is life altering after all. But as it turns out, that was just the first of many.
Nobody told me parenting is full of difficult choices. Nobody. Every decision, every choice being the cause of a prospective heart attack. I knew it wouldn't be easy but, my God, is it hard!
In about two weeks time, I go back to work which translates to the need of putting M in a crèche.
You know, I always knew it would come to this. I was never going to leave my job and hence our child would invariably have to be put in a crèche. I also knew that I didn't want to put the responsibility of raising her on my parents. I knew I wasn't for disrupting my parents' lives for helping me raise my daughter or sending M away to them. No, sir. I think they have done their round of parenting and it's time they rest, not do the whole thing all over again. I also cannot bear staying away from this little naughty munchkin. So, we both knew well, crèche and play school were what we had to rely on.
But planning something and doing something are completely different things altogether.
So, as the day to leave her in the crèche draws close, I have this lump in my throat. It's almost as if I'm being strangled, struggling for air. Tears at the drop of a hat almost as if I'm eight months pregnant all over again. And I'm full of questions too. A ticking time bomb, really. In spite of all the planning and knowing what I want, I'm confused.
How will I leave her alone? Will they care for her as much as I do? She cries when she wakes up and doesn't find me. Will they attend to her immediately like I do? Sometimes she just doesn't stop crying. Will they have the patience for that? Am I selfish for leaving this tiny little person, who's so dependent on me, alone?
The first time after her birth when I had to leave her overnight in the NICU, I was heart broken. I couldn't stop crying the whole time. I wanted to hold her, kiss her and hug her. I spent the night outside the NICU door, kept peeping in whenever possible. That was the first time I felt what it is to be a mother. That was the first time I probably became one. And the moment when I got her back, was among the happiest I have ever been. And now, I have to leave her alone every day. How am I ever going to get any work done with my heart and mind with her? I must be a terrible person for leaving her alone.
Being a mother is having to let a part of you live and grow outside of you. I read something along these lines somewhere. God! Now I know it's true. So very true.
I want to do what is best for her. I also know I need to work, for myself and for giving her a better life. If I don't work, I'll not be happy with myself and then I won't be a happy person to be around. But when I go to work, I'll be leaving her alone with a bunch of people I don't even know. I have got myself into quite a pickle, haven't I? What do I do?
She's the most valuable person in my life. She's my little daughter. Special and the only one. But for the people in the crèche, she's just another baby. Will they really take care of her?
I do know so many mothers who do it. And I'm hoping to get the hang of it too but it's scary. Sometimes I feel guilty, almost as if I'm deliberately abandoning her. I know that's rubbish but this heart fails to see reason sometimes.
There's a war room in my mind right now. I'm terrified and apprehensive about what's going to happen. All these scary thoughts come and go at will. I'm a mess. And I have a feeling this won't be the last time I feel this way.
Give me some advice folks. Tell me something, anything, that this mother needs to hear at this point. Tell me.
Labels: MommyTalks, Motherhood