A Four Year Old Mother
This piece was written in 2008 and published in an online magazine.
Last Saturday, I turned 4 years old mom when my elder daughter celebrated her fourth birthday. I do not remember what my life before that was as I can hardly recall any moment when I have not talked like a mom, behaved like a mom or thought like a mom. Motherhood has been overwhelming but truly enjoyable. I am into a 24*7 job of parenting as I am having my hands full with two adorable daughters of 4 years and 18 months. They truly are the angels in my life.
I still remember the first time I hold her in my arms. She was a healthy baby wrapped neatly in a pink towel which blended with her pink complexion. Oh! That was the most overwhelming moment I ever had and it was repeated after two and half years when my second bundle of joy arrived.
Till the birth of my elder one, I never trusted my maternal instinct. In fact throughout my first pregnancy, I had doubts about whether I would be able to bond with my baby. Sometimes I thought that there was something wrong with my maternal wiring as the kicks inside my womb never gave me any special motherly feeling as it used to do for my other pregnant friends. I enjoyed the idea of nurturing a new life inside me and took best care of it. But I never felt so overwhelmed and connected to the unborn as did my pregnant friends. My husband had started showing the bad case of new father fidgets waking up with an alarmed look for every single groan I made in the night, daydreaming about the unborn baby, taking extra care of me, enjoying the ultrasound pictures and making future plans for the unborn. But I was still the same, totally indifferent towards the feeling of being a new mom. I had doubts about me being a good mom but I never admitted it to anyone. It was like the Chemistry classes in my school where I scored the highest marks in my class but never liked the subject. There I lied to everyone that I love Chemistry but deep within my heart I hated to memorize those formulas. I did not like to be tabooed as ‘bad mom’, so I hid my genuine feeling of indifference for the unborn and kept lying that I feel special and I love my baby.
Things changed the moment I hold my new born in my arms for the first time. I was overwhelmed by the nurturing hormone and for the first time in my life I experience the flow of ‘happy tears’ from my eyes. She was precious. From that day there has been many moments when those happy tears got an outlet from my eyes – her first word, the first time she walked, rode her tricycle and most memorable of all when she called me ‘mama’. When she was physically separated from me after her birth, did I realize that she was actually inseparable from me and we would share an invisible and unbreakable umbilical cord forever.
Soon after a week of elder daughter’s birth, I had another important moment of my life. It was Mother’s day and my mother called me to wish ‘Happy Mother’s day’ to me. It was for the first time someone wished me on Mother’s day and that was my own mom. I enjoyed the idea of being honored with the highest status of the Nature of being a mother, a caregiver and a nurturer. I thank my daughters for giving me that honor.
Things were different during my second pregnancy. I felt connected to the unborn right from the day of conception. Enjoying the motherhood of a toddler had pumped my system with enough nurturing hormones to feel that a second precious gift was on its way. I enjoyed the kicks and even talked to the unborn.
Two relationships have been the most important in my life – one that I share with my mother and the other that I share with my daughters. They make my world complete. They have given me the true treasure of life which nothing in the world can touch. These two relations have taught me enormous in my life. The teaching of my mother makes the basis of what I am today. They form the skeleton of my personality whereas my daughters have been the one who have groomed me as a person. They teach new things to me everyday. With each passing day of my motherhood journey, I am becoming more patient, more creative and learning to enjoy the happiness in every moment. But the two most important lessons that I learned from them is the courage to live with your imperfection and living in harmony with differences around you. They were born imperfect and helpless, but they kept striving and pushing themselves to learn to be dependent and master their skills. They pushed to learn to walk and talk and still every day they are trying continuously and fighting with their imperfection. The other important lesson is being able to live with differences around them. They live in peace with their friends and siblings, who are so different from them and they manage to get along so well with their genuine effort. If we as an adult could learn that from them, world would have been harmonious and a much better place to live.
On her fourth birthday, I find her dressed up in her beautiful birthday dress and running around in the house with her baby sister. They both look adorable and so grown up. I brought my camera to capture the moment. Seeing them so grown up, my ‘happy tears’ got another excuse to come out of eyes. I wish they would never grow up and leave my nest. But this is one wish that every mother wishes for and no one is granted. So I wish that they would grow up to become proud moms themselves.