Someone I know is contemplating having a child and so, she asked me for advice. I panicked. Why couldn’t she just find one of those breast-feeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, attachment parenting type mothers of instagram?! On most days, I believe I was never designed to be a mother. I knew this even when I was growing up as a child that I could never be a mother like my mother – so kind, sacrificial, making my entire life about another person, etc. Yet, I decided I wanted to be a mother. It’s one of those things that you want in life just like wanting to be a batsman when you play cricket on the street as a kid. Most people are like this, ok.
Berry is a wonderful baby. She’s moved countries with me, endured crazy weather transitions and is now trying her best to settle into a daycare, all at 5 months. She has been easy to manage and so, she has spoilt me a little bit. On occasional days (mostly during her growth spurts), when she keeps crying all day and is super clingy, I get so tired that I want to run away. I start feeling very unmotherly in my head and question the grand purpose of gene propagation, but last evening, I had an epiphany about why I’m glad to be a mother.
While travelling home in a bus last evening, there was a French couple with two children – a little one asleep in a stroller and another slightly older one (maybe 3 years old?) that the mother was trying to keep entertained. Another woman, who looked like she didn’t have any children, rolled her eyes at this older kid, who was constantly babbling.
No judgements about this woman, but if you have a child yourself, you know how hard the mother is trying to calm the child and make sure others don’t get disturbed. This understanding or empathy is important, and believe me, nothing in the world apart from having your children can equip you with such consideration. It makes you more forgiving and in the grander scheme of things, makes the world a more liveable place.
I have around 10 posts sitting in my drafts because there are several days when I am with Berry from the time I wake up till I sleep. I don’t even realise how time flies around her because babies are highly energy consuming. There are so many things about being a mother that no one ever tells you about. Well, even if they did, you could never really be prepared for it. Somedays I cry to myself in the shower because I don’t even recognise myself anymore. But, this only makes me try harder to balance both my evolution and that of Berry’s.
When I reminisce the carefree days of my childhood, I also wonder if my parents felt the same way as I am feeling right now. We take our lives for granted and never once stop to acknowledge everything our parents have done to raise us but having a child gives us an opportunity to be grateful for the lives we’ve had so far, making us more empathetic. Not only this, having a child also gives you a chance to watch your own life unfold right from the beginning.
For instance, for the last two days, Berry has been trying to sit. It’s been amazing to watch how hard she tries, tirelessly, all day. If I were her, I’d have given up after about 30 attempts at the most, but no amount of falling and having her body twisted has stopped her. I think, this tells you a little bit about the human spirit – Keep doing what you need to do and never settle. Once in a while, all of us need some inspiration like this to keep at what we are trying to accomplish in our own stages of lives.
And just for this, I’m glad I can be a mother to Berry.