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Love is blind but mine wasn’t quite so. Met this wonderful guy at work and gradually fell in love with him at an age of 21 and 23 we got hitched. Quite young, you may think; yes, I was; but pretty glad that I made the right choice even at that aeon. Handsome, flirtiest, smart and ambitious, I guess he could charm any girl out of her wits! And I am quite conceited that I am that girl who gets to sleep in his broad arms at the end of each day.
We were happily married when one fine day I realised that I was pregnant. I was only 24! Let me tell you, our reaction was a little different from any other couple. We were utterly muddled; please give us a benefit of doubt; two, young, newly wed, independent of each other during the day and inseparable at night, pregnancy was the last thing we wished for. After all, the baby was going to change everything! Finally, a friend’s admonitory helped us to come in term with this beautiful fact (when I come to think of it now) and both of us soon started enjoying my pregnancy. Days changed into months and finally our bundle of joy arrived to complete us. We were elated and we knew at that moment that there was no other joy that stood any chance in front of this one.
The first time I felt my baby move inside me, I started day-dreaming about how I would spend my days with my little one- dressing him up, cuddling him, playing and chatting with him, just like they do it in Johnson baby ads. Little did I know that my caprices will be shattered once I get back to work. After two months of maternity leave, it was time to report at work. Since I was doing UK shift, it wasn’t too bad but I still had to leave my little munchkin with someone else and go along. Quitting was not an option then. By the time my little one was 6 months old we moved to a different city. There I was on break for 6 months and when I resumed work after this break, I was a different person all together. It was the night shift that took a toll on my health, actually my overall demeanour. Now that my LO was 12 months plus, I had mountainous expectations from him. I expected him to understand and cooperate; which I tell you, both my sonny and hubby did. But whenever they didn’t, my pitched voice would resonate in the house scaring my little sonny.
I was really blind to this fact; my screaming advanced to lightly slapping my sonny on his legs and hands when he was as little as 3 and a half years old. Though it was occasional but when I see it now, I think it was not necessary. And as if this was not enough, I would also roll my eyes and grit my teeth to instil discipline in him. He took it all, but with a pinch of salt. At the age of 4, my son was enviously independent. I never had to tell him to keep his toys in place, keep his shoe inside the shoe cabinet, brush his teeth in the morning, eat his breakfast on his own, wake his daddy to dress him up for school because me, mommy dear, was busy in the kitchen preparing breakfast and packing tiffin. At 6, he used to put away his uniform in laundry basket, put away his tiffin boxes for wash in the wash basin, do his HW on his own asking for help periodically and the list can go on and on. But my comportment had not changed. I would still howl and yell and roll my eyes looking like a walking talking demon if anything in the routine went amiss. Though such incidents were scares but it was not because of any effort put by me; it was because my little sonny and hubby tried to keep me happy by various gestures of love. Blissful!
After working for 13 long years in ITES and then education sector, I decided to take a break for a while to do something of my own. Happier and more relaxed, I started spending quality time with my son. That doesn’t mean I stopped chiding him and totally let go, but definitely I didn’t feel like a demon that I have been so guilty about on various occasions. During one of our frolicsome sessions I asked my boy if he loved me; I don’t know what prompted me to ask this question, really! To my horror, my 7-year-old sonny said, ‘I do and I don’t.’ I asked ‘what?’ japed! I could hardly be heard, I am sure. But he heard me and explained, ‘I love you most of the days; but I don’t love you when you scold me and show me your big eyes.’ I was choked and could not believe my ears. I let it go. I smiled and said, ‘Scoot! Off to play!’ and he went for badminton with his friends. The emotions that overpowered me at that point and afterwards cannot be explained in words. I have always believed that it is a parent’s responsibility to bring up a good citizen and sometimes while doing so it was ok to reproof and rebuke. And didn’t my parents do the same thing? In fact, I got thrashing too but I love them because I know I was one hell of a kid, and owe this life to them!
A question that was lurking inside me and tearing me apart ever since I had this candid conversation with my little boy was whether my son really loves me or not. Two days went by and I just couldn’t stop thinking, ‘My son loves me, no he doesn’t love me, loves me, doesn’t love me!’ Those two days were like two years, ugh! Then something happened on the morning of the third day. I was in the kitchen preparing breakfast, a weekend especial breakfast and my son came running to me and grasped me from behind. I hugged him back and asked what happened. Tears rolled down his cheeks and he said, ‘Mommy, some bad man were kidnapping you and I tried my best to fight them but they took you away. I thought you were gone. Mommy, who would take care of me if you were gone?’ I smiled, a clogged smile, clogged with emotions, and said something to shew away his concern; to be honest I don’t remember a word I said! Then I wiped his tears and sat with him on my lap. He hugged me tight and dozed off again. Well, you see, at that moment I got my answer. He loves me and will continue to do so; just the way I love my parents.
This incident made me realize that bringing up may follow some rules and norms these days but a mother’s love is above all ethos of the society.
I share this to give strength to mommies who have been too harsh on themselves. Relax darlings, let’s not cry over something that cannot be reversed. Let’s give unconditional love to these little joys of our lives without failing to make them self-reliant.