Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Let's face it. Mothering is no rocket science. But neither is it a cake-walk.
So, if you are a newly wedded bride and well meaning relatives are giving you subtle and not-so-subtle hints about the babies, you may want to wait a few years before taking the plunge.
For you may be a highly successful professional or an executive; you may be a lawyer, a doctor, a journalist or whatever but right from the day your child is born up until the moment you die you will always be a mother first. It will turn your world upside down...and as we all know, every day is mother's day!
You see, among other things, your heart will break.
Be ready for it.
First the post-partum blues. When you will lie awake most of the night and wish everything was back inside your belly because you did not have to feed it or clean it. For that is what you have been doing all night (and day) anyway.And no matter how many maids or relatives you have, ultimately you will be the one hyper-ventilating about hygiene and sterilization, after all it's YOUR baby! Be prepared.
Then they start to move and speak. A host of relatives will offer advice. Not all of it will be practical, but you will smile and listen. In fact, being a mother makes you quite an expert on smiling and listening. It will help you later. You will put them through dancing classes and singing classes. And you will promise yourself that you will never force the child: it’s just for as long as they enjoy it. Believe me, they will sing and dance with clarity but they will not want to pursue it and you will let it go. It will break your heart, but you will let it go.
They will go to school. You will attend n number of parent teacher meetings where you will be made to feel like a worm and you will cry and rant at your husband but you will smile at your child and tell her/him that she/he should try harder because she/he can do better ... and it will break your heart because you will think that you are going wrong somewhere because you let them play in the evenings instead of forcing them to study.
As they grow you will send them for badminton, roller-skating, swimming, squash, piano lessons, singing classes, guitar lessons and everything else you can think of just to find them a hobby that will make them happy but they will dabble at everything and then leave it with barely a shrug and your heart will break. Every time. Because YOU will feel like you have failed them.
As they grow older, they will sit for exams. And the Board Exams too. And you will tell them to study and they will tell you “Chill, Ma, it’s under control!” And you will panic because you know what she/he is doing is not enough but you cannot say anything because of the fragile situation and your heart will break. When the results come, your child cries because she/he knows that she/he could have done much better and you know it too but you are happy but because the child is sad, your heart will break.
Your heart will break every time your child is sad or upset or angry and you are helpless to change it. When she/he hurts, you will hurt. For no reason at all. You may make a brave face and pretend to take it in your stride, but your heart will be in a million pieces.
Oh. Your heart will break again and again for as long as you let it. You will cry a million rivers yet you will stand by your child no matter what. And you will learn that mothering is a hands on job and having a broken heart is not such a terrible thing because your heart will also become whole again and a broken heart only makes you stronger.. and you will celebrate. Always. Every day for as long as you live.
No, no, it’s not all bad. Your child will always have your heart, there will be countless moments when your heart will be filled with joy and that will make up for it all. Your child will wait till the wee hours of morning with a handmade card and a cake they baked just because it's mothers day and you were out partying, your child will surprise you with their love, a gentle hug when you need it the most, your child will win prizes, win accolades, go trekking in the wilderness and do things that you will wonder about and you will smile and be proud and pleased because they are happy. And that is the only thing you want for them anyway: their happiness.
BUT. You will also carry that broken heart. It’s yours. And only yours. No one else will understand. And you will hurt in ways you never thought possible. You will cry at the stupidest things. If any one praises your child you will beam like a neon board and feel like you’re on the moon. At other times you will stand among a host of other parents and wonder if you should open your mouth or just shut up and melt into the furniture. Yes, your child will grow up and make you proud. You know it. Deep within you, your heart tells you so. You wait for that day. You will wait. And to the world you will smile and say soft pretty words while all of the time, your heart will break.
Can you take it?
Go on then, you're ready for motherhood.