Being a mother – my own story
We all try to be best at being a parent and this is what I also have been thinking and planning during my pregnancy. Being a good parent, a good mother is possible by having good support and being well prepared, and I wasn’t well informed and wasn’t prepared for being a mother. I wasn’t aware that I will lose my independence, and that my newborn will not let me sleep, even though I have a caring mother-in-law and my own mom to guide me! I wonder why they or nobody else among friends had told me anything about being a parent. Were they expecting me to handle everything as it comes? Does this happen to other moms too in India?
After my little angel came into my arms, I felt all my beauty and happiness had went into her, and that an ugly mother was born with a beautiful daughter. Before pregnancy I was regular at gym and was fit. I was 25 when my daughter was born, and just in 3 days I would turn 26. But after giving birth I felt I had aged 10 years. I had brought all the pre-pregnancy clothes with me to the hospital, to wear them and look better, I felt I will be free of all those loose fitting clothes which I wore during the last months of pregnancy, but obviously they didn’t fit and I had to again step into the loose ones.
Everybody’s attention, including mine, was on the newborn, and when my baby slept, I realized I was waiting for someone to talk to me and to ask me how I feel. This was my baby blues phase. Of course, no one had told me what to expect. I wish I had read some parenting books like “What to Expect When you are Expecting” instead of “Shantaram” or “For one more day” during my pregnancy. But do you think a parenting book would have helped me instead of having a close friend? Though, many visitors advised me what to eat and how to handle the baby. That wasn’t enough. I needed a friend. Looking back at those sad moments of being a mom do make me feel bad, but those moments have made me learn a lot.
And then there was a phase when I was a working mother, where my daughter Noor, 14 months old at that time, stayed at home without me for 8-9 hours with her grandma and two housemaids. Sometimes I left when she was still asleep in the morning, and she used to be sad when I came back home. I have a habit of giving a big hug to her every morning she wakes up, and I wasn’t doing that much when I was working. I had to work on weekends also which was very difficult. I had to do the work with Noor in my lap, and my work demanded extreme accuracy. I did not want to work, because I knew my daughter would not like that, but had to join back to avoid creating a huge gap between jobs, and thinking that many moms work, so should I. There was extreme lack of support for working moms at my workplace. Finally I decided to quit when I realized Noor and I couldn’t take it anymore, and that my work wasn’t worth it.
I haven’t let all this affect my daughter the best I could. I have been showing all the love I can to her. I make her laugh, I tell her stories, we watch cartoons and movies together, I play games with her, she paints, sketches and colors, we learn together, do silly stuff and laugh, and we even cook food together! I am happy at home now that we spend good time together. Moreover, I wanted to make it up to her, by being a better mom, and that could happen only if I seriously paid attention to being a better mom by learning about family, health and wellbeing, avoid making parenting mistakes, and most importantly – love and happiness. So that’s what I have been doing by building Smartmomz.
Yes, even I do not like the z in Smartmomz but the name smartmoms, which I originally wanted for this site, wasn’t available and is still owned by someone else (the site is blank, if that hadn’t been the case, I would have taken some other name). So, it’s not on purpose that I have put a z in Smartmoms! Smartmoms went with the idea of being a better and smarter mom, that’s why I was ok to go even with a z in it.
This is a very candid post. Nuclear families definitely makes motherhood / parenting even more demanding. However in your case in spite of family support there were challenges. And that surely needs to be changed. However I have much less hope of Indian Workplace being more considerate of Working Mom especially when you are not in Top Management. At least this post will help new moms to be.
Sonia, that is such an honest testimony! Kudos to you for sharing this. I hope it spells hope for so many young mothers who look for answers!