It’s a confusing life- that of a parent. As a mother, I have experienced a multitude of emotions I did not even know that I possessed in the recesses of my heart. After managing in hostel, strictly keeping off tv and books during exams, keeping jobs, getting and staying married, and keeping house, I thought I knew what responsibility was all about. But becoming a mother put a different spin on things altogether. The fact that there are living breathing humans whom you are solely responsible for, and can make decisions about, make it slightly overwhelming. Once a mother, you sort of develop an unexplainable personality change (or disorder?). Let me explain.
I love planning. Every single move of mine, every thought and its corresponding action is planned. The first thing that I do when I wake up is to make a time table for the day. And relish the feeling of ticking off stuff, once it gets done ( I know, I know, I have a personality disorder already!). This is the only routine of mine which has not changed for the past twenty odd years. Or so. Till I became a mother. And realized that the number of unticked items on my list seemed to be growing and things I got done also were haphazardly so. It took me a while to digest this and plan again. So, over the years, now I have started making a plan B and plan C timetables, in case the first one does not work out. Needless to say, my diary now looks like a station master’s at a busy train junction!
I have been through situations where I experience conflicting emotions about the same situation. Like, when my daughter suddenly throws a huge tantrum that I should not leave for work, but spend time with her, I am torn between despair, irritation and some weird sort of happiness. The despair is because the tantrum usually happens with people around, so I worry whether they will judge my parenting. Irritation because, I do love my work and like things neatly sorted – time for work, time for home and time for kids, and do not like it smudged (notice, notice… that there is no ‘time for me’ – which gets written in fine print of the parenting manual and hence you do not read till you are already a parent) And a weird sort of happiness, because there is someone who loves me so much that they do not mind making a big spectacle of it! I’ve never been loved that bad!
I crib about the lack of ‘me time’ and look back nostalgically at those times when reading a book meant sleeping only when it was done, when I could huddle under the razai on cold winter mornings to wake up only when I felt like, travel alone with a backpack on a whim and go out with friends for dinner on weekdays. But when I actually do get some time off like this now, and my kids are not around, I start missing them real bad. I get an urge to read out the nice part of my book to my son, cuddle with my daughter under the razai, crave for my son’s banter on a journey and prefer eating take away noodles from a shared bowl instead of going out. In short, I am not content this way or that!.
It’s like I’m not myself anymore. And I do not know what I want.
But after two children, I have made peace with the fact that I will never be the same again. I’m changing with my kids and probably growing into a mom. And, that being a mom entails developing a new kind of personality. In my case, confused, frazzled at times, but absolutely loving it!