Motherhood was not something that I was really ready for. One moment I was a happy-go-lucky girl enjoying my job and spending the money I earned. The next moment I was married and was a wife. Just as I was getting used to my identity as a wife and daughter-in-law, I realized I was pregnant and about to be a mother. Everyone around me was jubilant - my husband, my parents and my in-laws, but I was a bundle of mixed emotions. I had no idea what was involved other than the fact there was a life growing inside me and I had to be careful about it. I was happily unaware of the responsibility of being a mother.
Since there were no complications, life went on as usual until I received the first kick. Suddenly the baby seemed very much alive and a part of me. He arrived much later than the prescribed date, after almost a day of induced labour. By then I was too tired and exhausted, and just plain relieved that finally it was over.
But I was wrong. It was not over, it was just the beginning. As he first held on to my finger, it was the beginning of an incredible journey, a journey in which we both still grow together.
Nothing had prepared me for this wonderful journey without a destination. No one had told me about the wild roller coaster ride of emotions I would experience, or the fierce sense of protectiveness that I would feel towards my son. Suddenly my life seemed to have a meaning and I had a song to sing. I felt needed as I had never felt before.
The initial years were a period of learning to juggle my job and my new duties as a mother. The sleepIess nights, the endless worrying, teething troubles and all the baggage attached to growing up, were compensated by seeing him smiling at me with shining eyes filled with love. His first step, first word, followed by so many other firsts, were all minor miracles. I learnt how his hug or kiss could make all my tiredness vanish, how much his laughter could make me feel better. I often found myself looking at things through his eyes, and that opened up a world of childish wonder for me. Even when I had doubts about my abilities as a mother, when I would feel guilty about spending so much time at work, his absolute acceptance would allay my fears.
At that time, I used to wish that he would grow up fast, at least hold his head up, start walking, talking, feeding himself so that I would not be so rushed. Now after sixteen years, I wonder where all the years in between have gone, and when he learnt to do all that on his own? He took a lot in his stride, especially my inexperience as a mother. We still learn together, me to be a mother and he to be a son, on our journey of life.
My second son was very much wanted and I thought I was much better prepared when he came around. But motherhood is not something that can be taken for granted. Each experience is unique and each child is different. Yet the song remains the same, though the music changes. The feelings do not change, although your world changes.
Just when I feel I know everything about being a mother, my kids teach me something new and bring out a part of me that I never knew existed before. I feel blessed and believe that I have become a much better person because of them.
My First Born and My Little One
Abhishek and Abhimanyu