Veera is a published Author (‘Endured’ and ‘#LoveBitesLifeHacks’) and Columnist; a passionate Educator and Counsellor; Poet and Philosopher… but most of all, a lover of all things literary.
Mommies are made of different moulds. Parenting styles are determined not just by what we believe, but by who we are. Different personalities parent differently. Once a woman becomes a mum, she belongs to the ‘The Mommies Group’ clique – sharing, discussing and opining on all things ‘Babies’… potty training and teething are topics discussed with as much gusto and detail as a designer discussing his next runway project! Naps and the evasive me-time are topics of deliberation and thought, planned and projected more seriously than even budget cuts and taxation policies by our Finance Ministry! Mood swings, postpartum blues and post pregnancy midnight cravings seem to be the order of the day for all new moms. Of course, things get better once the baby weight has been shed off, the old jeans fit again, the spa and salon treatments are eased back into the weekly routine.
When it comes to communication, for the first couple of years, mommies tend to speak in their own unique language. Those irritating cooing sounds and bizarre expressions to engender their baby’s response can poise between being downright annoying to ridiculously funny. When will newly anointed mommies learn that the intricate workings of a breast pump or the illustrious workings of a new brand of pampers hardly constitute a conversation for the rest of the masses! You’d think the first couple of years would wear off all that first-time-being-a-mother razzmatazz. But don’t be under any misguided notion that all that enthusiastic kid talk will soon dissipate, simmer down or the obsession may dwindle. Motherhood lasts a lifetime and being a mother, just about forever!
A woman takes on a whole new identity when she embraces motherhood. Gone are the days of sisterhood and that bad-ass friend who jumped o’er every fun brigade. There are no shortcuts, compromises or time-outs once you’re a mom. Occasionally you’ll catch glimpses of the person she was, but ‘motherhood moults and transforms a woman into a new version of her former self. Sacrifice and selflessness are synonyms for Mummy, but possessive, protective and indulgent also ring true.
Infancy reeks of discipline, training, diet plans and protocols that everyone within the orb of her precious tot are subject to. Family, friends, grandparents, in-laws are subjugated to long lists of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’, language and speech, dialect and accents. Nannies and drivers, gardeners and vendors, pets and animals in the house and vicinity soon learn what is deemed correct and what otherwise constitutes absolute unacceptable forms of behaviour in and around her precious cub.
That the new age mom loves her kids – we do understand. But this ridiculous habit of clicking umpteen shots of her kid sitting, sleeping, dancing, twirling posted on her Facebook page or brimming over her Instagram account is puzzling enough! Not to forget those inane videos of every burp, belch, twitch and turn, smile and squeal sent hourly! Perhaps a well-intentioned but misguided notion to entertain you, but mostly to update you on the times and talent of her little star!
Then there’s the question of dressing up your infant. New mothers continuously spring these surprise elements of bows and frills, sparkly little hair pins and tie-ups for girls and the most ridiculous Mohawk or other equally disastrous haircuts for their boys. All this lasts till suddenly your girl grows up, a rebellious teenager with a mind of her own… into that grunge look and gothic make-up, while your son starts using more products in his hair than you do!!
Enter the stage where mums become school-snobs! There’s something about mothers who manage to get thier child admitted into an elite, expensive institution. That sense of pride and superiority lasts despite the child struggling to keep up with the Jones’! But this is her moment of glory – the school, now a symbol of privilege and class for her, more than any merit the child receives in the same school!
Now we know mothers love nothing more than talking about their children… revelling for hours about their talents, skills, antics, mischief and deeds. Then there’s this unspoken but distinct contest between mothers attempting to one-up their children to any pair of listening ears! Your participation is warranted but only when she pauses to catch a breath! Your corroborations like, “That’s lovely” or “How wonderful” squeezed in, where possible, in my books amounts to a one-sided conversation!
Now what part of a Girls’-Night-Out is an incomprehensible concept? This is an unwritten rule for all mothers everywhere who insist on showing up for unambiguous events with their brood in tow!! Mommy dearest, do keep in mind, kids are not permitted, welcomed or tolerated at any given evening function, unless it’s a dire emergency or a catastrophic event. Your roof caving in, the house catching fire may qualify, but under consideration. Now just because your kids are young enough to sleep or old enough to play mindless video games that completely drowns out any conversation, bringing them along to adult gatherings – not a good idea!
If you do decide to make an evening out of it with friends, do realise we seek your undivided attention. Not some half-baked attempt at conversation where either you are constantly distracted by calls from your brat pleading for pizzas, burgers, sodas and shakes as dinner options. Or not when you’re constantly checking your phone anticipating all hell to break loose, just because you took a couple of hours to spend elsewhere. Worse still are those guilt-ridden moms who drive an hour one way to enjoy an evening out only to leave within minutes of arriving – only because their rush of guilt at ditching their kids for the night suddenly overcomes them!
Don’t be a parent that can’t bear dumping little Tanaz or Jimmy with the grandparents when the rare occasion demands. Make sure you have clarity, mommy dearest, before you concede to enter that social pool again. No one appreciates a party-pooper or a ditching Daisy.
Mothers are truly exceptional creatures and motherhood is all about the greatest miracle of life – there is no denying that. Now whether motherhood was a meticulous plan, medically coaxed or happened by surprise, one thing is for certain – your life will never be the same again! There is no love as powerful or fierce as a mother’s. Having children for a woman is about putting the whole world aside. From that point on everything else just fades and disappears.
So, Happy Mother’s Day to all you incredible women out there!!