It is said that mothers are instinctive philosophers. There is a deep well of wisdom, truth and knowledge embedded in their every cell .It’s funny how you can fool the world, but not a thing escapes her, no matter how vague or obscure, how inconspicuous or insignificant you may paint it, when it comes to her children. Now being a parent is a task but being a mom is really all about graduating to the next level. You need more than your five senses, some ESP, all kinds of skills and a whole load of TLC when it comes to being a mom. You feed on nervous energy and probably nothing more!
It’s all about knowing your little one is sad, even before the tears start. Or recognizing instinctively when one is really unwell or has just decided to play hooky from school that day… managing that tantrum, or sometimes all that drama to a production that your tot has scripted, directed only to get your full attention. It’s all about long days and sleepless nights. And then there are those notorious teen years where you try to keep your sanity while dealing with all kinds of crazy! I mean there should be a damn medal for all those days you’ve ever been a mom!
It’s a job like no other – the perfect synthesis or blend of micro-managing while macro-managing! Motherhood is much like an austere religious order, once you join the ranks, yesterday’s leftovers become today’s meals! It obligates one to relinquish all claims to personal possessions and mind-blowingly obliterates all sense of self and person.
Now imagine a normal scenario where you are on your toes running around like a headless chicken trying to get your child’s attention for the past hour. Failing miserably, which by the way is perfectly normal you decide to grab a couple of breaths, slinking into that couch, getting just a tad bit comfortable and there you have it, ‘Your child’s full attention’. Strange how they operate wickedly, deriving the greatest pleasure when they rob you of a single minute of sit-down pleasure or comfort. It’s like nothing begins, nothing ends that is not paid with a moan!
When they say, “the house seems so quiet when your kids are out for a day,” what they really mean is a day when you are not spending time yelling at them at the top of your lungs… the only reason why your last three neighbors moved residence in a short span of six months! Talk about organizing, reorganizing, arranging schedules and itineraries – elaborate and more intricate and that any airlines getting their fleet to operate on time… moms do that and they do it with aplomb!
Motherhood is all about the scramble and scamper, the clamor and the chaos. It’s generally about the jingling, juggling , the jive and the jazz, between catching your breaths and breathing! It’s all about being up with the lady-lark, again emphasis on lady and mending one hole after another, while attending to battles and chores… even as sluggardly children know just how to press all the wrong buttons!
Woken up early, tumbling them off the bed, ushered and pushed into bathrooms, helped, coaxed and washed like colliers under protestations. Then, shouted down to breakfast before they decide to romp or roam elsewhere! How neat and calm and virtuous they look stepping into buses waiting to cart them off to schools with their washed necks and shining faces, all ready to wage war with the authorities and institution, while you struggle with cart loads of laundry and washing in the higgledy kitchen, hoping that the time doesn’t run by just as the butter and milk did this morning!
You stop at the corner grocery store picking and choosing the best cherries and apples, the ones marked-down, affordable yet appealing in texture and tone to fill that cut-glass bowl and never-ending hunger pangs between meals whipped up from yesterday’s leftovers, all the while running marathons and races of daily chores, all in the lingering hope that they will grow up and leave the nest tranquil for you to enjoy one day. Only to have your heart torn out of your chest and desolate when it does, wishing you could relive every harrowing, agonizing moment all over again.
Motherhood can be a planned endeavor, or it could have happened by surprise but whatever the inception, it is always the beginning of forever. It’s the sort of job that keeps you on your toes even while relaxing. Teary-eyed at the happiest moments, delighted when you should be sad, like that backpacking trip to Europe that didn’t work out for your daughter this summer break. Or the breakup she endured with her first serious crush, (the good-for-nothing fella she could well do without and the one you couldn’t stand all along). Your precious angel deserved better! And what of your son’s summer long obsession with his guitar and being the lead as a career choice with a local band that just didn’t pan out. These are the moments you secretly revel in and are so grateful for, you thank the person up there for these small mercies. Then there are those moments when you are sad, when really all you need is to be happy and proud… like the time you became an empty nester or the day your gorgeous daughter walks down the aisle to her man and her future.
Motherhood is mainly a bag of mixed emotions. It’s like riding a roller-coaster all day every day, with all the thrills and spills, the highs and lows. There are moments when you look at that little person in front of you and wonder how you managed to create something so beautiful to have and to hold for the rest of your life. Then there are moments when you look at them and wonder whether it isn’t the Devil himself that mistakenly spawned these children. Wondering if this is what they call retribution for all those times you were difficult with your parents. And all that comes to mind at that moment is, “Well played Karma, really well played.”
Being a mother is a choice that you make every day. To put someone else’s happiness, always, ahead of your own. To teach them the hard lessons in the gentlest manner, to watch them stumble and fall and then to be the one to cry the loudest when they fail. Trying to do the right thing, even when you’re not sure what it is. And to forgive oneself over and over again for doing everything wrong. Motherhood is all about sacrificing your body, your sleep, your spending money, your social life, your hot meals and your hot baths. It’s learning about being strong when you’re weak and brave whilst you’re terrified. It’s sacrificing your patience, your time energy and sanity… all for Love!