Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Life as a mommy...

I am not a mommy, not yet anyway. While I wait for my little one to arrive in just a few weeks time , I am frantically reading up stuff on www. My favourites are the dozen or so mommy blogs I religiously follow each day. I agree with some and disagree with many! Given that I am a christian and would like to keep the Bible as my reference point for ALL parenting issues, I still do find myself agreeing with many secular /non-christian views on parenting as well. Children are a blessing from God and we parents are to bring them up in Him alone. In my mind there is no better or any other way of bringing up children than the way pointed out in the Bible. If we fail to do that, we are bound to pay a price for it. Since I havent yet become a mother I know that I am not in a position to comment upon any one mother's style of parenting. Or her life as a mom! So no this is not a judgemental rant.

The reason why I chose to write this post is because of this phenomenon I have noticed firmly established in the life of some new mothers around me. I have two friends who have children below four years of age and they have stopped living! That's it , as simple as that. The first friend , lets call her D, has a toddler who is almost two now and she doesnt live! What I mean is that, there is no life for her apart from caring for her child. That in itself is not the issue here, but we are talking of 24/7 obsessive caring for her child. That is also fine, because this is what mommies do isnt it! But this friend does not go out, does not have friends, discourages visitors, does not visit either, doesn't go shopping even for groceries and takes out no time for her husband for a single evening once he is back from work! The day starts with the child's needs and ends with it. The other day I commented to her, how can that happen? She said to me ''well, he is demanding and on a strict schedule, so if I go out for an evening that gets disrupted and I cannot enjoy myself''. I was amazed at the response I got from her. Somewhere in this answer I sensed a feeling of burden that she carries around her! I have no doubts that she is indeed a fabulous mother but often I get glimpses of her being tired of mothering. She chose it to be this way, probably convinced herself that this is the way it has to be. She told me that this phase wont last forever, a maximum of 3-4 years and then she will be free! Free of what, pray tell?? I thought when you become a mommy you sign up for a lifetime of worries and tears along with the incredible joy of being one! So see, this is where I make my point. Why make it a burdensome chore in the first place? Why cant things just flow as long as you are instilling the core values in your child and setting an example yourself? Why should mommy's life come to a standstill because bringing up the baby is being perceived as a hassle. Ofcourse they are fussy, whiny,hungry,pukey and what not but why should that stop you from living your life? Ofcourse the baby might throw up just as you are about to go out for a family outing, he/she might throw a tantrum in public or mess the diaper-yet again, but why oh why is that a problem? Why cant you still go ahead and enjoy an outing for a change. If you make it sound like a huge deal, the child will sense it for sure and soon it becomes an unending cycle of tantrums, clinginess and fussing. I know motherhood is a full time job but surely we owe it ourselves to have some semblance of life , a time when we take a deep breath and let go. I dont know if this is really tough, I might start feeling like her myself, but really I think not. I dont want to be harsh here. On any mommy!

Then this other friend S, is a very new mom. And she too has stopped living! She is always in frantic state of disarray and helplesness. A full time maid, her mom moving in with her for a few months, helpful husband and the works and yet she is totally out of her elements. It does happen to all new mothers I am sure, but this display of sheer incapability amuses me more than anything! Six months down the line and nowhere even remotely near getting a life! I know I am sounding harsh, but she has indeed taken mommyhood to new heights! She has stopped having friendships completely. The few handful of friends that she had, have all been aliented . Phone calls are not made nor returned, baby news and updates are not shared, sickness , developments and milestones not shared...the list goes on. As of today, I have no idea how is she doing, what is she up to and more importantly how is the baby doing! When friends call, they are asked to call back because she is busy with the baby, requests to visit are turned down on some pretext and even gifts are refused! So it is not for want of trying that I feel like I have lost her friendship forever. Hubby tells me to let go, to give her the benefit of doubt as not every new mother feels up to the huge demands being a mother makes. I try to, but it is not easy. When she was pregnant, I was a very hands -on friend, always there for her and now when it is my turn to have the care and presence of loved ones around me, I cannot even call her. She doesnt even know my due date!! Im sulking? Yes I am, I am hurt. But I can move on.

Which is why I say to moms like her, please get a life, move on and be of cheerful spirit, children are a gift from God. Dont turn their arrival in your lives as a reason to stop breathing! Involve, evolve and go with the flow. Take this opportunity of becoming a mother to show the world the miracle of God's creation! To shout His praises and proclaim His goodness. Surely becoming a mommy is not a prison sentence!

1 comment:

Dionna said...

Congrats on your baby coming soon! Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Enjoy this time when your new little one arrives. Allow yourself to enjoy their presence without having to worry about whether or not things are cleaned up. Someone once told me - the housework will always be there, but your kids won't! I've never forgotten it. That's not to say you can just let things "go" - just have a healthy balance. :)