Change

What changes motherhood has brought? The good, the bad and the ugly? Many are interested in hearing,  “I have changed” and “I was all so wrong about not having to change after having the baby” from me.  It is like waiting to see the other contestant trip  and fall on stage. Nothing friendly about it.  Motherhood comparison is not a lot different from the beauty pageants except that the event never ends but has many many crown winners each one of them claiming to be the “Mother Universe” themselves.  There is no swim suit competition…. wait, how soon you get back to swim suit and you can be back in the pool after having a baby is definitely a competition there, but not much among the Indian moms, except among a few may be. And there are those supermoms who do extraordinary stuff, after doing all the regular stuff such as feeding the family with home cooked hot healthy meals and such.  Note that these regular stuff are mandatory, mandated by the regular moms and very much by the supermoms as their emphasis is on the “after”. If you are after getting back to work, beware you will be judged only by these mandatory requirements. Remember that you can go to work only “after” meeting the mandatory requirements and your going to work even “after” will only be seen as a damage to the…. well, I am digressing.

So, have I changed? Was I wrong about not having to change after having a baby? The answers are…….. yes and no. Yes I have changed. But, no I was not wrong about not having to change after having a baby.

Here is a beautiful account of what one mom feels about the changes that she has observed in herself after becoming a mom.  Here is what I have observed as the changes or otherwise that have happened to me after becoming a mom, not in any order of importance.

  1. I am more independent and less maintenance than I was before.
  2. less lazy than I was before
  3. I can recognise my stress-threshold level and can admit that I will break down after that level.
  4. news about death/missing of a child or death of a parent to a child disturbs me deeply.
  5. have very high respect for all the moms who go through this child rearing phase, including my own.
  6. I value work life even more now.
  7. other moms are not friends. They are other moms.
  8. I have no patience for the mandating moms and have no respect for the dads who do not do their share.
  9. love #5 “You don’t have to spring back to being the person you were pre-children, because even if you hadn’t had kids, three years on, you still wouldn’t be that person now. At least as a parent, you’ve got an excuse.”
  10. I have responsibilities. I am responsible for the two innocent lives I have created.

So, what is your list? Take up this as a tag and give me the link to your list. It will be interesting to see how the world changes through the eyes of a parent.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jay
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 04:24:27

    “And there are those supermoms who do extraordinary stuff, after doing all the regular stuff such as feeding the family with home cooked hot healthy meals and such. Note that these regular stuff are mandatory, mandated by the regular moms and very much by the supermoms as their emphasis is on the “after”’

    Liked this paragraph. Though around me, it was the men who judged moms and put in such mandatory ‘wants’ even to single girls of marriagable age; Imparting gems to be a good homemaker, it seems. Idiots!

    Reply

  2. mona
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 17:20:47

    I enjoy your blog. I love your writing, it brings everything to life for me.
    I wish I knew these things as a new mom and an older mom. I was a poor parent, overwhelmed and not having much support. I didn’t expect so much change at a fundamental level. I didn’t know how to ask my husband to help without sounding accusing or whiny.
    Those days are long gone, but I have a deep hurt in my heart still for being a lousy mother.

    Reply

  3. Premalatha
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 14:30:13

    Hi Mona,

    Thanks for dropping by and liking my writing. All parents are poor parents. I didn’t expect any change at all, and in fact, I was shocked that the new born was so needy that it needed milk every two hours! 🙂
    The fact that you still feel hurt proves that you are not a lousy mother. Children need their parents, especially mothers, until they die (I mean the children, not the mothers). So, You still can do a lot for them and make a difference in their lives. I wish my mother realises that 😉
    🙂

    Reply

  4. Ag
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 18:49:00

    Just now read Mona’s comment too..(Catching up!!! 😉 ). Mom’s Guilt!!! During child birth not only the child is born, a mom and a mom’s guilt too..

    Reply

  5. mona
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 20:03:11

    Dear Prema, and Ag,

    Thanks for your encouraging notes.
    I think that when a woman puts her children before her, she is an awesome mom- even if the kids are grungy the house is a sty whatever.
    In my case I wonder.
    From being a student, almost overnight I was a wife, mother, homecarer. Since I wasn’t working at the time, I felt guilty to expect help, but felt helpless to do things as before. There was this creature who depended on me for everything, and I couldn’t do the things I used to so meticulously if I gave him attention. My priorities were out of whack. I wished that I had said hell with the house and breakfast and taken better care of my little one. I wasn’t fit to be a mother.
    So, yes there is a huge mass of guilt that a child was penalized for its mothers’ shortcoming.
    May be in time I could be a bit more forgiving towards myself. But it is really hard especially when I see mothers who are so good with their children. I feel that I have destroyed something very precious.

    Reply

    • thenormalself
      Mar 15, 2012 @ 09:35:01

      Hi Mona,
      Although I agree that the helpless little ones need to be given foremost attention, I support non-villifying women who think about themselves sometime. The motherhoodd comes as a shock and so overwhelming like a kaattaaru, it is only human to look for some kattai or kal to take a breath before swimming against or with the flow. But I agree you should have said, hell with the house 🙂 But as you have mentioned it was your area, your comfort zone – having the house in meticulous order. I get thrown off if things are not in order too. I need to have things in order for me to be sane. I have let my children cry while I tidied up the house. As I always say to myself, “kanneer poha pilla minjum” (hope you can understand Tamil. Also, pilla(i) means kuzhanthai in general. I have seen some communities refer pilla(i) to only boy child. How screwed-up (the change in language, I mean) that itself is, ha?! ).

      Btw, you should show your children what you have commented here. 🙂

      Reply

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