I had just become a mother and I was home all day, every day with my baby. I was overwhelmed by love one could feel and surprised by how different it is to just knowing something and experiencing it. I have only known and heard that mothers and children share a very strong bond and there I was, experiencing it for the first time and feeling joyful at this blessing that life offers.
This love is like this: every time my baby cries, I feel the pain. Every time she falls sick, it worries me beyond reasonable extent. Every time she does not eat, I think she is not well. For the first time, you become so observant. You notice even the small changes in your baby’s behavior and every time you think there is a slight change from the normal routine, you worry that something must be wrong.
On one of those days when my baby and I were simmering in the sun light filtering through the window to our bedroom in December in Thimphu, (one of the coldest months), I heard a mother and a kid having some sort of argument outside. The mother shouted at her child and the child cried – wailing in that heart wrenching cry that tears your heart. The second your children cry like that, you regret everything you have said or done. I felt sorry for the child and I wondered how his mother could scold him so much.
And this morning, I had a similar incident and I come to realize that such incidences are unavoidable and you could be angry and shout at your children, however unintentional. My daughter is suffering from cold. She did not sleep well last night. I wanted to make sure that she was wearing warm clothes and her cold did not become worse. But for some reason, she just did not want to wear her jacket. She cried throwing away the jacket every time I tried putting it on. I got frustrated and shouted at her, talking to her as if she would see my point. And then she cried the agonizing, pitiful long-tune cry, tears streaming down her cheeks, making me regret everything I said. I sighed tired. I realized how challenging motherhood is. Despite all the joys, there are times when you wish you could swing your hands and walk out to the city for shopping without that nagging feeling of worry you foster in your mind all the time (the worry such as, is my baby fine? Has she eaten? Did she sleep? sit at the back of your mind all the time once you are a mother). You want to eat a sumptuous meal with your friends without having to ask your children not to disturb you. The joys outweigh all these because these are minor, unimportant things you could so easily sacrifice. But at times, such things can mount up so high, testing your human patience. I enjoy the crazy moments of being like a child again, playing with her, singing at the top of my voice in the crowd, jumping around and making funny faces but the continuous demand can be so strenuous.
But at the end of the day, you forget those small frustrations. As soon as your child looks at you with that imploring looks, your mood lifts up. Walking this journey of motherhood, watching my daughter grow up, waiting for her to talk, imagining the times we will have together, going shopping and telling stories, I remember my mother so vividly and reminds me of how lucky I am. I then understand that in our life, everything happens for a reason and we must pass the small tests that life sets for us to have the strength to smile.