Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Mother Needs a Big HEART


There are so many joys in being a mother. The moment I held my baby in my hands, I felt that I was blessed. The enormous feeling of love that you feel in your heart as you hold the tiny, gentle hands in yours, the swell of love that engulfs you as you watch your little one sleeping peacefully next to you – and that special bond that you feel as you breastfeed her – there is no other gift in life that makes you feel that way. The excitement of all gifts big or small dies down overtime. But in being a mother? The moment of joy stays with you forever. Despite the occasional feelings that she is going to drive you mad because you can’t keep up with the energy and curiosity of a child.

While a child is always looking for something, putting a finger in a hole there, or pressing a button here, she is always exploring and learning; she is making sense of the world that she is in. But because she has this excitement and zeal to see more and to know more, the mother has to have a big heart. A really big heart. Because you are a mother and a child at this age (1-2 years) cannot be controlled by reasoning, you are in a dilemma of what you should do. There are social gatherings that you cannot forego because you are a mother. Besides, you feel that the way to let a child grow up is not by closing the rest of the world out. The way to let the child see the world is to live as naturally as possible – letting the things around us run as they usually do; and letting ourselves go around life as usual. Except, at times it gets really, really difficult.

There were many times when I felt torn that I had not taken her into account when I made a decision to take part in something. When you are at someone’s house as a guest, you are ill at ease – having to follow your child and keeping an eye to make sure that she is not breaking something, or spilling something on the carpet. But despite all this I-wish-I-were-not-part-of-this-gathering feeling, we have to be a part of it. I can’t explain why I must torture myself and my baby that way – but I have always taken part as I would if I were not a mother. And the expense of it all is that, after a while she gets tired and agitated. Her sleep time gets disturbed. And then, I blame myself for not being a good mother.

For example, today we were at the Victoria Market in Melboune (it is an open market like the one we have in Bhutan). While my husband and other friends shopped, we played at the nearby park. I decided to do that because I thought I had to consider her first. When I knew she had had enough time at the park and was getting sleepy, we joined the others. But she got sleepy and yet she could not sleep. She got so agitated. She did not want to stay on the stroller. She was pushing herself out from the straps with so much strength that she was almost out of them. So I took her out thinking that we were almost done at the market and she deserved to be out too. But the moment she was out, she ran around the shop, touching things here and there. And then, she slipped and hit her forehead so hard on the concrete floor and got a very bad big swelling on her left forehead. People around were shocked and aghast. I felt so bad. On top of that feeling, I was blamed. My husband’s hysterical remark was that, I simply don’t know how to look after a child.

This is how it is. Despite all your effort to be a good mother, despite all the love that you feel, you fail somehow. There is always something that you don’t get right. For me, I can only soothe myself by crying with her and blaming myself. Then I make a decision that I will lock ourselves in and not join the others. This time, I am almost sure that I will not go shopping or attend a social gathering out of an obligation to not hurt the sentiments of others. There are already three appointments of such obligations and I am wondering how best to take back my words. It is so difficult to live when you are a person who has to keep the word that you have given. I have put myself on torture many a times because of this principle that I must stick to. This time, for my daughter, I may break it. For me, it is she that matters the most. I must have a big heart. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

It is Here and I Must Thank You


I don’t remember when was the last time I felt so euphoric and relieved to have achieved something. I probably did when I finished my engineering degree, but I don’t remember it now. This time, when I finished my masters in IT, I had a sense of relief run over me as if it was what I always wanted and I now had it in my grips for the rest of my life. I think the sense of achievement and relief is more today because I am a wife and a mother and the commitment and discipline required to shoulder the responsibility as a student more than tripled – and I am proud today for having made it without any major obstacle.

While I felt it like a big challenge in the beginning, I was happy that I could now sort out my time and priority and was surer about how much time I should dedicate to each of the obligations. My family received my first priority and I am glad that is how it was. They dedicatedly stood beside me and this is what they deserve. In fact, they deserve much more. And it is in fact sad that I can only thank them. But what better way than to genuinely feel the gratitude, right?

So as I stand here today, having achieved one important milestone in my life, I thank my husband and daughter from the bottom of my heart. Without them, it would have been impossible to even dream. I was sorry that he had to go through the troubles of looking after our five month old daughter who could be soothed only by breastfeeding for 8 hours at a time sometimes. But he has in his nature to do the things he does in the best way. And even when it came to parenting, he did it in the finest way. As I look back to 18 months before, I see them going for walks almost every day, our little daughter sometimes falling asleep in the pram, he singing lullaby and rhythmically soothing the gentle ears.

As a top undergraduate engineering student delivered the valedictory speech at the graduation ceremony and thanked his parents and friends, tears welled up in my eyes – my daughter and husband, the two most beautiful people in my life stood in my mind and I recollected all the days of sacrifices they had to make to suit my class schedules and assignment due dates. Without this flexibility and compromise, I would not be standing here today.

I think in life, what you achieve and how far you walk depend on your partner and his support. I am glad I have one who knows my heart and my ability, and believes in me. (Thank you Honey. You complete me.) Likewise, I promise that I will stand by you and our daughter throughout my life.