Now that Mother’s Day is just around the corner this post perfectly sums up my one-and-a-half-year journey as a mother so far. Earlier I used to celebrate Mother’s Day as a daughter, but after becoming a mother myself celebrating Mother’s day as a mother has been quite something. Being a mother to my little man is perhaps the greatest thing I’ll ever do in my entire life. Motherhood has changed me inside out.
But did you hear the news?
Motherhood is the new religion.
And I am a follower. Yes for me motherhood is not just a feeling, a sentiment or an emotion, but a religion, a calling.
Why do I say it’s a religion?
Of course, motherhood can’t be a hobby since we don’t collect babies because we find them cute or we are bored. But motherhood for me is definitely a religion because the amount of faith, belief, and sanctity that goes in it is comparable to any other religion of the world. Motherhood holds a distinct sacred place in a person’s life and influences and shapes her personality. This religion called motherhood is mostly moulded by the beliefs our own mothers followed and those that we have faith in. And just like any religion, though motherhood is extremely personal and mothers differ in their style of parenting, it amazes me how motherhood forms a common belief, a common faith that ties and unites all mothers across the globe.
I love being a mother and there’s no doubt about that. Since the day I became a mother, I have been striving to provide the best in my ability for my baby and to be the best mother for him that I could ever be. But not long ago I started noticing that in my attempt to wing this entire ‘mom-role’ I somehow started to lose myself along the way. I was beginning to lose my identity. And the feeling of not being able to recognize myself was awful. But I am happy that it didn’t take me long to come to this realization and I was spared from being trapped in the dreadful feeling of lost identity. Because I have realized that the deeper and longer I let myself into the situation the harder it would have been recovering from it.
I have spent my entire time as a mother thinking, searching and creating ways to make a perfect world for my baby to live and grow in. I have been putting great thought, effort and time in choosing the right kind of toy and activity for him that could aid the most in his development along with the fun and enjoyment. There have been countless hours spent with my toddler enacting rhymes and poems, calling and talking to animals and plants, dancing our butts out on some random commercial on the television and telling him instantly woven imaginary stories. Though the activities I do with him are never planned but yes the effort that goes in devising them are definitely careful and deliberate.
It’s true that being a mother takes up most of my time, but it’s not just that. This wonderfully gracious title given by my baby goes beyond just my time, it spans my space as well – space in my mind, space in my heart and space in my life. It has been so consuming that I had almost forgotten that before being a mother I was a good athlete, an avid reader, occasional diary writer, music lover, hobby singer and an art and craft enthusiast. My friends envied me for having such diverse talent and that Shaarav could learn so much from me. But since his birth, I’ve rarely had the time to follow my passion and pursue my hobbies. My time is so full and my schedule so jam-packed in creating a perfect world for my kid that I have forgotten about the things that once made my world bright.
Just a few days back, suddenly my eyes wandered over to my old diary that sat there on one corner of my desk. It once used to be an old friend back in the days and has seen through my every thick and thin. A little dust had settled on it since it had gone without being used for so long. As I began dusting it off so many memories attached to it came flashing back. A smile lit up my face and a sense of satisfaction rippled through my body as I began turning through the yellow-turned pages. At that moment I rediscovered myself and I made a promise to myself that I will introduce my son to all those shades of my personality which enriched me but was long forgotten. I made a promise that I will rediscover myself again, but this time with my son. Because my son needs to know who I am, not just as his mother, but also as a human who walks on the face of this earth with many other shades of her personality.
Yet I questioned myself. Should I feel guilty for taking my time away from my baby and wanting more from my life? Don’t I have the right to find more satisfaction from my life just because I am a mother now? As of now, my entire existence revolves around my baby and my entire being is wrapped around him. But should I let that be the reason why I can’t feed my passions? I love my baby with every piece of my heart and though motherhood might be my religion, I am ‘more than just a mother’. And just as I am not a blind follower of any other religion, I am going to keep my eyes open for motherhood as well. I don’t want to get so consumed, besotted or obsessed with motherhood and my baby that there’s no space in my life for anything else. I don’t want to hold any regrets later in my life just because in my constant focus on my baby I lowered my sight for myself and let my aspirations slip away. I don’t want to let the dreams and visions I’m passionate about getting lulled and lost because I dimmed in my own mind what I thought I was capable of. Instead, I want to be that mother for my kid who inspires him to do more out of his life and to be more, despite the hardships.
It’s difficult to juggle different roles and find a balance between being a mother, being a wife and being an individual person with my own identity. But it’s important that I hold onto these different roles not just to have my sanity but also to make my son remember me not ‘just as a mother’ but also as a person who has passion, purpose, and personality. I want him to know me as a person who enjoys other things too just as she enjoys being a mother, and teaches him to do the same. I want him to know how he helped my heart to grow and make me a better person. And wanting to rediscover my own self and my own identity isn’t going to change my love for my son and the fact that I am his mother.
All this while I had let myself lose amidst my endeavour to provide a perfect world for my son. I had forgotten about the little pleasures and relishes that I found in life before he was born. I had let myself get lost in the shuffle of life. But now it’s time to step back and have my own identity. It’s time to reclaim my passions that I had set aside for some tomorrow. It’s time for me to remember I am so much ‘more than just a mother’. It’s time to re-learn and rediscover ‘myself’.
“Because though motherhood might be my religion, but I am more than just a mother!’
Mothers are special creatures and should be celebrated in a special way. Wishing all the lovely mothers and mothers-to-be out there a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day! Read my other posts on motherhood bliss here: “If this isn’t bliss, then I’m not sure what is!” and “Motherhood bliss: Dream vs reality – Reading between the lines“. You can also read a wonderful article on 5 qualities of a good mother that can be inculcated by Deepshikha and Being Too Harsh On Ourselves – A Perspective of Motherhood by Udita Saklani.