Early motherhood years are tough and trying. And as much as young kids act as stress busters, in an inexplicable way, they are also a kind of stress givers too. Well-meaning relatives who have managed to raise a half a dozen kids say and even I know that it’s just a phase, but at the moment it seems like an eternity. Though Shaarav has never been a picky eater and he seldom fusses about food, of late he has become an obstinate child with a violent temper. He refuses to budge if he isn’t given what he wants.
I have been that mom who has tried to handle the situation by love, persuasion, diversion, or even resorting to more uncalled for means like shouting and screaming. I’m not particularly proud of them, but sometimes things do tend to go a little out of hand calling for more serious action when nothing else works. I have spent an absurd amount of time cooking food that I know he loves only to find out that he wants entirely something else at the moment. And believe me, no amount of reasoning works with a headstrong almost three-year-old. And of late I have been talking and shouting and screaming so much that I have begun to get irritated at the sound of my own voice. Why does motherhood have to involve so much talking? Not that I’m complaining or I don’t love talking but it is insane how much talking motherhood involves every day.
I know a couple of moms with children the same age as Shaarav who are also going through the same phase, and stressing over the same things. We try to derive relief and satisfaction from knowing that we are not alone and how familiar our worries feel.
Motherhood is unlike any other job in the whole world – you never get off the clock. But then, there’s no better job than motherhood. After having legitimately worn out at work and having a frustrating episode of mothering with my unreasonable toddler in addition to having a hotchpotch of other confusing mothering feelings, when my little one snuggles into me finding comfort in my arms I feel perplexed from a feeling of contrastingly mixed emotions.
There’s no denying that parenting is tough and motherhood is indeed confusing but what’s also true is the love. So even when I’m stressed with responsibilities that come with helping this tiny human grow up the way I’d like him to, I constantly need to make a conscious choice to never give in. I constantly need to remind myself to enjoy this phase because I won’t be having these same worries once he grows up a little. And for that very reason, I need to remember to worry a teensy-weensy bit less and take in the absolute love that being a mother brings; even when at the end of the day, after being spent at work it becomes a hell lot difficult to remember this.
I consider motherhood to be a lifetime experience which is full of conscious, effortful choices that I make every day. And I want it to be coloured and shaped with the right kind of choices that I make and the right kind of attitude that I bring in with me. So I work double as hard and with as much gratitude and love I can muster. And though I am more of a ‘word person’ when being a mom becomes overly overwhelming, I try to make my love for my child known to him by kissing his booboos, answering his nonsensical questions a 100th time and sometimes giving in to his unreasonable demands.
A mother’s heart is never off duty. But, I do not want to indulge myself in over thinking about my child in a manner that’s unhealthy or obsessive, but is like a fragrance that constantly surrounds me with love and freshness. And for that, I need to keep reminding myself that in the grand scheme of things it’s really just a phase.
This post is a part of the theme “My Cup of Motherhood” on which you can read my first post “The Truth Behind My Picture Perfect Motherhood”here and the theme reveal here.
P.S. I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.
It was 24th March of the year 2016. It was Holi – the Indian festival of colours and this time I was to celebrate the festival with Mr. Husband after 2 years. But I wasn’t sure if I was keen for the celebrations because, since past few days I had not quite been feeling normal with fuller achy breasts, bloated tummy and the urge to urinate frequently. These are the typical pregnancy symptoms, right? But these symptoms had long ceased to interest me over the years of countless failed attempts to get pregnant.
Very early in the morning, when Mr. Husband was still sound asleep, I sat up and mechanically taking a home pregnancy test from the drawer I sneaked my way into the toilet. I very distinctly remember that historic day. It was very early in the morning, the sun hadn’t risen yet. There was just the pink sky before the sunrise and the morning birds had only begun to chirp. For the years that I had been trying, I had watched the urine reach the other end without batting an eyelid, waiting eagerly for the result – each time more hopeful and excited than the previous. But this time, as I sat on the toilet pan, unmindful of the process, the last 4 years of struggle, hope and faith started to unfold and flash before my eyes.
For the past 4 years, it had become a routine that whenever we were together and I missed my periods, even for 2 days, I would religiously take a home pregnancy test in the hope that this time it comes positive. I would keep looking at the test with my eyes wide open until the test completed only to see the white evaporation line each time, and that solid pink control line mocking me. But unfortunately in our 4 years of marriage, and amidst I don’t know how many pregnancy tests (I had lost count of), I hadn’t had one single test positive. It wasn’t that we were trying throughout, but we weren’t “not trying” either. Initially, my mother would just give hidden cues, but now even she had started to talk about it openly and directly. It had been so long now that not only people, but even I had begun to question my fertility and almost convinced that something was definitely wrong with me. Many a time even the thought of adopting a child had crossed my mind.
I had watched close friends who married after we did become parents. Some of them became parents even before they celebrated their first marriage anniversary. Nobody had ever pressurized me about the matter, not even my in-laws. Mr. Husband had also been understanding and supportive throughout, but his silence spoke volumes about his desire and disappointment. It had all begun to grow on me and I was becoming desperate. So much so, that I spent most of my time endlessly reading pregnancy related articles on the internet, obsessively tracking my cycles keeping tabs of my fertile window and active days, and absently wishing to be pregnant. And the pressure inside me kept building.
Being a Virgo I have a habit of planning everything beforehand, and even before I got married, I already had a list of names of babies with me. I had even thought about the innovative ways I would break the news with family, friends and Mr. Husband, of course – a different way for each one. I had planned it all. Now all I needed was to be pregnant, and that was the one thing that wasn’t happening for us. Pregnancy still remained a lost dream.
My periods have always been irregular so tracking didn’t help much; but still, I kept on tracking it to maintain my sanity intact and in the hope that I might be lucky to get one cycle right. So, though I was more than a week late and was feeling a bit off I did not suspect a thing. And looking at my past record of several negatives how could I? It had now become more of a routine.
Suddenly, with a thud sound, I was brought back to the present. As I came to my senses I realized it was the newspaper boy throwing the newspaper roll in the balcony. Without much interest, I carelessly looked back at the test that lay there at my foot waiting to be read. And as I looked at the test my eyes started to widen in amazement and I could feel my nervous heartbeats thumping hard against my chest. I rubbed my eyes to get a clearer look at it as I stood there with trembling hands and legs, gaping at the pale faint pink line, shimmering and dancing beside the dark pink of the control in front of my eyes. For an instant I was numb. I don’t know how long I stood there staring at it in surprise or shock (I still don’t recall). I was totally bewildered at the unexpected and unbelievable result. The sight of those “two pink lines” which seemed to smile at me exhilarated me to the core. I felt so alive on the spur of the moment that it couldn’t be described in words.
I was so thrilled that I remember even pinching myself to be sure if it was for real or I was having a dream. I wouldn’t have been shocked if it were a dream because getting pregnant had become so consuming that it had begun to haunt me. But not this time. I was so used to seeing the white nothingness of an evaporated line that those “two pink lines” amused me immeasurably. My happiness knew no bounds and it was getting difficult for me to control my emotions. After all those sleepless nights of wetting the pillow with silent tears and I don’t know after how many earnest prayers God had finally decided to shower us with His blessings.
I quickly gathered myself, washed my hands and joyously went to wake Mr. Husband up who was blissfully asleep, snoring away, still unaware of how our lives were going to change course. I had always imagined for this moment, devising several ways to surprise Mr. Husband with the “good news” and all I could do was wake him up to show him those “two pink lines” and say “Hey!You’re going to become a Dad!” (How cliché! I know). But in that glorious moment words did not matter, only feelings did. And it was overwhelmingly emotional. We hugged and rejoiced. Our lives were going to change forever, we knew it, only yet to discover it how.
And all of a sudden I was eager to celebrate Holi – the festival of colours because we got our “bundle of joy” as Holi gift. And as colourful this beautiful festival of colours is, we knew instantly that in a similar manner he is going to colour our lives with his amazing baby colours and give our lives a new meaning. And since that instant, our life canvas has been getting painted with the prettiest colours there could ever be.
This piece of writing marks the beginning and is the first in the series of pregnancy-related posts where I am going to share my pregnancy journey. Keep watching the space for more updates and interesting pieces.
It was Valentine’s Day a few days ago and I so wanted to write this for Valentine’s Day. But then I decided against it and saved it for a later date. And more than anything, it was long overdue and I needed to pen it down.
Because, as an exhausted stay-at-home mom all my days are full of the daily mundane activities from which I consciously try to steal those little moments of romantic love. So in a way, all my days are special and every day is a Valentine’s Day. And it couldn’t come at an opportune time to pay tribute to the man of my life for all his earnest efforts, firm support and understanding throughout the time we have known each other.
My life, today, is all about my 15-month-old and most of the time my role as a mom gets in the way of my role as a wife. Yes, I am guilty of neglecting your needs, because often I need to choose our kid before you. Because sometimes, caring for our kid’s needs means putting his needs before yours. As a mom, this is the most difficult place to be in and as much as I hate this I find myself in the same spot again and again. And it is easier to be a mom than be a wife.
It is like snuggling into you cosily under a blanket and wanting to completely be in the moment with you enjoying it, but yet finding myself peeping over your shoulder from time to time to see if the baby is sleeping peacefully. No matter what, our baby will always be my first priority.
But it doesn’t imply that I don’t hold you up in my heart the way I once did. Oh, absolutely not. But yes, it does mean that the moment we decided to bring this innocent life on earth, it got decided by default that I am always going to choose him before you. It means putting our needs as a couple and as individuals temporarily on hold.
Bringing a baby into the world is unquestionably a life-altering decision, and no matter how much you think you are prepared you are never really prepared for it. “Because the twists and turns your life are going to get is never really mapped until you embark on the journey.” But having a companion to share the challenges and the adventure along the way truly makes it worthwhile. And my heart is forever going to remain grateful and indebted to my companion for life – to you Mr. Husband.
I thank you deeply for the epitome of patience you have been, since the moment we became pregnant till this day when we are raising together this super energetic, never-staying-still toddler. I thank you for holding patience all along our pregnancy and bearing my sporadic mood swings. So yes, life is pretty different from when we first started – from a carefree life as the newlyweds to the overcautious life as the new parents. And amidst all the melodrama that my life has turned into, the wife in me takes a backseat as the mom in me takes charge.
I admit it is exciting, but it is difficult too.
I agree it is fulfilling, but it is exhausting as well.
This journey, so far, has been one hell of a ride, but I honestly miss those carefree days when we could do just what we wanted without having to bother about this tiny soul whose life now depends on us. I miss being able to express and reciprocate to you as much as I want to and as profoundly I feel about it. Sometimes I just want to rewind my life once again and be that slaphappy 25-year old that could live life as a freewheeler. I sincerely miss those times when we could go anywhere, just on a random whim and return home whenever we felt like, and when eating out meant enjoying a romantic elaborate dinner leisurely. I miss those long drives listening from our “curated playlist” and those “insightful conversations” over coffee. I miss indulging in those long, freewheeling shopping sprees without having to bother about the finances.
I miss “us” and our happy “us-time” together.
I try to be happy in my own skin, and yet desperately trying to fit back into my old clothes. I want my energy levels back and also my flawless skin. I know you say I still look beautiful to you, but sometimes with dishevelled milk stained, food smeared and poop sullied clothes and wild unkempt hair it is hard to be convinced. I know you say you still love me, but I find it hard to believe when most of our conversations are about our precious son which start and end with him. I am honestly grateful that you still find me attractive, yet, the c-section scar, the bulging belly, and the diminished energy levels still bother me. I miss being the athlete I once was who was able to play all types of outdoor sports.
I miss the old “me”.
Life is different. Life is good. I am happy.
But life with the baby is so different. We are busier than ever and we never seem to find time to do things that we enjoy doing. There’s always a lack of time and shortage of money. With only one earning member and three mouths to feed the budget seems only tighter. All our money is spent keeping our baby well fed and comfortably clothed. Today eating out is more trouble than it is deserved and the so-called date nights frequently involves a cranky baby and food splatters and smears on our clothes.
Life is a lot more different than what we expected it to be. I do not mean to imply I’m unhappy with my life. Oh sure, we are the happiest we have ever been. But looking back at those countless exhausted and sleep-deprived nights it reminds me how difficult it has been and still, we have managed to do it all. And I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.
“Of course, nobody comes out of parenthood unscathed and I am not sure if every parent is candid about it. But I am pretty sure that these are the scars I want to don. And not just don but to also flaunt it proudly.”
Because it has been a privilege to bring this tiny human into the world and I am having the best time of my life. I am the happiest I have ever been and I would not change a thing about it. Neither would I want to do it any differently. And all thanks to you for standing by my side always being this unwavering and unfaltering source of support and motivation.
Life is so good, but at the same time so consuming. But I am hopeful. I am hopeful that life won’t be like this always and one day this will all be over. One day. One fine day there will only be us, again. Yet, it won’t be the same us, as parenthood has changed us inside out. The change is undeniable. And undeniable is the love that we feel for each other which has only grown deeper as we get stronger through these challenges. Though we can’t be those naively free-spirited wanderers anymore my love for you has grown only deeper watching you in your “Dad-shoes”. It’s a treat to watch you with the baby, being so gentle and handling the baby with tenderness despite your macho persona.
Someday it will be over
Life is emphatically better with our tiny human with us. But one day it won’t remain difficult to be a wife than being a mom. One day when our little man is all grown up and busy with his life we will again find us, still standing beside each other that we once chose to overlook feeling burdened with our parenting responsibilities. One day when cleaning up the spilled milk, changing the soiled diapers and doing the laundry will be a distant past. One day there won’t be a runny nose to wipe, pounding headaches from sleepless nights and tiny hands to scatter things around. One day we will rediscover each other holding hands and be patting our backs on how well we did in raising our baby to become a kind human being.
You will always be the person I’ll keep on taking for granted. You will always be the person I will lean on when I need a shoulder to cry. You will always be the person I need to guide me through when I can’t find the light. You will always be the person who brings a smile to my face and brightens my day.
I feel lucky to be sharing my life with you. The way you have maintained your patience and calm speaks volumes about your inner strength and shows how much you love me. I feel obligated towards you for being so understanding and loving me looking past my flaws. I am horrible at expressing myself when it comes to showing my feelings for you. I’ll just say that I love you dearly and I’m glad for having you by my side. Life is uncertain and unpredictable, but with you standing by me, I am ready to take on life as it comes.
“For me, love and happiness prevail where you are.”
Motherhood fills your days and night with magical moments of utter bliss, leaving you feeling astounded and thinking how did you ever lived so ignorant and missed the eyes for the beauty of life’s little big moments – so precious, so lovely!
For me bliss is:
That moment when the first time my baby boy was brought to me and I couldn’t help crying and smiling at the same time looking at his cute little angelic face.
That moment when he held on to my finger almost like we had known each other since long before we first-in-person met as if we had known each other for time immemorial. I knew instantly there was no other place I’d rather be.
That incredibly dreamy moment when he latched right on, and suckled happily without any hesitation whatsoever and kept snuggling into me as if he too had completely accepted me just as I had accepted him.
That defining moment when I was both exhilarated and overwhelmed with my new-found motherly feeling that I never knew existed within me.
Those moments of sheer delight when he used to go all berserk during the feeding sessions just looking at the breasts.
That hilarious instance, when Mr. Husband became the perfect victim of one of his poop explosions and was covered all over poop. Poor soul!
That moment when I first watched his elusive smile and totally got lost in it.
All those moments when I would smile brighter because he did.
All those times when I went gaga over his cuteness and just couldn’t take my eyes off him.
That first time when he began cooing and making all sorts of gurgling noises and how enchanting it was to hear that sweet sound.
Those times when he would spend hours together just watching and studying his newly-discovered hands and tiny fingers.
That moment when I witnessed his first laughter while he unknowingly played with his own reflection in the mirror.
Those precious moments when Mr. Husband looks at him like he put the stars in the sky.
Those moments when he kept amazing us each day by adding new sounds to his repertoire.
Those moments when he generously gave away his goggling beaming smiles on seeing someone he recognized.
That moment when he learned to blow bubbles by putting his tongue between his lips and kept practicing it tirelessly.
That moment when he gave the most triumphant of smiles as he figured out how to roll after umpteen failed attempts at it.
Those moments when I would be content just to watch him sleep peacefully and swell feeling proud of the magic I have created.
That first time when he learned to crawl after all the countless wiggling and bum-shuffling sequences.
That look of determination and a will so strong which I could see in his eyes the first time he stood with support and without it.
The first time he said “Papa” and I was filled with mixed emotions of happiness and jealousy all at the same time.
The unfathomable love and pride I felt hearing the first time he said “Mummy”. I’m sure my heart skipped a beat.
The first time he took his baby steps all by himself and I could watch my heart walking out of my body.
The way his face lights up to see me after a short time when I’m away and the look that he has as if saying, “Where were you all this time, I missed you so much,” and come running up to me to give me the biggest bear hug.
The mischievous look in his eyes when he is up to doing the thing which I asked him not to do a 100th time.
The innocence of him waking in the middle of the night searching for me and keep snuggling closer to me.
The look of wisdom in his eyes that is still unsullied by the world.
Having him look at me at my ugly best and still feel I’m the most beautiful woman in the whole universe.
Watching both my boys play together, whispering god knows what into each other’s ears and giggling away merrily.
Gazing at him in amazement and getting those fleeting glimpses of what an incredible human being he will become.
Those moments of tickling him playfully until he can hardly breathe from laughing so hard.
The moments when he looks at me for approval while he is up to something mischievous.
The way I love him, insanely, just almost irrationally, without any reservation.
Watching him soundly asleep at night in some weird position in a tumble of bedding and messy hair.
The relentless smiles that he gives away when we lock looks and exchange glances.
“If this isn’t bliss, then I’m not sure what is!”
It is those moments that exude pure love, transcending any other kind I’ve ever known, that I so wish I could turn into gems, freeze them in time and keep them for eternity. I’m looking forward to more of such uncounted moments together to have and to cherish – that only motherhood is capable of giving!
I am a stay-at-home mother as of now and definitely a proud one (Check out my previous post for more on being a stay-at-home mom). Our son is still small and there’s no one to look after him if I decide to go to work and leave him behind. Moreover, I have trust issues about keeping a nanny to look after my kid while I’m gone. So the situation demands of me to be a stay-at-home mom and I’m doing it happily. Yet, sometimes, in doing the same mundane activities day in and day out, I find my own identity rather lost in this new role.
Mr. Husband has been very supportive of my new role throughout and thinks very highly of me. He is not very expressive of his feelings but when he does he makes it a point to be stark clear. Here is what he thinks of me being a stay-at-home mother.
Stay-at-home mother vs Working mother
My wife is a stay-at-home mother as of now. We conceived when it was the peak time for her to be working and fulfilling her ambitions. But she decided to give her career aspirations a rest to start a family and bring this tiny human being to life which has become our whole world. But at the time, none of us had the slightest idea what we were signing up for.
Even one year after delivering she has had to put her dreams on hold to tend to this little life that we’ve created. Not that she is complaining or she isn’t proud of her new role as a stay-at-home mother, trust me we both truly are. I would have been equally proud had she been working, but we also can’t deny the fact that she did have to make sacrifices and change her priorities to take up this new role.
Not me, but her.
And then, on the other hand, there are also mothers who choose or have to work feeling guilty for having to leave their babies behind. It’s very difficult to choose one over the other, knowing that between the two there’s no such thing called a perfect choice, or even a good or a bad choice for that matter. And though neither of the decisions comes easy and both the decisions demand immense courage, strength, sacrifice, and bravery, it should be welcomed wholeheartedly and appropriately lauded.
Did you just read bravery? Oh yes, you read it right. It is, as a matter of fact, an act of bravery that we must give due credit to.
Why this constant debate about a stay-at-home mother and a working mother?
I feel it’s very shameful for us to even have this constant debate and categorize motherhood into stay-at-home mothers and working mothers. It’s rather pitiful how some of us look down at stay-at-home mothers and secretly diss on them, at the same time judge working mothers for being heartless and make them feel guilty for leaving their babies behind.
We should understand that there’s more to motherhood than what seemingly meets the eye. Motherhood is one true empowering spirit in itself and it doesn’t really matter if she’s a stay-at-home mom or a working one. It’s the feeling, emotions, and sentiments with which she enjoys motherhood and which makes her happy is what really matters in the true sense. Because after all, she’s the centre of everything, she’s the axis on which our lives revolve, men’s as well as the kids’. In my words,
“Children might be the heart of the family, Dads might be the body, but Moms are definitely the soul of the family.”
So let’s not put them in any category, rather just celebrate them for the beautiful souls that they are. We really need more husbands to think like this. I’m thankful that I’ve got support and encouragement because somedays as a stay-at-home mom can get really overwhelming.
I am a neat freak, I have always been so. I just cannot stand a mess. You must believe me when I say I become a maniac when I am on one of my weekly cleaning sprees, and by that I mean literally. According to Mr. Husband, I become this crazed woman and boss him around when he forgets to make the bed in the morning or wipe the floor after taking a shower.
The Lost Cause
But after the birth of our little 14-month old mess-monster Shaarav, I’m forced to, though reluctantly, let go of this habit of mine as now I am beginning to understand that trying to keep the house neat when you have a baby around is more or less like a lost cause. Well, that’s the thing; you can’t boss a baby (wink wink). Babies are meant to be messy, delving into their surroundings with gusto as they explore and discover the world the only way they know how.
Being a mother of a toddler can be a tough job, and more so when you have a handful one as my kiddo Shaarav. My little one surely knows the trick to create maximum mayhem in minimum time; he has got this exceptional talent which sometimes makes me wonder if he’s purposely trying to drive me crazy.
When Shaarav first began having semi-solids after completing his 6 months, I would jump up to clean each time he would spill or drop his food. But now I’m about ready to let go of this habit of mine and there’s a rather beautiful and one-of-a-kind story behind it.
Of whatever little time I get off of him, I use it to pursue my hobby of painting, crafts, DIYs, etc. Painting my heart out really acts as a stress buster. One fine morning when I had washed him up and he had finally dozed off after a thorough massage, I began painting. Shaarav at the time was about 7 and half months old and had still not begun to crawl. So we had safely assumed that he’s among those who would skip crawling and move directly to standing and walking.
Suddenly halfway between and still keeping things at a safe distance I had to go away to attend to a visitor at the door. I was away for about half an hour and when I returned what I saw not only did amuse me it changed me for good.
Shaarav had crawled and reached for my colours and had created a colourful mess staining his clothing and toys. He had paint all over himself. Now coming to the interesting part, despite giving him various stimuli he would still not crawl, but the colours gave him the exact motivation he needed for making him crawl. Shaarav never fails to amaze us and though I had a long day cleaning the mess he had created, one thing I learned from the incident is that by not letting him get messy I was depriving him of a wonderful learning and sensory experience. So from that day onward, we let him hands-on allowing him to drop, roll, splatter the food and explore the different textures, colors, and flavours.
So people stop fretting about the mess and embrace the mess, you never know your kid just might be getting smarter in the process.
When we talk of parenthood, the role of a mother has always been given an edge over the role of a father. None of us can really deny the fact that mothers are the ones to devote more amounts of time and energy in raising a baby than the fathers too.
Over the years there has been much written about how contrastingly a mother’s life changes after coming of the baby as compared to how it was before the baby. But, not many of us talk about how a father’s life changes after a baby come into the picture. So here’s a Husband and New Dad’s perspective on relationships.
How a Husband and New Dad looks into this new role:
When we first planned on starting a family, we had a pretty clear picture that the baby was going to change the present dynamics of our marriage. But just when the romantic flirty messages changed into the grocery list, the intellectual chat changed into pee & poop talk and the birthday & anniversary reminders changed into vaccination reminders, I am still clueless.
Nobody warned us about the plummeting our relationship had taken and the chaos the rest of our lives had fallen into.
During the initial months everything seemed so exciting and gala, but soon after I found myself lamenting how our love for the baby had usurped our very own love story. Despite the fact that our happiness knew no bounds – she was happy and I was happy, but together our happy “we” times went missing from the picture.
And as determined as I was not to save our “us” for some day in the future, or pause our romance for tomorrow or even wait for the weekly off to hold a kiss for that matter, I also didn’t want to rush her into it either. I understood she needed time to recover & heal. But I also couldn’t shy away from the fact that her drive kept on taking a reverse gear whenever I tried to reconnect. I had been trying very badly to be the people who once met, married, fell in love and had a miraculous baby. But, our love story seemed to be lost somewhere underneath those soiled diapers and laundry piles.
How Sex and Intimacy went down the drain:
Who wouldn’t agree when I say that intimacy is like the glue in a marriage? So exactly how was I supposed to react if she chose sleep over sex? And even when, after a long, challenging day she tried to pry her tired and sleepy eyes open to tend to “us” because that might be our only chance during the entire day, I felt it was selfish of me to make her go through this. I did understand that “us” time would be the last thing on her mind with all the tiredness & exhaustion and over-touching from those tiny hands and feet climbing and clinging to her all day. And as much as I would hate to admit – it did feel like I was not wanted, I was not cared for, when all I had wanted was a sense of belongingness, even if the thought crossed my mind just for the millionth of a second.
How reality struck hard:
Did they tell you before having the baby that life will be more beautiful and lovely with the baby?
They sure forgot to tell you how different that love and life you probably imagined before having the baby could be when you are sleep-deprived parents to a highly active toddler. I knew beforehand, life couldn’t be the same and I was definitely geared up for this, but I so wanted more of her, I so wanted more of “us”. Reality struck me hard when one day, on hearing my wife calling, “Hey handsome” I jumped in all excited only to find that it was for the baby and not me (sigh)! He sure is my baby too and he’s handsome. But ouch! That hurt, and so much.
How I started looking at our relationship in a new light:
But amidst all that chaos we still tried to laugh while cooking or cleaning, appreciate each other, exchanged gifts, even when they didn’t seem to be enough.
And just when I was beginning to think our relationship had lost its lustre, our marriage was far from being over, not even close. In all the drama going on in my life, I somehow missed seeing the bigger picture. This time around, she was the one to reach out. I’m glad I had the patience to wait and I didn’t rush her into it.
It was then I was able to witness how with each one of these challenging days passing by, we had been inching closer to each other gaining in trust, establishing mutual respect and building on faith. I had missed seeing how we kept fuelling on hope, enkindling belongingness and growing even deeper a love, all along the way, silently.
It just took me a little while to see how our relationship had metamorphosed and transformed into a more beautiful form, just as a butterfly does from a caterpillar, giving more meaning and depth to the relationship that we already had. Only my eyes were long clouded to realize how a whole new dimension of my psyche was born, as we lovers had morphed into something more.
We were morphed into parents.
Our “us” today is definitely different than what it used to be, and not always a “gooddifferent,” but I love this life we’ve created and how we’ve grown as a family. And I have never been this sure how this phase of my life has shaped my personality and given me a deeper perspective on love and sacrifice.
Our relationship is definitely the most cherished aspects of my life, but the look of unconditional love that I see in those tiny eyes of my one-year-old who calls me “Papa“, and how my heart fills up with gratitude, love, and pride is beyond any word can describe and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.