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.
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