I write so I can breathe. I am constantly evolving, mindless at times, frustrating even perhaps but heck, I wouldn't change the smell of freedom that comes with writing.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Balancing Act

I saw a post this morning and I recalled what it was like when I had my now fourteen year old daughter. Like any new mother-to-be, I had apprehensions if I will be able to handle being a mother and keeping a balance of the 'me' that also needed to exist as desired. 

I had seen lives change when babies came into the picture. Suddenly, the attention had shifted from a mother-to-be to the baby. Of course, that is but natural...but here is the thing, how does one handle the lack of attention the mother gets thereafter? I mean, beyond the advice of eat this, don't eat that. This is good for the baby so you must eat this, even if you really hate it. Yes, all the karelas, the juices, the stuff that is going to get you to puke, as if you weren't hassled enough by sheer lack of sleep. Every one had their own recipe for succeeding as a mother, a parent. 

That is not all. Think about it. For a long time, one stays so immersed in the baby relationship alone that everything else flies out of the window. The relationship with your partner gets tossed out. The intimacy is crushed out of existence. Some men stray, some seek gratification elsewhere or just become Mr. Scrooge. Women are ignored. There is low self-esteem, depression...and that is just the beginning. To top it, if you are a single mom...God help you!

It drove me nuts and the only thing that worked for me was the single logical and sane advice I received which most labelled as 'selfish' and shook their heads in disdain about. There was no saving grace for me, according to the wise women around who had borne children, I did not know how to be a mother and was being disrespectful by not heeding proven advice. I was a losing battle, written off, een before I had begun. I didn't mind being slotted in my favourite slot as a human being - a black sheep. They stand out. Think about it. There is more breathing space and they are not keen to toe the line. I didn't. For years I was looked upon (heck, I still am) with that expression of sheer ridicule and pity for being the mother I was; no rules, no traditions, just gut instinct and a love for living life on my terms. 

I didn't get here as a mother just like that. I got here with the help from a friend I have never really met. I got it from my blogger buddy Deeksha. I am so grateful to her for this. My daughter and I have a happy relationship and that is what matters. It is not about being a cool mom. It is about being a happy mom and a happy daughter. 

Deeksha gave me a valuable piece of advice when I was having my baby. My kid is fourteen now. No matter how many years have passed by, this piece of advice has stood by me. I pass it on to you because a baby can turn your world upside down, and sometimes in very frustrating ways too...(yes, much as we like to say otherwise)...She told me, (in more or less these words) "Sandy, the baby is the new arrival. The world existed before the baby arrived. The baby needs to adjust to the world. The world shouldn't be adjusting to the baby. Only then will you be able to find the balance to stay positive and happy and keep it all together."

To you Dee. You rock! 

- Sandy

8 comments:

  1. Such truth in those words. Though we don't have kids yet, I have always wondered about how to survive the rough seas our relationship sees upon its arrival.

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  2. @Vidya - true! The fact is, we want our relationship to be just as intact but the cracks it bears lingers for a long long time. Most think the libido should take a back seat. It is not even funny.

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  3. You sound like exactly how I would sound like in years to come but the piece of advice can prove to be a gem if understood clearly :)

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  4. Glad you can see it Sakshi. The advice helped me so much. I still live by it and if it was the only piece of advice I could give to parents for their kids, I would. The other one being - I demand nothing from my child except a compassionate, kind heart in dealing with people, helping them out and saying Sorry, Please, Thank You, Excuse Me always.

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  5. I love what you have to say. Wonderful blog post. I've had three children, they're quite grown up now but I didn't have a friend like Deeksha and I lost myself in the mother-daughter relationship. It was good, but it could have been better. My fault entirely. Cheers.

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  6. @Kalpanaa - Don't find fault. We do the best we can. None of us are ever trained to take up motherhood. Every situation is different. I got lucky and perhaps being someone who saw things differently helped. We all do the best we can.

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  7. Dear Sandy
    Excellent piece with such comprehenshive line of thought....i on personal account thought I was insensitive to my kids but rightly said that "They need to adapt to d world n not d other way round"..

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  8. :) @Dipankar - No. We all are taken on a guilt trip forever about this but it really isn't so.

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