I am a Mom, and Mom knows best!
Being a mom is about learning and discovering new, sometimes trivial, things that you never knew existed before. People rightly say that motherhood changes everything. It’s the phase when a free bird settles on the ground and start nurturing a new life. Motherhood is a journey, an experience, like none other. I think of it as ‘on-the-job training’ – we learn as we experience it first-hand. Today, when I see young moms struggling with the famous five – Feed, Burp, Poop, Clean, and Sleep – it gives me a sense of pride and contentment. But did I sail through that early phase of motherhood comfortably? Definitely not! It was a hell of a roller-coaster ride.
What is your Superpower?
I totally believe in this saying, and why shouldn’t I? We give birth to life, and we nurture it through thick and thin. It is the most selfless love in the whole universe. I recently happened to attend a bloggers’ panel discussion, which presented the same viewpoint but with a twist. And, as a mother, I could instantly connect with their idea of #MujheSabNahiPata (I don’t know everything). It was a powerful panel comprising of Sonali Bendre (actress and author), Dr. Samir Dalwai (pediatrician), Dr. Rupal Patel (child and parent psychologist) and Mrs. Ruchita Dar Shah (founder of the mom community on Facebook – First Moms Club), and it discussed many aspects of motherhood. The discussion made me ponder on a few things, like:
- As a mother, it is necessary for a woman to know everything there is to know about parenting and her child? And does forgetting something make her a bad mother?
- How often you hear and see a father being blamed if his child fares poorly at studies? Or how often do you see him getting an earful for wrong behavior on his child’s part?
You may like to read Motherhood and Memories.
Our society makes mothers feel vulnerable; the pressure of trying to get everything right causes us more harm than good. We need to realize that it’s normal for a mother to seek help. It begins with all mothers coming forth and proclaiming #MujheSabNahiPata. At the above-mentioned event, we mothers tied a knot in our attire to remind ourselves to share our #MujheSabNahiPata stories with other moms.
History repeats itself… not anymore!
When I go down memory lane, I remember the pains my mother had undergone. I had fallen off a bicycle once in my childhood. My mom was told, then, to get me trained first before being allowed to ride a bicycle. Even then, it wasn’t her who taught me cycling; it was my dad.
When my math scores dipped over the years, it was my mom who was pulled up in school and at home for not paying enough attention to my studies. Yet, it wasn’t her but my dad who taught me mathematics.
I chose to marry the man I loved, but it was again my mom who was subjected to undue criticism and snide comments.
Why have we allowed this to become such a commonplace phenomenon? Sonali Bendre shared her own experiences of the daily struggles even a celebrity mother must face. Ruchita Shah mentioned that mothers from all walks of society feel this unspoken burden. Her online community on Facebook gets many such queries from mothers, not just from India but from across the world.
My motherhood journey and learnings
My daughter will soon be seven years. She is a bubbly, chirpy girl, and growing with her is the most precious time of my life. I was almost 30 when she was born, and I had my share of medical conditions like post-partum depression and hypertension. Her birth transformed me from an ambitious young banker into a hands-on-mommy, and I would like to share the experience with you.
Earlier, during my decade-long corporate career, I had been consistently appreciated for my quick learning and outstanding performance. Whether it was bringing about a change in the system or curating team-building activities, I knew it all and had done it all. As an educationist, I was nicknamed “Ms. Kotler of Marketing Class”. Later, even when this know-it-all girl was pregnant, the trend continued.
Mothers are real Superheroes, without a cape!
Thanks to Google and some online portals on parenting, I could deal fairly comfortable with my pregnancy; it wasn’t rocket science. I knew exactly what to eat when to feel the movement, how to sleep… and so forth. Everything was fine until the moment my daughter was born. When I saw her the first time – a tiny pink life wrapped in cotton cloth – I had no idea how to react: whether to be happy or laugh or cry. How was Google going to help me now? My child was right there, in front of me!
When her gaga-and-giggles did not mean food…
The post-delivery briefings were cool. I was told everything – the time to feed, how to feed, how to change nappies… all the essential things. But babies are unpredictable creatures, born possibly, with the sole aim of testing their moms. Mine developed rashes all over her body when my mother-in-law once gave her a body massage. The doctors gave me a big list of on Dos and Don’ts, but this was just the beginning of my journey. My daughter was two years old when she fell from her rocker while I was just an arm’s distance away. She got a gash on her lower chin, which bled profusely. I rushed her to the nearest hospital, where the doctors patched her up in no time. But all hell broke loose when her father learned about the incident.
“Where were you?” “What were you doing?” “Why didn’t you check her safety belt?” “What if she had required a surgery?”
And the woman, who once used to train 120-odd people as a professional, was to be found meekly nodding to her husband’s every question about this incident. I felt horrible and guilty within, and I pledged to never let my child get hurt again.
Also, read Looking back at my Parenting Journey.
In the monsoons of 2016, my daughter got very sick around the time of her birthday. It started with a simple cold and flu, but her body temperature skyrocketed by midnight. We consulted our doctor the next morning, who identified the symptoms as those of H1N1. Swine flu in kids, as you may know, is something to really worry about. It felt like my whole world had turned upside-down. We gave her the best of care and she completely recovered within a fortnight, but the incident had taught me a lesson for life – that you can never beat the uncertain, and that it’s okay to be human and cry on someone’s shoulder, even if you are a mother.
Watch this heart-warming video on a similar theme by All Out. It depicts a very possible scenario and underlines a mother’s vulnerability.
Women seem to be bound by this unwritten clause of “you are a mother”. But how on earth can a mother predict a perfectly random occurrence, like the possibility that her child could be bitten by a mosquito and come down with dengue? A mother will always wish the best for her child, but there are simply too many uncertainties in life that can be neither anticipated nor dismissed. So, it’s always better to be ready to fight than to assume that ‘maa sab jaanti hai’ (a mother knows it all).
I am a Mom, and yes I agree with #MujheSabNahiPata
I know many things as a mother, but there are many other things that I am still learning or seeking to learn from experts. And, no, I do NOT feel ashamed in admitting that #mujhesabnahipata (I don’t know everything). I am ready to learn, and so should you. If you are a mother, tie a knot in your attire today to remind yourself to share your #MusheSabNaiPata experiences. Your story might just prove useful to some other mom who cares just as much as you for the well-being of her child! I look forward to hearing from you in the comments section.
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