Wednesday, May 9, 2007

My Mom and my motherhood...

First of all , it is really hard to come up with something nice and clever to write about motherhood after all the wonderful things that have been said here already by all other members of the club. I am in deep awe reading all your thoughts with respect to what some of you have gone through personally with your own motherhood and the relationship with your mothers. Some amazing posts!

With respect to my own motherhood, I tried to do a bollywood style flashback and visualize if there were really any spectacular moments that stood out the last five years in fulfilling my role as a mother. I've been thinking about it REAL hard the last one week, and I should say there are hardly any that I can take any credit for in my role as a mother.

As a mother of two little girls , to me, I am taking baby steps with my own motherhood, and it is evolving at every stage - to learn to bring my family as the centerpiece of my attention and focus. As much as I enjoy the fact that I give my children my maximum time and attention, there are also moments when I feel anxious about a few issues and primarily these
1)not being able to pursue a career outside of home and do justice to my gradschool education, which I had pursued with so many dreams. Just a matter of time and taking it easy, but life takes interesting turns for a few and for me interesting moves - which have really helped my persepectives grow!
2) doing the mundane chores that don't involve spending time with my kids but nevertheless have to be done to run a family - that still is a real big challenge to me, and doesn't come naturally at all! ( I know I'm totally the minority club person here - there have been many a night I just walk out of the kitchen like a kid would do after dinner without loading up the dishwasher or cleaning up the floor/countertop - how gross is that - but hey - you are welcome to my swamp anytime unlike shrek's!! )
3) I may sound a little selfish here - to get time for myself to do little things alone- take a walk, read a book sitting alone, do yoga etc. etc. really some quiet time!

Anyways - those are my personal issues that I need to learn how to tackle better, and get clarity on. I am working hard at those. But there's something that I want to think about seriously this mother's day - as in - I want to make some vows this mother's day and keep 'em up, particularly after I move to my new place this summer - Here they are in general - Work toward serenity, and tranquility in mind and space!! (Please don't forget to remind me about this and I will get to it once I settle down - vows evaporate easy from memory,don't they?)

Coming to my mother's life and reflecting upon my relationship with her, there are so many, so many positive memories with her and I look forward to lot more of those. But having said that, there have also been tons of those "get irritated with your mother at the drop of a hat" kind of relationship with her and still is at times. Our relationship has evolved, and we don't judge each other as much as we used to before - like I would question every conservative tradition of hers, and she would look down upon me for NOT being a "stereotypical married woman who would wear mangalsutra, bindi etc.." ( she was never imposing - thanks to my dad's liberal outlook - but sometimes she can be really annoying with her "follow traditions" kind of thinking - she has changed a lot or rather washed her hands off me?...)

Coming to the positives, I have deeply admired my mother for her optimism, energy, and common sense. She is not that highly educated but she is such a confident woman and fun to be around! We discuss social issues, and poltiics and she will have some interesting points to make most of the time! We joke about relatives (:-))) and at times, gossip to the point that I start feeling disgusted with myself and my mother!! All this we got to do during her trips to the US - thanks to my staying at home last year - we caught up on SO many family stories that I would have never heard! Really those are the recent highlight moments for me with respect to my relationship with her mother! :-) She is so enterprising and creative in and out of the kitchen and just a lovely,lovely person with a gleaming smile!

After all those boring personal stories, here's something I wanted to share as a general point as to what I think about my own motherhood - I am sure I am going to ramble at explaining this and I don't know if I am going to make sense - here I go in any case -
I'm sure we all have seen those gifts that people pack in those nested boxes and bury the "real" gift in the smallest box where you have to keep unwrapping box after box, and you know, there's some box with the gift hiding in there - usually the last one - that has the real gift...You are excited about opening each box and keep working hard at it. It is fun, yet you also think "Why did they have to make it so hard ?" That's how I've been feeling about my own motherhood and parenting in general! Each stage is like opening a box (sometimes a pandora's box too hiding inside somewhere!) Lots of anxieties and hardwork at each step in the process, while at the same time knowing very well you're working toward something positive and meaningful. You know it is all for a good cause, and the gift of knowing in the end you've done a good job of raising good children is more precious than any gift you would ever receive in any box! (that doesn't mean I don't get gifts this mother's day - I actually got mine already!!! :-))

That's it from me! Have a great mother's day, and have a wonderful weekend!



Shivapriya said...

Nice to know more about you praba. BTW did you guys more to VA or still in westcoast.
Happy Mothers day.

Tharini said...

Hi Praba...

That w as a lovely analogy. And you illustrated it perfectly. As much as I am getting to know you, it was good to get this peep into your thoughts and get a better feel for you. You have many layers. :)

Good luck with your move...and with the new life that is aboout to start, in more ways than one.

Asha said...

Praba, I agree with all the points there and yes,we do have to make choice to stay home or go out to work and come back to more work!;D
I stay home by choice and I love it,never regretted it in spite of having degrees.You do get frustrated sometimes, the loss of freedom mainly,but once they grow up,it gets lot better,trust me!:))
Have a fun Sunday and good luck with your move.Hugs:))

Saheli said...

Hi Praba,
Very well put - all the joys, anxiety and yes the guilt too. Whether you are a SAHM or working mom, we all have our share of guilts when it comes to our loved ones.
BTW, you have 2 beautiful gifts (ur daughters), you still want more...(sorry, just kidding)
Have a wonderful Mother's day!

Dee said...

Nice post Praha..I liked esp. the part where you were honest about your issues. We all have similar issues and don't be guilty...perfection removes the room for improvement ;)
Happy Mother's day :)

Kodi's Mom said...

Ah! gift boxes and parenting - what a lovely analogy! I know you've mentioned it to me before briefly - but this post explains it all so well! oh, and let me let you in on another secret - that walking away from the kitchen without cleaning bit - I've done that so many times I've lost count! one more to your minority club :)

btw, what did you get for Mother's day?

Sandeepa said...

I so agree with some of your points.
Yesterday I wasn't feeling well at all and after getting back from work I just plonked in bed. usually I feed S rice etc. at that time but yesterday I just gave her a cup of milk and let her watch TV. I was feeling really guilty but then what can you do ?
Good that you at least have resolutions I just let it flow its course

Happy Mother's Day :)

Praba said...

Hi all -

thanks for all your sweet comments!

Shiv - I am moving in a couple of weeks! Will keep you posted. BTW, I peeped into your food blog - nice looking, and I have the same template as yours now that I've moved to wordpress..

tharini - thanks so much, and you know how big a difference you've made in inspiring me in so many ways! It's great to share so many stories via emails privately and also, through this public space!

Asha - now you are in that phase of motherhood where you can totally look back and feel good about staying at home for your kids because you're almost done raising two kids in wonderful ways! For starters like me, it's a long journey ahead! And I am yet to understand my role clearly - as to how to balance everything - at least the next year or so until my little one starts preschool, I will be staying at home, and after that - may be something part-time to achieve a balance? I really don't know right now - but the good thing is I have lots of options where I move..I love that which was not the case where I am right now...Life takes interesting turns and in my case, interesting moves - Chicago, LA, OK, and now D.C - feel like I've completed one big round and hopefully, my perspectives have grown too about everything - thanks to all the different places I've lived in..I am really ready to settle down in a nest that I can call home and raise my lovely girls!

Saheli - you are right! My daughters are the most precious gifts - totally - not a day passes without thinking about how blessed I am to have my little girls -and I think of my mom too - more so than ever - she has two girls too...

Dee - yup! I am learning to say - it's ok not to be perfect, and i've understood my imperfection some days definitely has to do with hormones - i've noticed the energy goes so low during PMS wonder earlier times, - women got a break those three days - to take rest and enjoy their free time - if you know what I mean - i wouldn't mind a whole week of break at all (during PMS) We order food mostly those days when it hits hard.. So spurts of this low energy and mood swings is a natural thing - so why not work around that by having a plan for those days is my new thing - dont enter the kitchen at all!! :-)

K's mom - thank you!! Can't believe how much you and I have in common...Feels great!

Sandeepa - I am with you totally..How much can you do really - it's ok to let go some days, and think of it as part of the flow as you rightly mentioned...It's like nature's way of telling you - you need a break!

deena said...

Hi Praba..
that was a wonderful write up..only when i visited this place read all those nice things did i realise i was missing something really vital was nice knowing u ..i guess all SAHM go thru this phase in life ..i wud like to believe in Asha that once they grow up it will be better ..for sure ..!!