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Motherhood

Motherhood

We often wonder, what has been God’s greatest gift to mankind. To be given the power to bear life, hold it, and give birth to life, is possibly, the most remarkable and beautiful experience, any woman can have.

I grew up seeing my mother toil, well effortlessly, over her three children. I naturally, took a lot from there. Well, sometimes unknowingly. Sometimes framing it in my mind!

My first born is probably my life’s first serious lesson. A lesson, that empowered me, at the same time, made me so vulnerable. I was brimming with joy in abundance. Overlooked the pain and difficulty, naturally and unconsciously. I learnt the importance of sleep! I walked into the most difficult phase of life, effortlessly. I learnt to give up. To give up comfort. To give up luxury. To give up, my ‘self’, as it were.All to nurture, another life.

We all revel in the bountiful stage of motherhood. But, we do forget ourselves. And, am not sure, whether that too, comes under the divinity of the whole thing!

Whether or not we try to measure up to the expectations and pressure of the role, is a thing taken for granted. Is it hyped? The role- no. The expectation -yes!! So, I for one, gradually, most seemingly, took on the challenge of being the supermom, in countless ways. Beating every path of challenge, going overboard ( sometimes most moms do) , with mammoth tasks to create positive energy and general overflowing happiness all around, rectifying all the mistakes my own mother made, so as to ensure, I do it better! And then, one day, I found myself breathless.

Then what? Well, you just keep looking for your own oxygen. Yes, own. The very ones you give birth to, who fill your life. But, is there something amiss here? Something else, that tells me, one needs to slow down. One needs to take one phase, one day, one step, and one minute- at a time. In my most un-occupied moments, I tend to look back on many incidents that ring a bell now as I think of them – as to how we simply forget the being that we are, in the course of Motherhood. Once, I was travelling alone, without baggage. Yes, literally so, without my kids. And I actually, felt my arms on the side of me as an entity! I noticed the white flurry clouds outside the airplane window drift by. The gorgeous blue sky and horizon. I cherished and savored the meal served, every morsel of it. Yet, as I was on the elevator, after alighting from the aircraft, I unconsciously, glanced over my shoulder to check whether ‘they’ are with me! Is that what my identity was all about?

I am yet to find an answer to that. The search is for a lifetime. Yet, the most amusing realization is that I would not change this existence /identity/ reality, for the world. It crushes you at times, it tosses you here and there, it challenges you with hurdles, it pains you to test all you have. Yet you do not want it to happen, any other way!
Now, THAT is food for thought. Or so, I think to myself, as I continue my journey………

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye,
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils 

                  William Wordsworth – Daffodils

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Tilottama Roy

visiting lecturer (sociology) at Tridha
Former Teacher at Bombay Scottish School
Former Lecturer at Mithibai College, Mumbai
Lives in Mumbai, India

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