Friday, November 4, 2016

Notes of an inexperienced mother - Part II - That transition !

Hello !

I have to attribute the amount of time I have taken to post the second part to my procrastinating self ! :)
The title may sound a bit generic. It has a lot to do with being a mother, but also with other things. Well, following is what I wanted to say about the loose ends.
I think, I am no different than thousands of working mothers of my generation. We might differ in terms of career choices, family background etc., but there is a common thread and that is, we play multiple demanding roles at the same time and among other things, what we carry along mostly, is a feeling, that there is something that's missing !

In a nutshell, mostly , this is how it goes - one is raised in a liberal family. You can mess around till end of teens, but then you focus on studies and career. You get placed in a company or you get enrolled as a Ph.D. student in a well known lab and the reality that you are still lost is masked in the exhilaration and initial feeling of liberty. The reality kind of dawns upon you when you realize, education necessarily doesn't prep you for what's needed in the market, for survival and above all, to lead a happy life. Well, all these musings bring out the philosopher in you who ferociously blogs, tweets and shares posts on Facebook.... ;) :D
...Fast forward, you have transitioned to being a wife and consequently, a mother. As your age advances, new roles are added, priorities are reshuffled and eventually, it comes down to settlement between 3 roles - a mother, a working mother and a wife !

In my case, we relocated to my hometown when my daughter was born. There had to be a transition in my career as my daughter was too young and of course, because I had to start a fresh in a different city. I thought, it was a good opportunity for me to take some time off. I decided to take a break for some time. My logic was, I have a bandwidth of x and as a new mother, I decided to put the same amount of energy I used to put in my career, into my little one. It made perfect sense. Later, I did realize, that 2 +2 is never 4 when you are a mother.

There are two peculiar things that I noticed during that time. None of those were well covered in any of 'advice to a new mother' blogs that read. :)
1. I had little idea of how to deal with the fact that my little one is totally, I mean TOTALLY dependent on me. What I mean is, I knew the steps, but I did not how to accept it mentally. You have to get used to thinking about your child before you think about yourself and after that, learn to balance. While learning that, suddenly, there is no time to do anything else ! After 5-6 months, I had no clue how the days passed. I was a full time mother. I thought about my career rarely in-between. The fact that I did not think about my career for so many months was kind of unsettling. A certain kind of void was developing which demanded quick action. In a way, a self inflicted, high pressure situation, so early on prep would have helped.
2. There is a process of connecting with your child and it takes time ! I think, this is one of the most underrated fact and is never discussed. It is taken for granted and even I did, that as soon as a child is born, a mother is born and there is going to be sudden pouring of truckloads of mother love. No. As you train your child, you also have to train yourself to be a mother. These are technical steps, but in addition, what if you feel that I don't know my child (as in, how you know a person) !! Now, that's odd. However, it in fact is perfectly natural, I feel. One of the reasons, for Human beings to be considered as evolved is because, there is a constant assessment if what we do - we constantly try to guess what does the person you interact with, feels about you. Now, with babies who are few months old, it is not that easy. So, it is kind of one way traffic for some time and in the mean time, you have to give yourself some time till you naturally see your child as an integral part of your future.

One can easily feel guilty about the above emotions. Feeling that there is something that's missing, may not be easy to cope up with. One thing that definitely helps - sharing. Share your thoughts. Transitions may demand a lot of your energy, whether you go from being a daughter to being a  working daughter or from being a working woman to being a mother who starts her career after a short break. After all, it is a learning curve all through - an enriching one.


Archana Kurlekar said...

Well articulated. Makes lots of sense :)

Unknown said...

Very well written dear Sis �� I could see my past in most of it... n believe me, a transition from a mother of 1 to a mother of 2 is even more interesting ��������

Manasi Shirgurkar said...

Very well written dear Sis! I could see my past in most of it... n believe me, a transition from a mother of 1 to a mother of 2 is even more interesting :D

Harshad Kulkarni said...

Nicely written.