Wrestling with the Realities of Motherhood


While preparing yourself for the parenting role, you try and cover every possible option; like leaving no stone unturned, literally and figuratively. You read anything you can get your hands on; books, blogs, articles, and parenting magazines and Google extensively to fill those knowledge gaps. You feel confident. You tell yourself, “I’ve got this,” but you’ve no idea what you have signed up for.

But once you become a parent, the strongest emotion that you feel most of the time is ‘clueless’. You find yourself learning by the trial and error method of parenting with those errors sometimes backfiring in a ferocious manner. Phew!

The English poet John Wilmot sums up the parenting process, “Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.”

You can never follow a parenting guide and do things by the book because every child is different and there is no book. I clearly remember my OBGYN mentioning it to me rather amusingly during one my prenatal check-ups. She said: “Babies are so unpredictable.” Now with an almost three-year old in tow I realize that she cautioned me very simply and clearly. 

While your child grows, you also grow as a parent.  For example, somebody might tell you that they have seen your kid eating mud but you now brush it off thinking: oh never mind, I’ve seen worse. Your once cautious attitude shifts to a more relaxed and calmer one. You learn to take one day at a time, learning as you go.

Questions & more questions … ????

Adults are told to keep the child inside them alive by being forever curious and always wanting to learn more. Well, I’d like to remind you that children have eager minds, and they ask questions, a lot of them. Sometimes, they go on quests of their own; finding the answers to many of their perplexing questions. 

One such afternoon, my son found himself alone in the bedroom next to the unguarded washroom. A few minutes later my husband went to check on his rather silent demeanor and found him enjoying his moment of glory, splashing water in the toilet bowl. So next time if anyone advises you to have the curiosity of a child, please refrain from playing in the toilet.

Behave yourself!

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is to predict how your child will behave in public because you just never know with children. They could be fine one moment and start throwing a tantrum the next. These kinds of situations usually leave the parents in a fix trying to figure out what went wrong while trying to calm down the hurricane. 

Remember when you were rather intolerant of a parent whose child was being unruly in a grocery store or a movie theatre? Well you are that parent now. Always be patient with parents who are dealing with outraged children; they’re already stressed. Besides, karma has a way of getting back to you. 

Through personal experience, I have seen my child put up an excellent display of manners and behave in front of others; so much so that they start doubting us when we complain about his behavior. We’ve been caught in a couple of such embarrassing situations in the past.

Why so manipulative? 

Please don’t go by their tender ages and cute puppy eyes. Children can be master manipulators, if and when the situation arises. They know the art of taking advantage of the situation. 

For instance, if they know that  you would say no to one of their requests, they will make sure to ask in front of guests. You can’t react. You try to control your anger and give them one of those stinky eyes. But it is all in vain. So, before the guests are ready to leave, your child has their demand fulfilled. 

Embrace the chaos

I can openly lament about my three years of life as a parent. I have learned to accept the constant unsettling chaos of my life.  I have often preached this to others, too. As a parent if you find yourself caught in between arguments and fights (siblings or otherwise), know that everything is normal. Even the most trivial of things could turn into an argument and you could be accused of being biased or unfair.

Although I’m yet to venture into the territory of a teenager’s mom; from all of the knowledge overflow, I guess it’s usually escalated to a chaos of another level. I’m bracing myself for that. 

Grab the deal

Parenting is like running your own circus, day after day, from the time you roll out of your bed until you hit the sack. Sometimes you’re happy, excited, relaxed; other times you find yourself feeling exhausted, irritated and frustrated. 

But at the end of the day it’s all worth it. When you hear them bursting into peals of laughter or when they wrap their arms around you to give the tightest of hugs, it’s a sense of rising or expanding. You’ll realize that the enormous amount of love that you have for them grows everyday.


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