Do you ever close your eyes, lean back in your chair and wonder what life would be like if you were not a mother and had chosen a different path in life? Do you sometimes silently listen to someone making brunch plans or trying to schedule a meeting without having to think twice about what time they need to be home to take their little ones to a class?
I think it’s safe to assume that 9 out of 10 mothers have thought about this at one point or another. This is a common thought running through the mind of any new mother who is trying to come to terms with the fact that in terms of priority she now comes behind her child. It is even a passing thought in the minds of veteran mothers. How many times in frustration and anger have you wished that you were not responsible for anyone and could just pack your bags and go on a long holiday? Nostalgia takes over and you reminisce about the good old days when you could live a care-free life. I know I did many times during the first few gruelling months of motherhood but now when I think about what life would be like without my two boys who are my everything – my mind draws a blank.
This Children’s Day, I would like to dedicate my post to all our incredible children who have changed our lives and surround us with the purest form of love every single day!
Sometimes my elder son catches me staring at him and he asks me why. At that point, I am very often imagining a sliding doors situation. For those of you who don’t know what that means, ‘Sliding Doors’ is a movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow and the story line splits into two, presented as parallel universes in which different events take place. I keep comparing my life now as a mother with a life devoid of bedtime stories or a little person clutching my hand trying to stand for the first time or a wide-eyed 6-month-old eating solid food for the first time, and the life I end up imagining is a very dull and uneventful one.
Not everyone is meant to be a mother or even wants to be one for that matter. Each person’s hopes and dreams are different and for many women, becoming a mother is not one of them. We all make certain decisions in life which affect the path we take and which determine our future. To survive life in general, evolution is important regardless of which path we end up taking. I think like me, every woman who is a mother has evolved in many ways that they never thought they would. Most of the changes in me can be attributed to my children who teach me something new every day and help me be a better version of myself. Now, four years and two children later, when I close my eyes and lean back in my chair, I cannot envision life without:
The constant chatter and question & answer sessions during school drop-off and pick-up.
The sight of my 3-year-old dashing into school, excited beyond belief that it is a new day with new things to learn.
The pitter patter of little feet bounding up the stairs two at a time at 6 am, the door flung open followed by the body of a skinny toddler flying through the air just to land on top of me for a hug.
My clothes soaking wet every time my 8-month-old has a bath because he can’t stop kicking his legs and splashing water.
The constant stream of ‘I Love You's’ from my elder son, sometimes because he wants something, sometimes because he has done something naughty and doesn’t want me to know, but mostly because he just feels like saying it.
The times where I am asleep but can feel a tiny hand reaching out to brush the hair away from my face.
The sweet but loud sound of my son practicing all the new songs and stories he learned in school that day, with immense pride and joy.
Those fleeting moments when my 3-year-old calls me his cuddle bunny, sweetie pie and best friend.
The sight of my son trying to wipe his chocolate covered mouth on the white table cloth at a birthday party.
The most innocent but realistic questions which sometimes even we as adults don’t think of asking.
Each moment has taught me a lesson along the way. I have learned that there is joy in being an adult, from them. I have learned to slow down and play, from them. I have learned unconditional love, from them. Motherhood is far more difficult than anyone ever anticipates but what keeps us chugging along with perseverance, are the smiling faces of our little ones that we see every morning.
We are brought face to face with true love each day.