A sculpture of a mother and children with the words “A Child Gives Birth to a Mother,” Bandra, Mumbai, India.
If you have ever passed through Bandra reclamation, you might have stumbled upon this beautiful sculpture of a child and mother. But, more than the sculpture, it’s the words written on it that will grab your eyes.
A child gives birth to a mother. – Dr. Vithal Ventakesh Kamat
It’s so beautiful and so true! I understood it the day my daughter was born. Coincidentally, it was also my birthday. Yes, my daughter decided to pop out on my birthday. After the delivery, as the doctor was stitching me up, I happened to tell him that it was my birthday that day. He congratulated me and then said these words.
You may be born on this day several years ago. But, today you are reborn as a mother.
However, the funny part is that I didn’t feel that I was a complete mother the very first day. When I breastfed my daughter for the first child, I experienced a wonderful motherly feeling. When I lulled her to sleep, I felt more of a mother than ever before. When I stayed awake nights to nurse her cold, that’s when I reached a new height of motherliness. It was a slow transition, this motherhood. And, no mother achieves it overnight. It happens with time, patience and effort.
Every day is a new journey. Even after five years, every day I learn a new thing. It makes me wonder how I survived all this while. Motherhood is like a part of a giant jigsaw puzzle, and every day, a part of it gets connected correctly. And once a mother, always a mother. So this puzzle will stay with me till the very end.
In this journey of mine, I have learnt a lot of things – from my elders, neighbours, peers, friends, and maids. Also, I have learnt a lot from Khuljaaye Bachpan. As I write for it, I also try to emulate in real what I write. And, that has helped me. Tremendously to be a good mother, no, a better mother.
I was a fussy mommy, like all first time moms usually are. I wouldn’t let my child play in the sand much for the fear of germs and not let her get wet in the rain for the fear of falling sick. I would fuss and fret over small things. But, a year later, though I wouldn’t say I am completely a fuss-free mommy, I can at least confidently say that I have come a long, long way. My daughter now gets wet in the rain (though she needs to take a hot bath immediately) and plays in the sand (though she gets a head to toe wash later).
Recently, we travelled to Goa on the occasion of our birthday. There we rented a scooter, and my little darling was thrilled to bits on standing at the front. She loved the cool breeze on her face and hair. But, that also meant her hair was full of stubborn tangles. The older me would have never let that happen, and would have plaited her hair. But the new me didn’t bother tying her hair. Later, as I was combing her hair, it produced a few tears, but at least she had her fun with her hair down. J
Another incident that highlights the new me took place recently. My daughter loves to explore my mirror cabinet that contains perfumes, lipsticks, nailpaints, powders, bindis and other knickknacks. I usually keep the door firmly locked, because if she finds it open, it becomes very difficult to detach her from it. And, as far as my cosmetics are concerned, they are later found in different states of distress. Now, that day, I forgot to lock the cabinet door. After a while, when I went into my room, I found her surrounded by my cosmetics – her toes were painted green, there was a bindi on her forehead, and her lips were scarlet red. And, then I saw my favourite red lipstick lying on the floor broken.
I was just about to shout at her, when I stopped myself in time. She was all dolled up, and looking a pretty sight. I didn’t want to spoil her fun by shouting at her. Yes, the lipstick had cost a bomb, but my shouting wouldn’t have mended it. So, I let it go. The next moment, I sat down with her, and asked her to paint my nails green too, and put lipstick (a different one) on my lips. By choosing not to make a scene over the incident, I bonded with her.
I am committed to give my daughter a happy and carefree childhood. The Khuljaye Bachpan journey has helped me turn into a buddy mum. And, I think twice before shouting at and scolding my daughter. If things are not important enough, I don’t rake them up. My household is much calmer and happier now.
I have changed, and for the BETTER!!! Though there is still a long way to go…