“There is no greater love than that between a mother and her child”.. havent we all heard this over and over? Mothers are given divine status especially in Indian society.

But there have been many a time when I have felt that there are so many things unsaid and unheard of, in the experience of becoming a mother.

(I also thought of calling this post “Things I wish I knew when I became a mom” )

I had read Dr.Spocks book on pregnancy and few others while I was expecting. I was able to handle the pregnancy pretty well..but no one told me what awaits me at the other end.. except for one of my lady managers who once let slip that she wasnt in love with her kids from the go..to quote her exact words “mother-athva didn’t come to me as soon as I gave birth”

I did not fall in love with the baby as soon as he was placed next to me. He was a responsibility that I had to handle and in the first days of sleeplessness, adjustments and cleaning poop and barf and feeding the baby every two hours, I did not feel love..instead I felt angst, frustration and a myriad other not so positive emotions.

One of them was anger..a lot of anger..at having bitten off more than I can chew!

This would have been so much bearable had I been told before hand what to expect..but somehow this piece of information escaped me completely. I also saw a close relative who seemed to be in love with her baby instantaneously..so many times in those never-ending nights have I wondered if there was something wrong with me. It was probably only my granny who has given birth almost ten times to tell me that what I was going through was OK, to be expected and the love would come..in its own time..and it did..probably around three months of delivery, I fell in love!

It also helped that my baby was a good sleeper on most days..I did manage to get around 7-8 hours of sleep with a few breaks in between though…

I know a woman who sounded surprised when I told her I was getting that much sleep..maybe I was just lucky!!

Having a baby causes a lot of stress,puts a strain on your marriage and other relations in your life..that is a fact. I havent seen anyone come out of it unscathed.(albeit to different degrees.)

In the process I have learned that anger is OK. There have been many a times when I have walked away from my son in boiling anger, lest I do something I might regret. For our previous generation, it was OK to spank the child or give him/her a loud talking to..but we are the know it all and do it right the first time breed. We have no vents for our anger and feel extraordinary guilt if we express it. I am still debating in my head if expression of anger in the form of sarcastic or hard words might not be as dangerous (if not more) to a kid as a momentary flash of anger in the form of a slap on the butt or a few loud words..

No I have not perfected the art of anger management, but I have learnt to ask for help when I need it..and that makes me a better mother and a better human being. I have learnt to put myself first in a few areas of life and it makes me way less bitter!

I love my son..probably the most I have felt for another human being. But the truth is child rearing is taxing, draining and very challenging as well.

There are going to be moments of heart melting joy, a warmth un-expressable..the love that courses through me when in his sleep he reaches out to touch, to make sure I am around and then snuggles into me, pressing his bony back into my tummy, drawing my hand over him like a belt and enclosing my palm with both of his..its just beyond words.

The other end of the spectrum also exists where in moments you do not want all of this anymore, days when you crave for freedom, for not having to be so responsible.. I have come to terms that these moments exist and will visit me now and then. But I also know that I love the little boy and that love will persevere.

I have spoken to a lot of moms and they feel a lot of what I have written about..if not all.

Are you the superwoman, perfect mama? Or the imperfect mom who loves? Was it love at first sight for you?

All I know is that , this imperfect mother feels absurdly proud of her sons everyday milestones and the smallest achievements and loves him nuts…and hopes that love will suffice..