Ignorance Isn't Bliss
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash
Dear new mommies, you may find this discouraging, which is quiet opposite to my intent in writing this. I urge you to read this through to the end, because going into it with your eyes open, will help you be prepared -
When I realized I was pregnant, I was showered with congratulations and blessings. Oh! How beautiful it was, the constant admiration because I had managed to get a life within me, the never ending calls to inquire if it was true and to ensure that everything was alright. I knew that I had made the right decision. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be admired and fussed around? What I couldn’t accomplish as a child, I did now – I had everyone wrapped around my little finger.
I was in heaven until it started – Morning sickness. I had heard about it yes, but no one ever told me that the first thing I would be doing every morning would be hurling out the empty contents of my stomach. No one ever told me why it is called “Morning sickness” when it would last throughout the day. No one ever told me that this would be my fate even on the day I went into labor.
I didn’t know that the food that I Ioved the most, wouldn’t sit well with my baby. I didn’t know that when someone offered to cook for me, they would also offer me their uncensored judgement on how I am not choosing the right food for my baby, on how insensitive as a mother I was to crave for golgappa. Did your doctor ever tell you that you wearing a saree even in the hot humid weather is essential for your baby’s overall growth? Mine never did, but there were others who would give me the stink eye for wearing a maxi, because I am not worried about my baby’s development.
It is needless to say that every mother would be eagerly awaiting her baby’s first kick, for it is these kicks that would keep you afloat from drowning under the constant criticism and unsolicited advice. I still remember it just like it happened yesterday –
I was into the 23rd week of my pregnancy and yet to feel my baby’s kick. Instead of soothing my concerns, I was told that I wasn’t mother enough, for had I been, I would have felt it long back. Not just this, I wasn’t a good wife or a daughter in law for how could I send my husband to office without breakfast, or how could I eat my lunch without serving the others in the house, or how could I sleep during the day when there was a lot of work to do, or how could I refuse to go on trips where I would have to walk for a long stretch in spite of knowing that it is what a few in my family want to do?
I lived with people who after the first week of my pregnancy, made me believe that there was nothing special about it or me, that vomiting 10 to 15 times a day isn’t an excuse to sleep for an hour extra, that craving for food that these people do not approve of is a crime.
Growing up in a family where I was cherished and nurtured, all these incidents were a complete emotional set down and I was mentally paralyzed for the next couple months and my husband couldn’t be with me at that time, so there was no shoulder for me to lean on.
It was another day, just like any other, but I came across this quote that spoke to me - “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you strong”. How true is that? I did have problems that seemed like a mountain, but that moment, I was breathing, I wasn’t dead, I had a life within me. I mean, how many people ache for this boon? I received it as soon as I wanted it and what was I doing? That was the moment I realized I had something much bigger than my problems, something that shone through the dark clouds like Sunshine – I had HOPE, a warm soft breeze that cuddled me and blew away the problems around me.
This was enough to pull me out of my misery. My issues still continued, but I turned my focus elsewhere, onto the little life budding within me. Whenever anything happened that saddened me, I would turn even more of my attention towards my little one, earlier when all I could do was cry, I realized that I also had love within me that I could give to that tiny being, a love that can only grow by leaps and bounds.
This might sound cliché, but turning back to my long lost hobbies also helped me deal with my crisis better. I started reading, singing, painting all of which I loved, but couldn’t pursue for years. Diverting my attention to things that I love, helped me move away from things that I did not. This was a crucial moment when I realized that one can be responsible for one’s own happiness – all we need is the desire and hope that all will be well!
As I write this, I relive every incident that’s ever happened to me during those times. Earlier where there was bitterness, now there is a clarity on how I could have handled situations, on where I should have put my foot down. Instead of crying myself to sleep, I could have better chosen which battles to fight.
What I want all you new mommies to understand is that the journey before you isn’t as rosy as everyone predicts. Your path will be filled with challenges you never dreamt of, you will be battling enemies you never knew existed. But this isn’t the end, because in spite of knowing what lay ahead of me, I went into it a second time the next year. While things around me made me sad, I wouldn’t give it up for anything in this world, for there was no greater joy than smiling through my tears and holding my baby in my arms, hearing its cry announcing its entry into this world. A beautiful soul that would call me amma and one I get to behold and cherish.
P.S. If ever you find yourself in a situation where you think you are alone, I am here for you. I know I am a complete stranger, but again, that could be to your benefit, for I will never judge you. I will be your shoulder to lean on and trust me, will never ever offer advice.
Divya Raman is an HR professional and a self-proclaimed singer and painter. She mostly writes about incidents that happen in our daily lives that we often ignore and more importantly the lessons her two little tykes teach her on a daily basis. Connect with her on https://www.linkedin.com/feed/, https://www.facebook.com/divya.raman.1044, https://www.instagram.com/sunshine_and_wind/
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store