10 Things I Love & Hate About Being A Mom

madhuGuest blog post by Madhu Arora

I hate: 

1. That I have lost my life the way it was. 
In the five years before my son was born, I lived in three countries, seven cities and 15 homes and loved it. But never again will I feel as footloose and fancy-free as I was.

I can no longer just pack my bags and head out towards the horizon. I have to think about things like putting in roots, stability, financial security, life insurance. The million dollar question hanging over my head 24/7:  Is someone around to take care of my son?

2. To be the last person standing.
I hate that I have to be freaking on-call EVERY HOUR, EVERY DAY for at least the next eighteen years. From 12 hour sleep cycles, I am now lucky if I get a 4 or 5. And now that the kid is mobile, I am on toes all the time, lest he ends up harming himself. So far, he has tried to put a coin in his mouth, crawled his way into my bathroom where he could have easily drowned in a bucket of water, almost opened a bottle of toilet cleaner and has already fallen off the bed about 6 times. Don’t even ask me about drawers full of medicines and cutlery he always finds his way into. So, yeah have to shadow him like a Ninja.

3. The gross-ness and monotony of everyday parenthood.
There are days when my conversations are dominated by poop, pee and puke stories. That it feels normal to both the husband and I, that our after dinner conversation is about how many times he went, the consistency, the color and what not. Seriously, what have we been reduced to?

4. Being a worry wart.
 That having a kid is definitely like having a part of your heart living outside you. From the day you get pregnant to, well, till the day you die, you will be a worry wart. “Is he growing up okay? Am I teaching him well? Will he go to a good school? Will he do okay in life? And the perennial, “Am I a good mom? Or am I going to fuck this up?”

5. That I am raising a son.
 Raising sons I think is a thankless job, because soon he will discover gaming/cricket/friends and then girls and he will be gone. Had I had a girl, all the grunt work I am doing now would have been rewarded later by shopping trips, spa visits, phone calls and what not. As much as my son clings to me right now, he will be always be a son not a friend/a companion like a daughter could have been. SIGH!

I love:

1. My son.
As much as I hate being a mom at times, there is no question that I love my son to bits. As much as I crib about not being able to get ME time, I get withdrawal symptoms if we are parted for more than a day. And even though I think that having kids is amongst the most selfish things we as human beings do, it is also true that he has taught me to put someone else’s needs before mine. In that way, he has made be a better person.

2. The pregnancy.
Being pregnant is indeed one of the MOST WONDERFUL and AMAZING experiences a woman may go through in a lifetime. I always believed in woman power, but growing a life inside me made me realize how great this power is. If I can bring a life into this world, there is nothing I cannot do. Never again will I feel helpless or disempowered, and I have my son to thank for that.

3. The precious moments.
Yes, every minute there are about a gazillion babies being born in the world, doing the exact same things your kid is doing. Your kid is not special. But s/he is special for you and so is every moment associated with him/her. From the first ultrasound, to the first time you see him, to his first word/ gesture, all the money and leisure in the world cannot replicate how these moments make you feel. I will always remember the first time he hugged me when I pretended to fake cry.  

4. The emotional growth.
 I grew up the day my son came into my life. Or at least so I like to think. That I am a more responsible, less lazy person. Yes, life is messy, clumsy, complicated thanks to my son, but you know that’s life. 

5. That I am raising a son.
Maybe there is a COSMIC reason I had a son and not daughter. It gives me the opportunity to raise a man like real men should be raised. To be respectful of women, to know (and not “consider”) that women are their equals. To know that it’s bad to objectify women or to not shoulder a fair share of responsibility just because you were born a man. I always wanted to change the way women are perceived and treated in the society, and thanks to my son I have been given a chance to begin that change, right from my home.

Madhu Arora is a passionate believer in questioning the status-quo, and with degrees in journalism and strategic communications has made a career out of helping nonprofits do just that. She is an advocate for gender equality in both her personal and professional life, and is currently learning to balance full time motherhood and family life with a full time career. She is based out of New Delhi, and writes extensively on development issues in the sub continent. Find her on Facebook here.

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