Motherhood and the Jekyll-Hyde paradigm

There is this saying in Tamil, that a delivery is equivalent to rebirth for a woman. Someone told me it is because, a woman goes through excruciating circumstances and puts her life at risk during birthing. I now realize, that it is because, motherhood changes you into a different person.

Birthing changes you

When Pooja told me that she was attempting the herculean task of bringing together 41 moms from around the world to share how motherhood had changed them, of course I jumped at the opportunity, because I can write about this with my eyes closed, right? How wrong I was. This post is a result of many nights of soul searching and digging deep.

So apart from the very obvious ways in which motherhood has changed me – jeans size, changed priorities, lack of time, exhaustion and the works, I’ve realized that I have become a bundle of paradoxes. Read on.

1. Natural and self-conscious

My consciousness when it comes to physical appearance, hair care, clean houses has gone for a toss. However I now monitor myself like Big Brother. I know there is a tiny little human who is watching my every movement, word, action and choice; and trying to emulate the same. So no more casual self body shaming remarks or swear words!

2. Strength and weakness

I’ve found in myself, this deep abyss of strength I never imagined I could possess. I remember thinking during labor, ” Nothing can be more painful than this. Everything else will seem like a breeze after this.” I was wrong. I derive strength from the responsibility I shoulder for my little. I have marched through some tough patches with a head held high and barely blinking an eyelid.

At the same time, I know that the sight of my daughter in pain can reduce me to tears. I know, that I will never stop worrying or fearing for her well being. Like countless moms said, she is a piece of my heart walking around outside my body.

3. Compassion and ferocity

I know now what it is like to care for another person unconditionally and always put them above yourself. I know now how exhausting, draining and painful it can be. I’m closer to my mom and understand her struggles. I’m a lot kinder to moms now. I don’t tsk tsk when i see a mom lugging around her crying toddler now.  I just offer her a sympathetic “I feel you sistah!” smile. I don’t judge when i see a mom raising her child differently.

But I do not hesitate to mince words either if someone does that to me. Random people have been at the receiving end of my fierce words when I’ve been given unwarranted advice to wean/ discipline/ introduce screen time.

4. Confidence vs self doubt

I am usually the confident amma who rules it and slays it like a boss. Most days, I’m on top of my game- the toddler’s favourite food is ready on time, we have activities planned through the week, the house is spic and span, and I’m sashaying around happily.

But there are ugly days when I’m riddled with exhaustion, self doubt, and mom guilt. The ” am I doing enough for her? ” and ” am I giving her the best?” kind of days. Yes, it takes effort to push out that negativity.

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5. Value of community and values in community

Motherhood has taught me the importance of support. Be it my virtual mom friends who are awake at the same odd hours as me or a circle of prospective play dates for baby V, motherhood has increased the value of community and society. I no longer am a recluse. I see the value in giving back to society. I am a regular in organizing meets ( real and virtual) around the city or – be it cloth diapering or montessori.

At the same time, I’m forced to call out society on certain harmful practices. The ingrained patriarchy or the objectifying of women for example. Why are baby girls clothes tighter, shorter and more fitting than baby boy clothes?

Why do i need to shave body hair or keep doing my eyebrows to be beautiful?

Why do i need to watch my weight?

Why are women on menses considered impure?

I am that bore now on all whatsapp groups who calls out on sexist and racist jokes sent as forwards. I’m that person “who cant take a joke” because I don’t find sexism funny.

And that is the beauty of motherhood. It has made me accepting of all these facets of mine. I’ve found my yin and yang within me and I’m at peace. 🙂

 

Motherhood-blog-train-

This post is part of a blog train started by Pooja Kawatra of Mums & Babies and she has networked to bring together 41 moms across the globe. Meet all 41 moms here. Pooja has also shared her own views on motherhood here.

I thank Rakhi for introducing me and giving me a hand aboard this blog train. You can read her post here .
IMG-20171012-WA0132Next in line is Smita from TheAverageMom– An author, mom, WIP wife, working mom, blogger, Instagrammer, and an average one at all roles. She loves to clean, cook, read, write and sleep and also make videos of her extremely busy toddler. An outgoing introvert, books and travel are her favorite pastimes. She blogs about her recipes, parenting and life in general.Make sure you visit her blog to read her take on motherhood.

10 comments

  1. The Average Mom says:

    I could relate to the first point , I know I have become much more acceptable of me. Also I have become accepting or say not caring about other’s views or criticism so much. But I hardly feel on top of my game, guilt and self doubt rule most of my days , loved your post

  2. Aesha says:

    So happy to know about your motherhood journey and connect with you on this blog train, Vaishali. I have also got a strong support within the community of moms and motherhood became easier by interacting with like minded moms.

  3. Sharvi Startmoms says:

    You write so well, and beautifully. Love the Jekyll Hyde reference.
    I could relate to most changes and couldn’t have thought of them till I read yours

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