I often say this – Motherhood is both overwhelming and liberating at the same time.
A sneak peek into my life would tell you this—I am a helicopter mom raising two high octane daughters singlehandedly, in this big city of Mumbai. Life is fast here, and I struggle on most days to keep up to its pace. My husband is a mariner, who travels far and wide, for most part of the year and that puts my parenting skills to test, every single day. When I wake up in the morning, I am aware that there is no one who shall run the errands for me, and no one apart from myself, that I can really blame, in case of a goof up. It’s my show. I am the designer; I am the host, and I am also the performer here.
This kind of awareness and acceptance of one’s circumstance on one hand makes me feel like a superwoman on the outside, but this monotonous and clockwork way of living also fills me with a depressing gloom. It’s like you wake up to a gnawing pain on the inside, that keeps growing. Days seem cumbersome, mundane, and ruthless.
There are days when I wake up tired. There isn’t much to look forward to. The same old morning rush to wake up children, feed them breakfast and make them sit through their online classes. The afternoon isn’t any different. Feed them again and make repeated requests to not jump on the already martyred couch, which obviously falls on deaf ears. The little scope of an afternoon power nap is usually plundered by the help (who does the dishes); She somehow rings the doorbell just when I am into my 7th minute of siesta.
And that’s how the day progresses.
On one such afternoon when I had frantically searched all the corners in my house, to doze off and of course, found none, I just made myself a cup of coffee and sat down on the couch. I looked outside the window into nothingness. I wanted to cry frankly, but the sky decided to do that for me. This is the overwhelming part.
It rained heavily that day. Mumbai rains aren’t about peacocks dancing. Rains here can bring the city to its knees. Having a coffee, listening to the raindrops tapping my window, did bring in some sort of relief, I will not lie.
At that very moment Tushita, my younger one, walked in jumping and thumping. She’s a loose canon frankly. You don’t know why she is on fire, where she is coming from, where she will land and what time will she exactly do the damage. So, I hold on to my Coffee mug tightly because that seems to be in grave danger considering it is slightly difficult to gauge her trajectory.
She swiftly hops on my lap, plants a kiss on my forehead and sits comfortably there. That does feel nice. I smile. She giggles. And just like that we find comfort in each other’s embrace and watch the generous water pellets outside.
“Are you ok Mumma?” she asks.
I am caught red handed it seems. “I am fine. Why do you ask that?” I reply.
“No, you look sad that’s why I am asking.” She enquires. A straightforward and sensible question.
I am pleasantly surprised by her observation. She is barely 4 years of age after all. But she notices. People spend a lifetime together and never bother to ask that question for fear of the obvious.
“Hmmm. I was a little sad a while ago. I feel bored. I feel tired. That’s why.” I just lay it out for her in plain simple words. I am not adept at gift wrapping my feelings as a parent. Doesn’t work most of the time!
“Ohhh. Wait Mumma. I know what can make you happy. I will get something and then you will not feel bored and sad anymore.” She is quick to resolve my problem. She promptly gets off my lap and runs towards the Kitchen. I run behind her. I think she will pull out a chocolate from the refrigerator and then the door will remain open. But she heads to the dry balcony, hunts for something and out comes a Big Blue Umbrella in her hand, smile on her lips and a twinkle in her eyes.
I chuckle at the sight. The umbrella is as tall as her. Her father bought it a few months back keeping in mind its size. Perfect for two people during heavy rains.
“This Blue Umbrella will make me happy, Beta? How?” I ask. I am curious.
“It’s raining Mumma. We can take this big umbrella and go out!” she suggests, happiness written all over her face.
“But it’s raining mercilessly. What will I do outside?” the logical parent in me questions her.
“You can dance in the rain! You can feel the water in your hands! Maybe you can drink water from the sky! You will love it Mumma! Or you can do like this…..” she answers ecstatically, holding the umbrella open and whirling the handle.
I look at her. My four-year daughter knows more about life and living than I do.
“That sounds wonderful. Let the rain calm down a little. We will go out then.” I reply.
“You will?” she pries, unable to digest the ease with which her mother has agreed.
“I will. I promise.” I say it loud and clear, to drive her astonishment away.
She runs into my arms again, along with the big blue umbrella in her hands. Now both of us sit under its canopy, waiting for the millions of taps on the window to slow down.
Sometimes, we press too hard. Take it easy. Grab that Umbrella and go out for a walk. Or dance maybe. The girl with the blue umbrella has just taught me that.
This is the liberating part.
PICTURE CREDITS : ISTOCK PHOTOS