blogger contest, contest entry, feminism, Mothering, relationship, society

A thought about my identity- A woman or A mother?

I have always known being a wife and a mother were in my cards. I thought I would have a neatly combed hair( if not salon styled), a well-maintained house, me-time perks and above all my usual good night’s sleep! I never thought or even realized that having a husband and two kids would mean I’d have six dirty footprints traced through that well-maintained house multiple times a day. Well, that was one factor among the numerous other things that the ‘WomeninMe’ failed to compromise but the ‘MominMe’ lived with it happily!
Being a mom is one dimension of me. I’m a mother indeed, but I am not ‘only’ a mother. I, as a woman have my own multidimensional identities/capacities/vocations as every other human being. The woman in me is getting sick of the guilt trip that she takes between being a mother and my other passions. Not to deny the fact that social pressure does have a say on both the identities within me.
In the passage of womanhood, after kids got into my life, the focus quickly shifted and routines once that were rituals got buried deep into the toy basket. It isn’t surprising that children and family come first to the mom in me , for that matter to any other mom out there.
  • As a woman feeling and looking beautiful was never a miss but as a mother appearance has become more of a wish than reality. While the ‘WomaninMe’ needs a relaxed bath/shower time with the bathroom singer’s performance. The ‘MominMe’ would compromise for a quick 5 min shower ( 5 min?! you may wonder- in fact it is a luxury when I don’t hear ‘MOM’s and banging at the door!)
  • Many a times, the ‘MominMe’ has even forgotten to brush her teeth till breakfast as queue of things would wait for her to opens her eyes! [ The woman in me would curse me this action. For to her brushing is the first and foremost personal sanitation at the start of each day]
  • Coming to times of outing and other social get-together, the ‘MominMe’ spends most of her time talking about her kids to others even if they weren’t around. [‘WomaninMe’ -it’s wonderful to brag, necessary to elaborate, crucial to have an outlet but come on you are so much more than your kids!]
  • The moment people ask about me, the ‘MominMe’ would spring out spontaneously to utter ‘I’m a mother of two’. I overwhelmingly compromise my identity. After all, children are the center of my day-to-day routine and I think thrice before I take any decision in my life. [‘WomeninMe’- hey wait!- tell them who you really are! What you do/accomplish. Flaunt about your creative side lady!]
  • Now comes the brutal fact of TIME. Prior to mommy hood, I had no real concept of time. Though I had work and other responsibilities, the ‘WomeninMe’ chose those. I could walk away or skip some if I wanted to. But the ‘MominMe’  is controlled by the routines of my children and their demands. For now, time no longer came free, every moment is bought, borrowed or stolen by my children. Yes!, the ‘MominMe’ can even trade her TIME for her kids!.
Emphatically, it’s a strange and complicated issue satisfying both the woman and the mother in me. May be it’s my inability to identify me as anything other than a mother. My independence and the identity I developed for two and a half decades, my talents, my capabilities and my qualities does still remain within the woman in me ready to boss over the mother. But just because I compromise ‘Me as a mom’, it doesn’t make me any less. Because it is this privilege and love I get from being a mom , is often what gets me through the odds of life!
Of course, I love motherhood and am always ready to do anything for them. But there is more to my identity than my very own two little human beings- more that was before they came into this world and more that will extend beyond their childhood when they are no longer dependent on me as they are now!
The mom in me will still exist no matter what their age be, but the woman in me needs lot more  to fulfill and sustain herself. I would never compromise to bring out my hidden talents to be ‘me’ and ‘what I used to be’ in the walks of life!
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blogger contest, contest entry, Mothering, parenting stories

I AM NO LONGER THE BIRD ON THE TREE

How would a woman miraculously change? How do you not look back with regret after having a baby and giving up all of your personal freedoms? I used to have so many of questions like these kinds until I too ‘became the woman who changed’! To me, when you love someone unconditionally, sacrificing for them isn’t a painful affair at all. And when that someone is created by you!—that doesn’t need any explanation!

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I see motherhood as a wake- up call to how you look at life. I mean, it changes your whole outlook of life. It takes a life to take care of a life! – doesn’t this sound absolutely true?. It goes without saying that my life has never been the same after I signed myself for motherhood. Everything, from my hair to my clothes, how I keep my things  to how I maintain my home, how I eat to how I go to the bathroom, my entire life with kids is different than my life prior to having kids. I have learned so much and I fully believe that the most important part of parenting is constantly learning and discovering. I have never had so much motivation as I do after two kids.

It doesn’t mean that I’d forgotten my life before, or that I don’t miss aspects of it, but I became we and that change was so total that I can’t imagine a life without them. Their presence becomes the fixed point around which my world rotates. I find myself making decisions in ways my previous self could not have imagined. Sometimes this grates, but they are MY decisions and they reflect my new priorities.

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Motherhood is not about gestating and birthing, it is the attitude and actions of every day after deciding to take responsibility for another being.The changes of motherhood are many but shifting. What remains is the sense that I am no longer the bird on the tree but more of the tree itself – the solid base for the next generation to spring from.This also changed my perception of those who shaded me from the burning sun – my parents. I started to look at my parents in a different perspective- the way they might have brought us all up to become socially responsible human beings.

I was not only an individual now but I was a generation, and my relationship to those before and after motherhood is made to manifest in the behaviors I witness in myself as a parent. Time frames stretch to the horizon instead of the end of some target.  If you choose to be a tree, then forest management becomes important.

Being a mother is the epitome of evolution. The admiration and approval (hugs and kisses)of toddlers is so much more gratifying than any glowing appreciations I have received. I know I’m not perfect & I’m learning to accept that I’ve made (and will continue to make) parenting mistakes, but every day I strive to provide the best care for my family & learn more so I can pass that knowledge on to my kids.

This was written as a part of #HavingABabyChangesEverything contest at  http://mycity4kids.com/parenting/simplybeingamom/article/i-am-no-longer-the-bird-on-the-tree