“There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one” ~ Jill Churchill
So the most common question whenever someone talks to you after you have a baby is “So how is motherhood”….And I feel there is an expectation to hear “Ohhh its wonderful, so charming etc etc”only..If you don’t say that there is an underlying fear of being judged and labelled as not having motherly feeling. But the truth which I am sure many moms want to say is its tiring, hectic, exhausting, challenging etc along with the happiness, joy, the high you feel. And I usually can’t fake my replies so I say “it has its own ups and downs” or I say “its different” 😀
This motherhood thing… sometimes I think the famous position in human relations, the epitome of sacrifice, love, etc etc , the person about whom stories are written, shlokas are there…the position about which legends are there…I have become one of them. Mother. It is going to be one year but it is yet to sink in. It also makes me fearful of the level of responsibility, love, sacrifice, dedication, patience etc it symbolizes….God knows if I have that in me…I don’t think so. God knows if I m doing and will do it right. Sometimes I feel I m just winging it. In what world do people get ready for motherhood?? Even after years of getting mentally ready, I think I just got ready for pregnancy and delivery, not the after part of it.
I think every mother faces this thought scores of times in a month. The utopian or lofty image of motherhood is created by media (be it old literature or new portrayals) by people raised by imperfect and human moms but to these children their mom is their mom. So unless there’s a serious psychiatric problem that creates an unsafe situation for the kids – we are all good moms. We all have it in us because motherhood is primal basic and homely. It’s not uniform… it’s unique to each family and individual. It’s not a formula of a stone dropping 1 m in vacuum, it’s variable and a continuous process of feedback and error correction like a flight.
Whatever you have in you, with your flaws and limitations, that’s the perfect motherhood in your context. Your neighbor’s idea of a perfect mother maybe totally different. Not to mention your mother-in-law’s idea WILL BE totally different.
In fact my idea of this whole parenting thing is its like a rugby match…the rugby ball is the child, you are trying to make a touchdown or whatever they do in rugby…and all the players running towards you trying to stop you are Judgement, Unsolicited Advice, Competition, and Comparison. 😀
If you ignore all this and do what is right for a child in terms of nutrition and development – physical, emotional, behavioral and mental, then you are the perfect mother for your child. Remember you are human….not the superhuman image of mother which has been imprinted in our minds. You are allowed to be imperfect and make mistakes.