This morning I woke up from a dream where I was feeding my baby, slowly hour after hour of tiny morsels being finely installed into the tiny mouth of my 10-month old. I didn’t know whether to be sad that even in my dreams I am doing what takes up half of my waking hours! (6-hours is what I average on my munchkins daily feeds), or happy that after about 10-months I slept enough to actually have a dream, I finally settled for the latter. Sleep is extremely precious, not only in this hyper-connected, gadget-driven, blue-light washed and internet-friendly world, but especially for the primary care-giver of a newly welcomed life. While care-giving to an infant is deeply satisfying and soul-enriching and happiness-inducing, it does nothing to the mind. The monkey mind needs its fix while the heart needs its cuddles and thus begins the perils of being a hands-on mother where the heart clearly wins and the mind is left behind.
Sleep takes the first beating, I must say right from the delivery room =) There is no mention in any pregnancy book on how to deal with the lack of sleep maybe because there is in reality no best way to deal with the lack of one wheel in the trio of eat, sleep and exercise. The second to take a massive beating is exercise, no lifting the baby does not count as exercise, nor do all the antics to entertain. Finally one is so tired to care and the stresses of constant attention demands makes reaching out to the candy box and deeply delicious chocolate that much easier, not to forget the wreck that lack of sleep can cause. Boy babies I am told are extra demanding, however I make no gender bias, at least not yet. And thus health takes a toss. Sweet sixteen is far far away, while its been quite a while since I pondered over the triumph of brown eye-liner over black. Giving birth may not be but raising a baby is definitely aging!!! And even if you do manage a burst of energy, there will be I assure you no time to catch up on beauty sleep, to exercise like a diva or to eat like a princess unless ofcourse one hires a Nanny. a top-notch one ofcourse, who will not show your precious smartphone videos to make him eat, or drug him to sleep with formula or simply has enough integrity to do as you say. as you say. Because motherhood can make the most easy-going ones among us to also stand up and take stock! Things that never mattered to you will then suddenly begin to matter and God help the worrying kinds, there will be no end to the things one can worry about =D
The silver lining you ask?
For starters, being a hands-on Mom will satiate all your desires to have more children! One is enough is the new slogan. No more hum do, hamare do. Secondly when the baby switches from cries of terror to a silent smile and a phew simply by your touch, in the lowest fraction of a second, that is you experience the phrase ‘mothers touch’, your day, week, year, decade, in short life, will be made. There is no feeling that comes close to experiencing magic, true love is half as magical I suppose. The arms of the little ones around your neck is again a thing of joy but definitely not as much. Oh then, there is the being around to witness the first roll-over, the first crawl, the first stand, the first walk and all the firsts there are to witness. Am sure after a point we all mothers would give up on the first-times cause the first-times are not always all that special. While we toil away to hope to inculcate values in our little angels, those heavenly virtues we all wish we had and so many of us actually do, we look up to our parents with new found respect and love, wondering whether we were so hard and harsh on them too. We see their sacrifices in ours and feel their pain in ours. As they may have lost themselves to us, we lose ourselves to our little knights or princesses and then look back on all the danger they present to us praying softly yet fervently for their safety. The biggest peril may be that of fear and the greatest safety, love. No wonder the opposite of fear is love. And the greatest thing of being a hands-on Mom is the stages of learning that finally yield to love. Selfless love, warm love, happy love, where appearances do not matter and the only beauty fix you have is the warmth of the heart and the kind smile that will light up your face making you beam. The dangers then lead to the learnings that then lead to winnings and boy what a lottery it is!
Ken Poirot couldn’t have been more right to say,
“True beauty is a warm heart, a kind soul and an attentive ear!”
But the greatest silver-lining of them all is truly that one day it will end. The joy that lies in impermanence. On all matters ofcourse =)