“Aaarrrggghhh!! Why on the earth would you not sleep? I’ve been carrying you for an hour now. My back hurts!” I said to my seven-month old baby around a month back. This was the first time when I got frustrated because of him and said something like that as he tried to jump down from my arms for the fourth time, though he felt so sleepy that he cried at the top of his voice to sleep. “You need to sleep if you are sleepy and not cry throwing things.”
My baby had changed from being a very quiet child to being a little naughty. I never realized this transition would come so fast. Having a very comfortable time with him for the first six months made me used to it and a sudden change scared me. He had started crawling as well so it was impossible to stop him from having fun of his own kind.
Now a little flashback- I got married early and had my munchkin at an early age of 25(according to me, everyone has their own opinion). I have been a girl with travel dreams and fun goals. I was a little scared for losing myself after becoming a mother but it all seemed good till then. I lost sleep during nights initially, it was still fine. At least I got time during day to do my stuff while he was in deep sleep for two hours or so. But with time his sleep reduced and naughtiness shot up. This was the time when I started missing my older self. I didn’t get time to write or read books or even go out. It became difficult even to go to the washroom as he could not be left unattended even for a second. Now the frustration started building up. I love him to the moon and back but I NEEDED MY TIME TOO. He would just pick up anything and got hurt so many times in a day that it became difficult to keep him at one place. I started feeling low and depressed. I would lose my temper at very small issues and pick up a fight with anyone in the house. I started feeling trapped. I felt as a bad mother and also wanted my earlier life back but also wanted my baby to be with me. I longed for the times I spent with my husband during long drives without having to worry about anything, partying and coming home late. Everything came as a flashback and I was neither living in my past nor in my present. I was just holding back the memories to feel bad. I had mood swings to the fullest. I played with my baby so much, he laughed a lot with me and I used to fall in love with him all over again. But sometimes when I had something in my mind to finish, I really wanted him to just sit and play or sleep or wanted someone to be home to take care of him for sometime. This continued and neither I nor anyone else could understand the reason for such a behavior. Few days back I happened to come across a talk with parents of a child with Autism. Question put up was don’t you feel trapped sometimes, like you cannot go out or cannot live your social life like before. The reply came “Yes, we did earlier but then things changed and we accepted our child and our life in a beautiful way. We love spending time with her and never knew it could be so much more fun than going partying or clubbing. Our child keeps us strong.” This statement pinched me somewhere inside very badly. A sense of guilt engulfed me immediately and I had tears in my eyes. And I wrote a letter to myself.
I want to forget you. You were an awesome part of my life and I have loads of memories etched in my heart with you but now I need to move on. I was holding you so tightly that it was stopping me to live my present with my beautiful sweetheart. I want to let you go. I have accepted that my life has changed and it has only changed and not ended. It is my responsibility to make it exciting. I have a new member in my life and I want to create new memories with him. I love him a lot and will not let you obstruct my love for him. I am so blessed to have a healthy child, I forgot to count my blessings. My kid will do thousands of things that might annoy me but I don’t want any kind of frustration to take over the smile I might have even while scolding him. You know I would hate shouting at my baby. I behaved that way not because my child did some mischief but because I was burdening myself with time that cannot come back. My life has taken a new turn and I have to turn with it and cannot be stuck at the same place forever. Now I realize what being a mother is. Doing all kind of stuff for a baby who is just lying on bed wasn’t motherhood, anyone can do that. Now when my boy has started responding, exploring and reaching out to things and feelings, the work of a mother starts. Today I am a mother who wants to make up for the time she remained in herself though being with a family. Thank you for making life goals for me, I will now fulfill them with my family. I am no more an independent girl with no responsibilities, I have a kid who will be looking for a hero in me. And I want to be a strong girl for him who knows how to handle herself and her emotions. Yes I will be taking out time for myself too but not at the cost of my family. Goodbye, you’ll always remain in the pictures and some conversations with old friends and my hubby. But I will not miss you anymore..let’s end it here itself. Love you.
A New Somya
A single sentence by some random people ended my frustration of two months. I am happy it was just that long and not more. I feel so much better now with no past baggage on my mind. It’s a fresh start to my already wonderful life. I’ll keep finding time to write, to find myself and express myself. It lightens me and keeps me in touch with my feelings as I am someone who can only express on paper and not in my words.
– Somya Singh Pancholi