I see my friends getting married and having babies, and I don’t even have a fix on the P of Plan for my future. But it doesn’t stop me from thinking about what it would be like to be a mum one day…
I’m at that juncture in my life where 90% of my friends are either married, engaged or are with babies already. And then there are the remaining 10%, like me, that are at various stages of “figuring ourselves out”. While my friends are taking life-altering decisions like stopping the use of birth control and their subsequent plans of action, I struggle to decide what colour t-shirt to wear to work on a given day.
I’m at that age when everyone, even the girl from kindergarten who never quite forgave me for stuffing her bloomers with thermocol balls just for fun, thinks that they have a moral obligation to demand an answer to THAT question. You know the one: “When are you getting married?”
Sometimes, I pretend deafness to confuse the person. Other times, I mumble a vague, “I don’t know.” Pat comes the reply, “But then, when will you have kids? It’s best to have your babies before you turn 30.” You’d think that they would know that I’d already be in possession of that priceless gem of biological information, considering that I work at a parenting portal, but no. They must dangle the biological clock in front of my face ominously and make me hear its persistent tick, tick, tick. You know what? Thanks for the reminder, but the biological clock is already a gong in my head!
Then why am I not doing it already?
The plain, unvarnished, no frills attached truth is, I’m afraid. There, I said it.
How does anyone ever know that they are ready for a responsibility as overwhelming as bringing a life into this world and being responsible for everything that they shape up to be? Sometimes, I look at my boyfriend and wonder, “Am I seriously thinking of raising a kid with this child?”
When I think about the ‘forever’ things in life, I worry about a lot of stuff: I worry about being dismissed to one side of the bed instead of having the liberty to sprawl across the whole mattress by myself, of sharing my whole life with another person, of the mountain of laundry that will double, of the fact that someone else will know all my flaws as intimately as I know them, of accepting another’s set of parents as my own… But mostly, I’m afraid of being a mother someday.
I’m a huge FRIENDS fan. So I keep drawing parallels between all of my existential crises and those of the show’s characters. Do you remember the one where Rachel turns 30 and is super bummed out because reality was nowhere close to the plans she’d made for her life at 30? I can so relate to that episode right now. Baby at 30? Doesn’t look likely, right now.
I do want to be a mom someday, I just don’t know when. To see my classmates from school and college talk about the advantages of breastfeeding over formula feeds, makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with me. I work at a parenting website and yet, the idea of labour and a full-grown baby being ejected from a small cavity down there terrifies me so much that I want to grab a bowl of ice-cream and stuff my face with it. Once, I even asked my boyfriend what his views on adoption were, just to reassure myself that I could be a mom even without labour.
When I hear all these other mums at yowoto talk about raising children and see that they’re playing the mommy part so beautifully, it intimidates me. I wonder if I’ll ever be half as good as them. I worry about raising a child in India, today, because so much has changed since my childhood in the 90s. I know 2-year-olds who can operate the iPad better than me, 10-year-olds that carry iPhones to school and 13-year-olds who have their own Facebook accounts. As a social networking enthusiast and a writer, I know that my entire life’s history is one measly Google search away. One click and all my bylines, blogs, tweets, embarrassing photographs and even stupid Facebook status messages are out there for the world to see. One day my children will grow up and probably Google their mother and… I’m breaking into a sweat just thinking about it!
Also, what if my kids grow up to be rebellious teens like me? Will they still love me and want to hug me all the time? Right now, I’m thinking about my teenage years and they can’t have been pretty for my dad. I was one of those rebel-without-a-cause kids who had to do weird things just to get attention and prove a (mostly useless) point. When I was 16, one day, out of the blue, I decided to colour my hair red. I got flak for it both at school and home and when our Principal ordered me to colour it back to black, I took a pair of scissors and chopped it off in parts (making it look like an uneven grassy backyard) because I was angry. I hope my kids get their father’s genes, because the thought of raising mini versions of me is just so terrifying! Also, thanks Dad, for handling my rebellious punk teen phase, I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you as a single parent.
Talking about single parenting, I lost my mother when I was very young and dad raised us single-handedly. When you left us, Mom, you changed me as a person. And even today, I feel a little lost… Unsure of emotions, feelings and everything around me and of taking major decisions in life. I’m afraid of giving birth in a hospital room without you by my side. All new moms generally go stay with their mother for a few months after their deliveries. Where will I go, mom? Who will pamper me and my baby? Will I be a good mother like you were, mom? I hope that when the time comes for me to become a mom, you’ll bless me and my baby and make everything fall in place.
Despite all my fears, I know that one day, I will be a mom. I think about that first moment when I will look into my little miracle’s eyes and hold one little finger in my fist and howl because I won’t be able to believe that this tiny person on my lap is actually my flesh and blood. That he and I, actually made a baby. I’m not sure about a lot of things in life, but there’s one thing I know without a doubt-that I’m going to give my kids all the motherly love (and more) that I never got while growing up…
(Note: This post of mine was originally published in Yowoto on 6th June 2014)