My Experiences With Motherhood

Posted on August 23, 2009


I know several mothers closely. But closely cannot be considered as authentic, can it now? Yet, from whatever I see around me, I am convinced it ain’t easy. DUH. Bringing up one child in 2009 is bad enough, but someone who raises 2 surely deserves a medal, and someone who does it well, needs to be christened Buddha!

In my building, in the house that is conjoined with my bedroom lives a Marwadi family. The mother in that family must be my age. She has two children, I am guessing one is about 5 and the younger, about 2. This mother does not work, and may probably never have. I don’t think she speaks English and I don’t think there’s anything about her that I can relate to.

To top it, they were noisy, especially in the mornings. I used to get annoyed with her and her two kids every morning. I would sit down to meditate around 7.15 and that was the time her older one had to leave for school and there would be loud yells, yelps, shouts and shoves for tiffin boxes and water bottles or informing the vanwala that the lad would be just down. I would either get up in frustration or would have to wait for the child to leave and start all over again.

It was on one such Wednesday that I first noticed the dilemma this young mother might have been facing. The puppies in the building were growing up and were pretty bold by this time. They’d walk up to strangers and nuzzle against them. I, of course was not the sociable stranger who entertained them. And apparently neither was the younger son of my morning nightmare lady. But it turned out that the older son was not only a fan of the puppies, he wanted to play with them.

As I felt them barge into my reverie that morning, I was also vaguely concerned as I heard the little boy yelping for help…crying out to his mom to “save him” from the BIG dog (of course it’s huge to him!) while his elder brother was saying, “Nothing will happen. You come. See this doggie is so cute. Le le le le!”

And screams and shouts and cajoles followed. Finally the mother came out. I waited with baited breath. I was pretty sure that she would slap the older boy! But I was mistaken. She picked up the little boy in her arms and said, “Don’t cry. I am here. I won’t let anything happen. If you don’t want to touch that doggie, we won’t.” I expected it would end there. But again I was surprised. She told the older boy, “Go bring one roti from inside. But just go a little far and feed the doggie, ok? Go beta.”

It got me thinking. This so called uneducated traditional woman had sided with neither son. And so naturally she had validated both of them. The younger one felt secure, and the older one felt empowered. The source of fear and adoration was the same, yet each son felt like “mother was his, truly!”

I learned a lesson from an unexpected source. Needless to say I meditate before or after school time now. But I never forget to eavesdrop. Who knows what lesson about motherhood I might learn!

I may not be a mother yet. But one doesn’t have to be one to learn to be one, right? So I do consider this as my experience with motherhood 😀