I am not sure if this is more a cardinal question or an existential one – but I shall pose it nevertheless!
WHY DID YOU CHOSE TO HAVE A CHILD?
Why does anyone chose to have children?
When I ask myself this question, I know my impulsive answer – I didn’t consciously chose to be a parent in the first place. (Hence, the name of the blog is Bumpy ‘MIRACLE’ – because it was no less than a miracle that we got pregnant when we had no intention or even the slightest of an inclination in that direction.) But that’s not the point. I didn’t chose to have a child when my first child was born, but for the second one, I very much chose it. So this is not the kind of answer I am seeking for! What I am looking for is for us to answer the real question!
What I intend to propose here is for each one of us to dig in deeper and introspect the real reason why any of us had a child in the first place. Most often we realise that we don’t analyse this part of our life as much as we do when chosing our partner or chosing our career or sometimes even chosing the city we want to live in. And that’s why we have no deeper, intuitive understanding of what must be our ‘parenting’ mantra. I guess this is the reason why all these parenting websites and mommy groups dictate current norms and trends.
One must remember that one didn’t come here to compare notes or flash your show on Instagram, one came here to experience life. It is one thing to share a few moments you think are special or you could click once in a while. And it is absolutely different to be obsessive or compulsive about it. And then what it does inturn is it drives you nuts if you don’t keep up with the trend. If you didn’t celebrate Halloween, suddenly you will feel like did my child miss something? So what if I live in a country where hardly five percent of the people would have heard about it and hardly a five percent of those would know the history of the festival!
Social media obsession over parenting or motherhood is a very small part of a very big confusion. The bigger confusion is your lost understanding of your true purpose and responsibility as a parent. You are not a parent to find a meaning in your life around the child. The child is here and you are here as a small part of a bigger ongoing plan – which you have absolutely no control over. You love children, you want children, not necessarily you can have children at the time you want, unless there is the divine intervention. And sometimes, you never wanted children, and one child suddenly falls into your lap out of nowhere and your life can completely change. So, don’t get over possessive or over sensitive about this part of your life. Your child is not your report card or resume, that you need to build. Your child is just a child, who happens to be born to you. And your role is to ensure that there is enough love, warmth and safety in the environment that you provide to the child. Everything else is secondary and superficial.
All the debates over breastfeeding, working moms or choice of schools is irrelevant and unnecessary. People make choices as per their situations, their understanding and their ability to provide the best for their children. Don’t make parenting such a race when it is just a natural extension of your being. If you don’t dive into it with pre conceived notions, the Universe will always guide you to make decisions that are best suited for your child and you. But if you are so driven by what everyone else is doing, you will always have more to worry and less to cherish.
When you held your child for the first time, did you worry if someone was capturing the moment in a candid picture? No, you didn’t! You probably felt the most overwhelming feeling of responsibility that you have ever felt in your life. A life, so petite and fragile, had been trusted in your hands and it was your onus to make sure you did your best. In that moment, when your eyes saw the part of you that was inside of you, suddenly moving and breathing in your arms – it is like experiencing sheer magic. As much as we see and experience children being born every single second – when you hold yours – that feeling is undoubtedly the most humbling one.
Hold on to that thought forever and you will always only cherish what you have. It will not matter whether your child knew all the rhymes or could colour inside the borders or stood first in class or played the guitar well – what will matter is that he or she is healthy (physically, mentally and spiritually) and equipped to deal with life and whatever it has to offer to them. He or she wont be hassled with the idea of failing or working hard. Instead, be generous enough to share his wealth with those in need.
You may still not have a concrete answer for why you chose to be a parent. But the Universe has one for you – You needed to change yourself for the better, take care of all that you were doing wrongly and rectify your fundamentals to be moralistic and honest. It was time to make you realise the true purpose of life and its processes, to make you pause so you could introspect and analyse what the world needs for it to function effectively. And then it was your responsibility to shape the next generation keeping in mind that they are individuals who will chose their course in life and your job is to equip them to make the best choice. From observing you and how you are handling your life today, will they make their notes for what to do and not do in their future. If they see a content, happy mother living life in everything she is doing – be it cleaning or cooking or working or spending time with them – they will learn that everything in life is worth enjoying. And if they see a mother constantly struggling with trying be happy, that’s what they will imbibe too.
SO I CHOSE TO BE A MOTHER, SO I COULD BE PERPETUALLY HAPPY, making the right choices of what to keep in life and what to keep at bay. Because never before, I had that strength in me to chose with conviction. Motherhood does that to you – it clears your vision to make sure you make the right choices for you, your child and your family.