I see her everyday. The mother, the wife, the homemaker! I witness her pitter patter since morning as she packs lunch for husband and kid, in a hush hush way as to not rouse the baby sleeping in the bedroom.
But the baby is a light sleeper, he wakes up. She rushes to him. She has become an expert in doing chores while balancing the babe in one arm. She manages again!
When the hubby and kid leave, she catches her breath before tending to the little one. Juggling between bathing him, diaper change, feeding and cleaning up, she manages to gulp down her cold breakfast.
She has to plan out her day according to the routine of the baby. The bathroom and lunch preparing time would be when the baby sleeps. She puts the baby to sleep. The baby acts cranky. Her arms and back ache but she tries to soothe him.
Perhaps, the baby feels sympathetic towards mommy and sleeps at last. She enters the bathroom, just then the phone rings! She rushes out of the bath fearing the baby would wake up, but thankfully he doesn’t. She rushes through the conversation and hangs up quickly. She takes a quick shower and performs her ritual prayer.
It is time to prepare lunch. The baby wakes up before time. She has to play the jugglar again. She cooks as well as humours the little one. They play hide and seek and funny little games. She finds heaven in these moments.
She tries to relax after lunch. The older one returns, excited and chattering about his day in school. It is time to pay exclusive attention to him. The kid wants her to play with him. While his energy level is high, she has just her will power to hold on to. She has to keep an eye on both of them now.
Evening times are chit chat time. But I seldom hear her talk. She enjoys listening to them. Dinner is prepared and served. The husband helps as much as he can. He always does. She knows it was a long day for him too and feels loved!
Her body is sore when she goes to bed, ready for nighttime waking and feeding. She thinks and plans for the next day…food, grocery, kids’ school, doctor’s visit… a myriad things. She sleeps ready to wake up with the slightest stir or movement of the baby.
It is during her night time waking, between feeds, that she comes to me. It is the only time she looks at me closely. I, her mirror image, stare back at her! I try to look for that once carefree girl with a hundred dreams in her eyes…I do not see those eyes. The girls’ eyes were bright, ambitious and playful. Her eyes are different. She is different, the girl is gone.
These eyes are of a mother, who seldom thinks of herself. She is illkempt, preoccupied and always in a hurry. Everyday I look at the different shades on her face…sometimes she is irritated and tired, at other times she looks contented and occassionally she is ruffled, but one shade is dominant throughout – It is that of pride! Pride in fact that she is doing her duty well.
She knows the dreams of the ‘girl in her’ can wait. But the heavenly moments of motherhood will never ever come back. Her kids need her now, nothing else matters. After a few years, she will have enough time for herself then she will miss it all…hugging, feeding, playing…everything. The lady in one of the stores had rightly advised her – pay attention to your kids, they grow up very fast. The woman on the other side of the mirror has put motherhood above everything else that matters, like millions of mothers across the world.
She believes Motherhood is a ‘tapasya’, a state of selflessness that enables one to experience the sublimest and divinest emotions.
I look at her and read her mind everyday. At times, I feel sort of restlessness in her. It is a fact that not many admire or value a homemaker, and this affects her sense of worth. But next moment, that feeling of pride returns, her temporary conflict disappears and she becomes a contented mother again. I, her mirror image, admire her soft face at such times.
But I also want to keep reminding her of the girl, she once was. And I will resolutely do that. For I know, when her kids grow up and there will no more be aching arms, swollen eyes and lullabys, the dreamy girl in her, will keep her company. The girl will show her purpose of life further…after the kids move on in life. The girl is her essence, and she should be in touch with her.
Till then, I wish happy motherhood to her…to my beloved mirror image!
(This post is dedicated to all mothers, working and non working, who I am sure have great stories to tell about motherhood. This is my story! I have been a SAHM ( Stay At Home Mother) since the past five years and it has been the most memorable and rewarding phase in my life.)