“Drink your milk and go to sleep”, shouts my Mom with her eyes half shut from the other room. “Nidho, Its already midnight and you should catch up with some sleep before your baby wakes you up for milk at night.” I assuage my tired Mom by saying not to worry. An hour passes by and I am still on my laptop doing some work. Suddenly I see my mom appear in front of my laptop holding in one hand a glass of freshly prepared saffron and pistachio milk and with the other hand rubbing her eyes deprived of sleep for years. “Oh Mom! Why do take so much of trouble”, said I. “Beta, I am more worried about your little one; he would suffer if you sleep without having milk; Right”? “Hmmm”, I nod while hungrily gulping down milk in one shot. Hugging her tightly, I wonder and ponder that the duty as a parent, as a mother never just ends.
Even while I was pregnant, it never dawned upon me that parenting is a job for lifetime. When I was pregnant, I was just waiting to deliver my child completely unaware of the gazillion of parenting jobs awaiting me. I later fathomed that delivering a child is the smallest of all the tasks as parent and with every developmental stage of the child; the task gets bigger, complicated and challenging.
Once a child is born, life changes radically for parents. You are at the end of your teether with his feeding, cleaning, nappy changes, night duties, vaccinations; however the beaming smiles and the thundering giggles of your little rockstar takes all your fatigue away. An entire year passes and now you seem to cope well with the newly acquired badge of a parent.
The going gets tougher with the baby learning to walk around and you are always on your toes so that he does not bump his head somewhere, put his hands in simmering tea or water, put any garbage in his mouth and what not.
Later on you start to unfailingly send and receive him from school, devotedly prepare his favourite dish for school tiffin, patiently listen to his school happenings, recite him long fairy tales till he goes into a quite slumber, find tricky answers to his abstract questions, meticulously plan his birthday party, go nuts shopping for his fancy dress competition, dutifully attend his sports day and most important work your fingers to the bone for his exams.
The child sets in his teens and your duty on the surveillance front gets beefed up. One has to be very attentive and alert to his signs of anxiety, depression and peer pressure and handle it very sensitively and delicately. The child enters college and you need to secretly have an eye of an eagle over the company he keeps, the sites he surfs and the places he visits. You strive hard to become his friend and stoop down to his level so as to push behind the generation gap between you both. With some difficulty you cope up with allowing him to hang out with girls, party late nights and nightouts. At the same time you keep giving him your daily dose of sermons in the hope that he does not go astray in this fast, very fast pacing world and miss his main objective.
Finally your child graduates. He has now become an independent man. You feel you can now take a back seat. NO!, Not yet. Gear up for his post-graduation. Get ready to put all your savings together to send him to US or for his MBA. You happily arrange all the funds to become proud and thrilled parents of a MBA/Doctor/CA or a MS child.
One fine day there is a knock at the door and you meet your child’s dream partner standing right in front of your eyes- shying, smiling and nervous all at the same time. You accept him/her keeping your likes and dislikes aside and give due respect to your child’s choice. More so because you did not have the privilege of choosing your partner, atleast your child has that liberty. An auspicious day is selected and your child gets tied in the nuptial knot in the most extravagant and splendid manner.
Finally you are relaxing in your armchair as you have finished your last but not the least responsibility as a parent. You retire subsequently.
Everything seems to get settled and a new chapter begins in your life. There is no pressure to reach office in time, no pressure to perform and no pressure to prove yourself. You and your spouse after so many years get some hassle free time to spend together, get halcyon time to leisurely sip the morning cuppa. You reflect upon the past years, marvel at yours and yours child’s achievements, get spiritual and travel to a holiday destination. In the meanwhile, the seed you rooted, the plant you nurtured, the tree you guarded, the flowers you loved has now borne fruits. A new family member arrives and as grandparents your duty cart again gets loaded up.
You see………parenting, is a responsibility of a lifetime.
Parents love for their child is boundless, selfless, unconditional, immeasurable and unfathomable.
In the direction from parent to child – the love, the care and protection, all these emotions flow in strong bold lines but the irony is that they flow only in dotted lines in the reverse direction.
After being a parent yourself, you realise the heights of pain, sacrifice and hardwork that they have undertaken for your wellbeing. You feel so much of gratitude towards your parents and feel very apologetic for those who don’t have them.
Really parents are god sent angel’s in every child’s life.
Every time I see my 8 month son laughing endlessly, chirping enthusiastically, bubbling with energy, dexterously crawling from one corner of the room to another, excitedly clasping his hands, exploring things with wonderment, weeping to seek my attention; I feel blessed as a mother.
Every time my husband willingly accompanies me as a chauffeur to the market, holds my purse when I am tired, sincerely does babysitting while I go watching a movie, immediately lends me his handkerchief when I sneeze, firmly holds my hand while crossing the road, gently kisses my forehead and wishes me goodnight; I feel blessed as a wife.
Every time my mother voluntarily takes my wrath, my dad solves my problems as if he has a magic wand, my mother in law calls me “Bata”, my sister patiently listens to all my angst; I feel blessed.
When I recall these memories and reflect upon them; I not only feel immense pleasure but have a strong feeling of love, gratitude and appreciation. These things may appear very trivial but its absence will make your heart cry.
When there are so many beautiful things in life to relish about, then why worry so much about your paycheque not raised upto your expectation, why keep whining about the demanding boss, why be disappointed if your child loses the race, why keep cribbing about your mother in law, why make mole of mountain for petty stuffs and so on…
Just the way sand escapes your fist, so will these moments. The importance of these moments will only be known to you when they are gone. Your child will grow up and no longer will seek your attention, your husband may be transferred to some another city, your parents will pass away and there will be no guardian to look upto.
Live these moments, cherish them, savour them instead of brooding over heartrending, bitter and uncontrollable events.
Life has so much to offer, explore. There are so many tasks to be done, so many things to be learnt, so many places to travel. When so much is to be accomplished in one life span, is it not foolish to waste even one hour thinking about the grass not so green. Instead look at the good side of your life and feel blessed about it.
Let that motivate you, enthuse you to achieve something bigger.