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Saturday, 15 October 2011

Ignorance is Bliss

My sister in law recently gave birth, to a healthy young boy, which brought back memories of my first personal exposure to motherhood. Since I have 3 girls, aged 12 to 6, I come under the experienced and wiser category I presume. But thinking back to that first time I can't help laughing. Ignorance sure was bliss. Going through the daily ups and downs of taking care of the family, I often wonder if I would have willingly stepped into the role, not because I detest it, but due to the impending fear of failing miserably.

I got married during my first year of college. Falling pregnant was not on the agenda, but it somehow happened when I was in my final year. There were a host of emotions that coursed through my mind, regret, anxiety, joy. And though I had to put up, and also at times give up, I really treasure the memories of those wonderful days.

It left me pretty exhausted at the end of my tiring days at class. There were days of sickness, days when all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed. Rushing off to sites to work on my projects was arduous too.

Days went by, and there were times I wished I could just let go of everything and simply enjoy my very pregnant state. I had just completed my 7th Semester exams in the evening and planned on relaxing until classes started for the next Sem. Being 36 weeks pregnant only made the break all the more appealing.

But as the saying goes,  Man proposes, God Disposes, I went into labour the following morning.

Though, physically I was feeling like a wrung out wash rag, mentally I was elated. My beautiful little daughter was sleeping away after her feed. She looked so peaceful and angelic. Come night time, I tell my mother, "Now that this whole pregnancy drama is behind me, I'm going to have a good night's sleep. With the baby kicking and boxing inside I could hardly sleep these past few months. (And my my, sleeping was actually a hobby of mine.)". My mother gave me a look of concern (now I realise that it was pity actually). She told me with a very grave expression, "Honey I think the days for sleeping are over!"

I just stare at her in stunned silence, which is broken by my wailing daughter. She was wet. We change her and settle for the night. I lie down still pondering over what my Mom had said. There goes my little one again, time for her feed. This kept happening all through the night.

In the weeks that followed I realised the implication of her words. And I finally had to accept the fact that the days of sleeping were really really over. And that's the most precious preoccupation I gave up I guess. OK, that was round one of stepping into the Mummy shoes.

Then one by one I had to give up on many of my personal luxuries. There used to be a time when I wondered how my mother had her bath in 5 minutes, because my bathing regimen took close to an hour. Now its my mother's turn to be astonished coz I dash in and out of my bath in less than 3 minutes. The last time she visited me, I couldn't help laughing at her shocked expression, when I got out of the bath. "I guess the days for bathing are over too!", I told her over merry tears of laughter.

There are several things I've learned over the years, and sure am the wiser for all that knowledge. There's going to be more surprises along the way, some pleasant others not. But I choose to remain, gladly unaware of the mysteries of motherhood that are yet to be unearthed. So I'm blissfully ignorant, until I'm hit by the next brick of motherly wisdom.

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