This was a no-brainer for me! M had to be for Motherhood. With this post, I've actually made it halfway through the challenge. How are you faring?
"Wait till you have a kid, and then you will know!", I've heard this enough number of times from my mum and several other mums too. I guess it is true, motherhood teaches you so many things, it's amazing! It's almost like with the title mum, you also get many other qualities imbibed into you, just by diffusion or something. Motherhood has changed me in so many ways that sometimes I wonder if I am still the same person at all. The list below is not exhaustive, just things I could think of over the top of my head:
I have always been a person who needed a minimum of 8 hours a night. I could hardly function well without sleep. That is one of the first things that changed after motherhood. I can hardly remember a night since Pickles was born, where I even slept for 6 hours straight. Now I am amazed at how little sleep I can actually get by with.
Patience was initially a virtue that I was completely devoid of. I used to think R would be the one who's more patient with the kids and I would be the impatient parent. But I was wrong. I find myself being patient with Pickles for things that would have driven me crazy before he came along. Although I've always had a short fuse for a lot of things, with Pickles, I've actually surprised myself time and again. I can actually do the same thing a million times with him, sing the same songs, read the same books over and over, and generally handle him without losing it. I used to always wonder how Ma could be so patient. Now I think, it's probably due to the fact that she has four children, so she would have needed four times the amount of patience to handle us!
If I thought I was good at multitasking before, now I must be a super multi-tasker or something. My mind is constantly a whirr of things that need to be done. And I am always planning the next thing to do on my calendar even as I am finishing a task. Planning work in the lab has never been better. I try and get as much done in as little time as I can, just so I can be home in time for Pickles! No more working late nights or weekends for me. Making shopping lists, grocery shopping, planning meals and everything else happens like clockwork. Calls to friends and family are only during travel time and that is the only time I have to talk/message.
As I mentioned above, all that multitasking ensures that I get so many things done! Sometimes, I find it amazing that I have energy left even when I am overwhelmed with fatigue. I can actually get up from bed to do that one little chore that I had forgotten about (a thought that was laughable at one time!). And to top it all, I can wake up in the middle of the night to pump breastmilk if need be. My current mantra is, 'what doesn't kill you, actually makes you stronger'.
I am bothered by things that never bothered me earlier. I am scared about a lot of things, like climate change! I worry about what kind of a world I've brought Pickles into. I find myself crinkling up my nose at smokers, especially if they're smoking around Pickles. I refuse to get associated with people, who I think will be a bad influence on him.
I want to be a better person
This is one of the best changes that motherhood has brought about. I am constantly trying to be a better person now, because I want to teach Pickles to do the right things. I figure that if I don't follow what I preach, how can I expect him to take me seriously? Whether it is the silliest of habits like washing hands or important practises like being polite, I have to do it right, so that I can give Pickles something to look up to, something to follow.
More appreciation for my own Mother
I've always loved Ma a lot, and I respect her a great deal. But after I stepped into motherhood, I have a newfound respect for her. When I sometimes complain that it is difficult to manage with a job and one kid, I wonder how she managed singlehandedly four kids and a full-time job with little or almost no help from my dad! And she did an amazing job with all of us. I can't remember even one instance when I needed her and she wasn't there for me, even now!
It just gets me thinking that she set the bar too high. If I can manage to be half the mother that Ma is, I will consider that I have done justice to my role as a mother.