i, mommy.

Quite a few people have told me how I make mommyhood look easy, natural and something to look forward. Because I am a gracious and polite person I say thank you especially when the going is good- because honestly, it isn’t that hard. But sometimes, even though I still say thank you nicely, inside me I am laughing hysterically because only I know intimately the complete lack on control I have on life and how difficult it is to get  my head around the fact that I am now responsible for this little bundle of buzzy energy all the time.

There was a long list of what i will and will not do as a mom I came up with during my preganncy. Every time I saw a mom-kid encounter that left me reeling (positively or negatively), I would jot it down as part of my parenting plan. I will NOT let my kid have coke. I won’t let him stand in the car.  Won’t let him play with the remote. Will allow TV. Nap time is important. Play time is as important. No talking back. Reespect all elders. The list grew and grew ( is still growing, in fact) comprising of the tried and tested (vegetables are good) and the new and experimental (so is chocolate)- the sublime (dua before sleep) to the ridiculous (10 minutes of dancing time during the day).

In our culture of everything-together-together, it becomes hard to bring up your child in the way you think best, because so many times you don’t get to come to that conclusion yourself. Your mom thinks A is best but your friend/that aunty/your mom in law/a pointless relative  (or the equivalent) insists on B, so you settle on a confused AB to maintain all round peace. I am no expert, believe me, but as the months have gone by, I have come to conclusions that are neither A nor B and sometimes not even C. Sometimes they are M. Or S. Or even V. You know what I mean. Only then I have learnt will it atleast look easy and natural.

“In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything.  You just need a lot of love and luck – and, of course, courage.”  ~Bill Cosby, Fatherhood, 1986


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17 thoughts on “i, mommy.”

  1. Verrrryyy interesting…tell me something did raising two cats earlier help? Im hoping being responsible for my cat will help in coming years.
    But seriously…how do you block all the “outside noise” when it comes to raising Naddu? Or is it not that “dark” and you can let your jamminess be a part of him..

  2. i always had many thoughts related to this post topic.
    i think age has a lot to do with how you appraoch things in life and react to everything around you.
    i always tried to imagine (ppl i know), that how they’d be and embrace motherhood if they had their first child at 20..or 23..or 25..29..30..? each time i believe the way they’d deal with the situation would be slightly (even significantly) different.
    it’s always said that ppl become wiser with time and age, and im sure for you (esp the strong person that you are *mashalla*) and how you observe things around you.. it must have all helped you indirectly -in ways- to be the kind mommy you always wanted to be.

    btw, i also have ‘a list’ 😉 which keeps growing. although not even getting married is even remotly close at the moment. BUT, i do have a list! it helps when there are so many mommies around.

    ‘In our culture of everything-together-together, it becomes hard to bring up your child in the way you think best..’
    seriously, seriously! :S

  3. i was just discussing this with my mom last night. ive been observing many of my friends and their kids lately and ive noticed that generally the kids who dont live with grandparents(or their influence closeby), tend to be alot more calm, well behaved and respectful. my mom called it the child’s ability to manipulate around power struggle whereas i think its more to do with the fact that kids know that g’pa and g’ma have a softer spot for them. to the point where sometimes they give in without realizing whats best for the child.

    i’m REALLY strict with the no coke rule but when eesa started spending the night at daadi’s he was being served chai for breakfast at the age of 2! he was even served coke a few times but ive really stood my ground on it. if we’re out for dinner with my inlaws, i make exceptions for non caffenaited sodas – perhaps from out of pressure too. i think being around others really pressurizes one on what we should relaly be doing. im not the only one struggling *phew*

  4. hahaha aneela- actually the cats bit did. Any kind of relatonship in which you feel responsible for something (someone) else’s happiness and well being is good practice I think. The mor ehelpless the better of course 😉 As far as blocking out things go, its not easy because its only natural to hear the noise- it takes a bit of practice to not be rude or mean about shutting people out- since the people making the most noise are usually the ones neaerest and dearest. But i think an effective balance can be worked out- it tilts but its not impossibe 🙂 you HAVE to stay you though 😀

    cheeky- am not sure age and wisdom is linked but age and expeience is. some people leanr form it some dont. I think you have to pool in all your resources for child rearing- your work exp you sibling exp your life exp and then somehow it starts making sense 🙂

    s, nadir likes chai! 🙂 he has like a few teaspoons everyday from me- haan i agree with your mom- kids are very smart- they know that with gparents most rules are bendable. for instance nadir nap times go mad when hes at my moms- im trying to be ok about it coz i know hes still young and not there for too long at a stretch anyways but it bothers me that im not heard on that account- principle wise you know.

    as far as banniong things go, its so hard because out of “love”and what not people are always trying to cross some boundary or the other. I know i will cave in on the coke rule because as parents we both feel that the forbidden has more charm so we would rather pratice limited control than banning 🙂 but ltets see- the best laid plans…. haahah

  5. oh nooooo. my comment.
    okay, here’s a watered down version. so i was saying, but i lot of it is, effortless and natural, wouldn’t you mommies say? i’ve found that with the big things, if i look hard enough, i already know the answers. the small things like the shaving the head thing, i try not to sweat.
    but mostly, people around me know i’m crazy where it comes to the childe so i don’t get a lot of nonsense. from those that i do, especially the oldies, i just want to say – you’ve had your go at bringing kids up, how about letting me have mine? mean i know, but maaaaan, i don’t need to tell you just how annoying it can all get!

  6. hi jammie..
    i’ve lurked around your blog for almost a year now..When i stumbled upon your blog for the first time, i read all your posts till that day..
    I could relate so much to each and every post on all kind of topics, so much so that it struck a chord somewhere..
    I’m from Mumbai, India and have been married for two years now..Though I have no plans to have a baby for another two years, your motherhood (through pregnancy till date..), your thoughts influence and inspire me..I save all your mails – they are like guidelines..
    Love the way you write and express..Love the way you look at life..You are like a freind whose opinions i treasure..
    Its always a pleasure to read you..
    Lots of love to nadi..May god’s grace always be with you all..

  7. you do make mommy-hood seem so easy. Especially the fact that you blog reguarly! all i”m juggling is work and umm..thats it. and still, i dont seem to find the time to blog 🙂

  8. J – so so true! i always think of how effortless my parents made it look!!

    i mean i dont remember them being preachy! they would be firm about somethings but without anatgonizing us!

    i just hope i manage the same while Cubby has his fun!!



  9. Erm maybe you make motherhood seem easy because you have servants at home to help you out. try raising your child and having to do all your cooking, cleaning and everyday errands then come back and say it isn’t hard.

    Btw, it is possible to love yourself a little too much at times :p

  10. haha, i’m still at the newbie phase where i can’t get enough advice…i’m sure it’ll turn annoying soon enough. i love this quote…it’s going to be my second favorite after mona’s (elizabeth stone’s)..oh the courage you need to be a parent…sigh……… 🙂

  11. amna- thats just it na- it SEEMS easy but if only one could take a sneak peak into the chaos that ensues backstage hehe- in order for the machinery to look as though it running smoothly 🙂
    that said, thingsare only as hard as we make them dont you think- so by blogging etc i try to make it funner for me- to not focus on how tiring hard etc it gets 🙂 works for me atleast!

    abha- i remember that too 🙂 funny- maybe our kids will remember it being easy for us!

    chutney- you misunderstand me- perhaps even deliberately??i dont know about loving myself but yes in the last yr i have been amazed at all that i am ABLE to do when i need to do it. as for “servants”, yes i do have help around the house- im not going to apologize for the factt that i work hard enough to earn enough to have someone who cooks/cleans for me so i can spend whatever time i have not working with my kid. however, someone cooking in the kitchen does not make motherhood easier. what i am talking about is the mental stuff and even a horde of people managing my house and space will not make motherhood the way im referring to it in this particular instance, easier. kudos to those who do everything- im not competing!

  12. What makes you think that those you employ don’t work just as hard as you think you do so yourself? I’m sure they’d also love to be able to afford to have the money to hire people to do everything for them so that they can concentrate on child raising. It’s not because you’ve worked hard to get to where you are although yes, that may play a part in it. What it really boils down to is that you were born into a different class which brings with it many priviledges. And before you lash back and say that this isn’t your fault etc etc, that’s very true, however I do think people in your position (i.e noveau rich society living in pak that take advanatage of the great rich/poor divide in their country) don’t give those less fortunate than themselves the opportunity to better themselves. Your statement about how having help does not make motherhood easier makes me laugh – talk about trying to justify it. And before you assume that I’m someone who’s envious of not being able to afford help, think again!

  13. chutney – your opening question makes no sense to me- when did i say that??

    i think at this point that you are going to want to argue with whatever i say…because what you just said made no sense to me…one, nouveau riche?- do you even know what that term means??and HOW on earth do you even suppose i am one of those?? just because i can afford help? you are making this assumption based on what?? my tone of writing??

    as far as taking advantage of the rich/poor divide- thats a bit black or white dont you think? yes those are the big divisions but if you take off those blinders you will see this tiny (but hopefully growing) called the upper middle working class- who are maybe not huge in number but they are the ones who work to provide themslves what they need/want. Int he grander conversation it all very poetic to talk about the rich poor divide but yes we are there somewhere in the middle too- stuck as it maybe be- because we are lobbed off for being rich by the poor but not rich enough to live in the style the real rich affords-

    having help does NOT make motherhood easier- not the aspect of motherhood i am referring to-That hard/easy part is upto the mom alone- REGARDLESS of help (there, i said it again)- you can laugh all you like because you have decided to mis-take i am saying over and over again to create an argument that doesnt really exist.

    anyhow- i think we have both had our say- as interesting as it was- im ending it here. thanks for reading.

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