Trust your motherly instinct

She carries her until she chooses to walk on her own. Her pain and worries transform into selfless yet unconditional love at the sight of her toddler. The heart overflows with patience and joy each time she discovers something new. Indeed, motherhood is more than a mere phase in a woman’s It is a privilege and an emotion that instils power like none other.

Michelle Thomas, a mother of three children, tells us how motherhood brought out the best aspects of her personality:

If I were to recollect my pregnancy days, nausea, acidity and hip pains would top my list of memories! Pregnancy granted me all of that and more.

It began with intermittent episodes of nausea. I soon discovered the absence of certain ‘monthly visitor’. No sooner had I come to terms with these changes, than the suspicions had begun. Honestly, it wasn’t the ideal time to have a baby. For neither of us were ready or responsible to play the role of a parent.

But I have no regrets! It was scary, but I’ve never been the type to shirk a daunting task. Every moment of my first pregnancy was a joy - from seeing the first scan to hearing her heartbeat for the first time to reading countless What to Expect books. It was wonderful.

What I dreaded most though was the ‘inevitable end’ - the delivery. It was, as if, I had willingly signed up for a show that involved excruciating pains. Sure, it sounds masochistic, but it is what mothers-to-be do all the time.

Fortunately, selective amnesia of a previous delivery is no hoax. I’ve experienced that. Having completely forgotten about the torture I put my body through the first delivery, I was rather unconcerned about the 2nd one. But the third time was worrisome. The sheer thought of being a mother took me a while to fathom! I would think to myself, “Two, sure. But three?? No way!” Hence, I was not able to enjoy it as much. Then again, it was worth it.

Personally, the most challenging part of baby care is waiting and not worrying. It does sound strange. But most often, new parents worry a lot. Especially with regards to their tiny tots achieving different milestones.

Of course, we’re innately competitive. “That mother at the supermarket was bragging about her six-month-old being able to sit up independently. So why isn’t my little bundle of joy doing that yet? Am I doing something wrong?

The angst is real. But every child develops at his or her own pace. Therefore, I think the hardest part would have to be waiting for him or her ‘get there’ at their own pace.

It isn’t easy being a mother in the present. You are constantly worried about the kind of world your child is growing up in, whether you are preparing them for it or not etc. A mother always wonders - Will they make the right choices? Will they stand up for themselves and others? There is no way to confirm any of it. But you continue doing what you do and hope that over a period, they pick up a ‘moral compass’ to guide them when you no longer can.

If there was one aspect that motherhood has unveiled, it is my untapped capacity for patience, creativity and love which I was unaware of. It has taught me that there’s no perfect way to raise a child. It also helped me realize that what Smita Aunty or cousin Rosie (fictitious names) say is best is not necessarily the best for my child. I’ve learned to stop doubting my choices and trust my instincts, in the hope that they won’t result in anything bad.

Dear mothers, take it from me - Be yourself. Crazy, messed-up, completely bonkers. The world may laugh, point fingers, scorn you. But if you raise your child with love and imbibe in them a healthy dose of compassion, nothing else matters.