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AtoZ Challenge 2018Kids & Women LifeStyleMotherhoodParenting

The Surrogate Mother – #AtoZChallenge2018

posted by Anupriya April 21, 2018 0 comments

Amrita looked on at the drama unfolding infront of her as she put little Lucky in the high chair and put a bowl of carrot infront of him. She had suffered so much with Niks eating habits that she decided to try out baby led weaning with her younger son. And was she disappointed? Not at all! At 9 months, Lucky ate all the fruits and finger foods on his own. She had to start with use of spoon and bowl with the boy soon. Amrita made a mental note of the same as she looked on at her elder son throwing a tantrum in the lobby.

‘Why do you have to go?’  Nik sobbed as he held on to Sandhya. Sandhya was short enough for little Nik to reach upto her waist and hold her tightly making it difficult for her to move. Sandhya’s toil worn face let out a mild smile as she ruffled 5 year old Nik’s hair,

‘I’ll be back in a day or two, Nik Baba’ she said in an assuring tone in her quaking voice. Her eyes checking out the wall clock repeatedly, fearing she might miss the direct bus to her village.

‘But please don’t go. What if I miss you? And what if Lucky misses you?’ Nik whined his hold still tight across her waist, he looked up pleading at the old lady with smoky grey hair.

Amrita observed Sandhya di’s face and realized that her eyes had become red suddenly. Probably due to the burning of tears that did not come out. Her heart went out for both her son and the old lady. She decided to put the old lady out of her agony lest she might miss her bus. Amrita moved towards her son and pulled him apart from Sandhya and held him tightly in her arms.

‘Nik baby, do you like to go to your Nani’s home in your vacations?’ Amrita continued when Nik nodded in affirmative, ‘Sandhya di also needs to go to her Nani ghar once in awhile. We must let her go.’

‘But I will miss her too much.’ Nik complained.

Amrita hugged her son and patted his back. Pulling him apart she smiled into his eyes, ‘She will miss you too dear.’ She turned towards Sandhya who stood looking at them with a torn expression, ‘Sandhya di, please be back soon. Nik will really miss you too much. Promise him that you will be back soon?’

Sandhya to overwhelmed to say anything, nodded quickly and put her hand on Nik’s head before quickly turning around to pick up her bags and leave the house.

Amrita let out a deep sigh and smiled at her elder son and distracted him with his favorite Cartoon show on the television. She settled back on the couch with a quick glance on the road outside watching Sandhya hurry away with tiny but hastened steps. Her thoughts automatically drifted towards the time she had met her for the first time.

Sandhya had started working in her mother-in-law’s household when she had been a young girl herself and Amrita’s husband Raghav had been as old as Nik. She had since been a permanent member of the same household. Even though Sandhya routed all her earnings for her ailing parents’ treatment, brother’s study and younger sisters’ marriage, she never married herself.

‘If I marry, I may not be able to work and earn as much.’ Sandhya gave a simple reply with a lopsided smile whenever asked the reason for not getting married in her hay days.

When Amrita became pregnant with Nik and was put on bed rest due to certain complications, Sandhya took it upon herself to make sure that she ate the right things at the right time. Amrita almost felt exasperated at the feel of having another mother-in-law hovering over her all the time, and a stricter one at that. When Nik was born, Sandhya volunteered to take care of the boy, while Amrita recovered from her C-section surgery. Even in the midst of the night, when Nik started wailing, Sandhya would pick him up to comfort him even before Amrita got up to check on him.

As Nik began to grow, Sandhya took over the responsibility of his nanny. She would massage him, give him a bath, feed him and play with him whenever she was not busy with other household chores. At that time Amrita had been really relieved, because she planned to join work in a couple of months. The very fact that Nik bonded well with Sandhya and spent a considerable amount of his awake time with her, came in as a major point in her favor, when she put her case to join back work infront of her mother-in-law.

A couple of months back in work, Amrita’s gratitude turned into jealousy when she would come back home and Nik would remain busy with Sandhya completely ignoring her presence. Amrita wished to spend all her time at home with Nik, only if Sandhya would allow that. A tiny squeal from the little one, and Sandhya would rush to sway him into his embrace and comfort him until he was playful again. Amrita today let out a smile of disbelief when she recalled how she had been extremely frustrated at that time. She had even contemplated leaving her job, lest she might lose any significance in her son’s life. She remembered how she had been on the threshold of snapping at Sandhya and asking her to mind her own business while staying away from her child. But better sense had prevailed, and she decided to slowly wean her son away from the old lady.

But during a week long break at home due to an ailment, Amrita observed that the dedication and affection that Sandhya showed towards her son was at a different level.  During those days of forced rest, Amrita realized that the old lady with blood flecked eyes actually did not have a family to call her own. They were her family. She did go back to her brother’s family time and again like this one instance, but that was not because she cared much about them. It was more because she still felt a sense of responsibility towards them and wanted to check on their well-being.

After the leave ended, Amrita felt a new sense of gratitude towards the old lady for loving her son as her own and made it a point to thank god everyday for having Sandhya in her life.  She knew that if for some reason, her mother-in-law or she herself were busy or tied up with an emergency, there was Sandhya di to take care of her son as good as like a mother.  Or maybe even better, Amrita contemplated. These days, when Amrita looks at the aging Sandhya who has slowed down a bit physically, she shudders at the thought when this surrogate mother to her kids, might not be fit anymore to take care of her kids. How then would she manage the household? Or more importantly, how would she ever be able to fill the gap of her absence in her kids’ life? With a little prayer for Sandhya’s long life – her kids’ happiness Amrita gets up and gets on with her work.

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AtoZ Challenge 2018MotherhoodParenting

Baby Blues – AtoZChallenge

posted by Anupriya April 2, 2018 0 comments

Smita reached office and hustled to the lobby in order to make a personal call. Initially she had planned to work from home for the entire week that her mother was scheduled to be in Hyderabad, but things had not gone as per plan. Neither Smita’s plan nor Mrs. Gunjal’s. After she and Sharman refused to go to the gynecologist with her, Mrs. Gunjal had taken to giving them both royal a cold shoulder. In the last two days, she only joined them for meals and then left to spend her time in the recreation centre of their residential complex.

‘It’s boring in your flat and there are other women my age with no grandchildren who also come there to spend some time.’, she had explained mournfully . Sharman had suppressed laughter at this statement of hers, while Smita had groaned in irritation. She decided that working from her office was a better option than to become a witness to her annoyed and unreasonable mom.

Amrita picked up the call almost instantly,

‘How are you babes? Hope the weather at your place is fine.’ Smita did not miss the sarcasm in her big sister’s voice. Obviously, Mrs. Gunjal had shared the reason for her visit to Hyderabad to her. Amrita had messaged Smita on the day of their mother’s arrival. The message read, ‘Tell me how it goes!’ followed by 5 winking emoticons.

‘Mom went ballistic.’ Smita declared, ‘She has decided to remain stoic while she is here and make us feel miserable for deciding to not have a child yet’ Irritation rising high in her voice. Amrita replied with a little giggling sound.

‘Take her out today evening for a nice dinner. She’ll come around.’ Amrita knew the way to her mom’s heart.

‘Hmm! I’ll ask Sharman to check out for a North Indian restaurant and be home early today.’ Smita said as she leaned on the railing, ‘How about you? How’s your health? You really were glowing the last time we spoke on the video call.’ Smita set aside all her worries and turned her attention to her sister.

‘Uffo! Silly girl, just don’t imagine things. The pregnancy glow does not show until the last trimester. And considering that…’ Amrita stopped abruptly, not sure if she should continue. Smita was quick to sense something amiss.

‘What happened di? Considering what?’

Amrita bit her tongue between the side of her jaws and contemplated if she should speak her heart out.

‘Di! Are you there? What is it? Please tell me…’ Smita was almost panicking.

‘Ugghhh! Nothing yaar. You know this child was not planned. Even though Raghav is quite enthusiastic about this kid, I am not. This child will mean the end of my career. I cannot continue to work with two kids towing my life.’

‘But Di! Think about Nik. Wouldn’t it do him good if he had a sibling? I mean, look at us, even if we have lived miles apart for almost a decade now, you and I know who to fall back on whenever there’s a crisis.’ Smita restrained from sounding paranoid, but she was really scared for her sister.

‘Common Smita, both of us have friends who are only kids. And their life is good enough. It’s not that they are not happy being. And about Nik. He will have his cousins for sure.’

‘Di, you are the only one in my life right now who feels it’s ok if I and Sharman do not if to have a kid. And I can’t even tell you what a relief it is. Incase you do not wish to have this child, it’s your choice. I’ll stand by you no matter what.’ Smita was structuring her thought’s simultaneously as she spoke, ‘But I am all in favor of Nik having a sibling. I can’t even how my life would be without you.’

Amrita did not respond, but Smita knew from the noise of her flaring nostrils that she was still listening, ‘Di! When life is all hunky dory, it doesn’t matter if you are an only child. But it I during personal challenges and testing times especially those that involve the parents, that an individual becomes lonely in the absence of siblings. I only want to say that just because you fear that your career will get de-railed, do not decide on an abortion. You and Raghav jiju are financially sound even if you do not work and life is much more than a career.’ Smita was now walking back towards her cubicle.

‘Hmm! Maybe you are right. But I am still not sure.’ Amrita was in a rocking state of mid and did not wish to speak much. But Smita’s work’s had set her thinking, once again. She wished her sister better luck with their mom and disconnected the call.

That night, when Amrita retired to her room she was in a disheveled state of mind. Her conversation with her sister had rendered her vulnerable for the entire day and she had left Nik to his grandmother’s care after feeding him and excused herself to get some rest. As soon as Amrita hit the pillow, she snoozed with doubt still looming large in her mind.

When Raghav’s mobile went live at 4 am in the morning, Amrita instantly knew what the news was. Raghav’s best friend Sameer’s father had been in the intensive care unit for last 4 days and the doctors had given up on his multiple organ disorders. They had visited him at the hospital only last evening. Smita had been heart broken at how lonely Sameer had been. His wife was at home to take care of their 2 year old and other than a couple of friends, there was no one that Sameer could fall back on. All his relatives live far away in his native city. His parents also stayed in the same city untill last year when on his insistence they had shifted to live with their only son.

His call at this hour meant only one thing. His father had passed away. Raghav and Smita rushed to the hospital after leaving Nik to sleep in his grandparents room. As they walked into the corridor where they expected to meet Sameer, Smita was shaken by the silence in the hospital. Smita’s eyes widened and her heart went out to Sameer as they saw him sitting on the bench at the end of the corridor. He was sitting with his head lowered and covered by his palms.

Amrita suddenly woke up with a start. She felt sweat beads on her temples and it her a couple of seconds to start breathing normally. The sight of Sameer, all lonely and putting up a strong front to get through the formalities at the hospital after his father’s demise had haunted Amrita for days. Raghav had told her that Sameer was really shattered yet was not allowing himself to stand weak lest there would be no one would look after mother. She had often thought that if he had had a sibling, who would have stood by his side during these testing times, Sameer would have a shoulder to cry on and join hands while dealing with the loss. The sight of Sameer sitting alone in a dark corridor still haunted her.

As Amrita kept back the glass of water on the side stand, her conversation with her little sister came back to her in its full meaning. There were numerous people she had known who were only kids, yet she herself had never felt a pang of jealousy with them ever. While she knew for sure that the vice-versa wasn’t true. Her friends who were only kids, often regretted the fact that they had never enjoyed the bickering from a sibling, or had never known the feeling of having their back covered whenever they were up against their parent’s will.

In that moment, Amrita looked own and rubbed her hand on her belly. She realized that the life in her womb, was going to bring only joy and love in their lives and in Nik’s life. As her baby blues faded away, Amrita slumped back into her sleep. This time a peaceful one.

I am participating in the challenge of April with #Blogchatter

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Parenting

5 Things That No One Ever Told You About Becoming New Parents

posted by Anupriya October 29, 2017 14 Comments

Motherhood is associated with all the things ecstatic that are supposed to make you feel blessed. But no one talks about the darker side of being a good mother. Yes! Believe me. There is this dark dimension to being a mother which every mother suffers through all alone because talking about it without the fear of being judged is almost impossible.

This dark reality of motherhood that I talk about is beyond the pain of breastfeeding, nappy changes and sleepless nights watching the child. These are things that have a lasting impact psychologically and “normal” becomes a thing of the past.
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MotherhoodParenting

A Second Chance At Motherhood – Things I Am Doing Differently

posted by MommyTincture July 6, 2017 6 Comments

Mostly every mother has this clear picture in her mind about how she wants to bring up her children. Yet, in the rush of events of becoming a first-time mom, a lot remains fogged due to lack of experience.
For me, the birth of my first child was a milestone I managed to meet before I turned 30. Actually, I was not quite ready for a child, yet we as a couple decided to have one because I also firmly believed that if I grew any older, it would be impossible for me to have the patience to raise any kids.

A lot went haywire and in retrospect, I feel that my little Nik and dear husband were at the receiving end most of the times. I was like, if I am going to have a kid, I rather raise him to be that perfect kid who every mother would envy. (I am laughing at my naivety of having such a goal.) Continue Reading

MotherhoodParenting

Of Siblings and Brotherhood – #MondayMommyMoments

posted by Anupriya November 17, 2016 2 Comments

I know it’s a little late to write for this link party which went up on Monday (its #MondayMommyMoments after all !) But isn’t it what motherhood is all about? You plan something for how your day would go, but you end up with an all together different kind of a day. The same has happened with me. For the last 3 days I would wake up with this write-up as a priority task, but my little ones would end up being my only priority. Yes they seek undivided attention, lest you end up in a havoc like situation, with a constantly crying baby and a hyper-active toddler trying to do everything on his own.

One thing about being a Mommy is that there are no precedents because your child/children are growing everyday and you too are evolving as a mother with them. As a mother you could be in for a pleasant or unpleasant surprise anytime, anywhere. If I sit down and retrospect, like every mother I have a series of Happy Mommy Moments; but to recount all of them is a tedious task. So I am going to iterate my latest Happy Mommy Moment here. Here goes the story-

Lately I have started following one practice very stringently. This I have done because I figured that if I don’t, I will end up with bigger dark circles around my eyes and will become a perpetual zombie. So, these days, whenever my younger one goes to sleep, I take the liberty of leaving my elder one (he will hence forth be address as Nick) in my Mother-in-laws vigilance and take a quick nap.

The other day, after I finished the humongous task of getting Nick to have his lunch and putting Lucky (the younger one now on will be called so) to sleep, I lied down for my siesta. Around just five minutes later, Nick came up from behind and hugged me extremely affectionately. What he said next touched the core of my heart.

He said, “Mamma! I have come to take you and ‘Chota Baby’ back home from the hospital. Once you are home, I will take care of both of you.” and with this he planted a peck on my cheek.  Somehow the impression of me lying on the hospital bed had surfaced from his memory.

As I heard his words, my heart skipped a beat because it reminded me of that one week in my life when my soul was torn apart into two halves

I was delighted because of the arrival of my little one, but was equally worried for Nick because this was the first time since his birth that I was going to be away from him for almost a week. On one hand I was reveling in the pleasure of having Lucky in my hands and on the other hand my heart yearned for Nick who was allowed to see me for only 10-15 minutes a day for the duration I was in the hospital.

In the hospital and during the last 5 months, it has worried me a lot that Nick may feel neglected and become insecure after the arrival of his younger sibling. But his words cleared my mind of any doubts or anxieties with regards to any such adverse affects on him.

I know that as both my sons will grow up they are liable to have differences in behavior, opinions and expectations from life. But for now it is only Love and Affection in the air…

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MotherhoodParentingWork and Life

The Love Hate Relationship

posted by Anupriya November 10, 2016 0 comments

Dear Zindagi,

Ok, first things first. In this phase, where I am going through what I am going through, you really suck. I mean really, I do not understand whether to rejoice or to mourn. Over what? I’ll get to that later, let us first just revisit the chronology of our companionship. Continue Reading

MotherhoodPregnancy

Welcome to Mommy Tincture

posted by Anupriya December 30, 2015 0 comments

Almost into the new year, as I close-in on my decision to leave my job, to be able to take care of my two kids (one already there and the other in my tummy) I am a mixed bag of emotions. I am amazed how the second pregnancy despite being distinct from the first one is no different in terms of the deluge of thoughts it is causing in my mind.
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