Haven’t we all heard umpteen times from everyone around that “Having a baby changes everything”? Well, you bet it does! Every parent will endorse this fact and I am no different. 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep is now a dream, and a peaceful meal and shower has become a luxury. I always thought patience is a virtue I possessed till I became a parent and then discovered what “testing one’s patience” truly means. There was a time when I used to watch movies at the theatre every weekend. But, now when a friend asks me whether I watched the latest hit, am like “Is that a movie?”. “Thank God it’s Friday” has turned to “So what if it’s Friday!”. Can you imagine completing cooking, cleaning the kitchen and bathing, all in merely 30 mins.? That’s motherhood special speed! Can you imagine breastfeeding, eating, writing an article and talking on phone, all at the same time? Yes, being a mom makes you a multi-tasking expert. We learn to love like never before and learn to laugh like there is no tomorrow. If we actually get down to write about every small and big way in which parenthood changes our lives, am sure we will have the output in the form of a book titled “1000 ways a baby changes everything”!
But, amidst all the series of beautiful transformations that have been taking place in me and my life, there is something my baby changed which I least expected and am grateful to her for that. Before I became a mother, I was someone who would let go a lot. I always avoided any kind of confrontation even if someone hurt me or did something wrong. I don’t know if it was the lack of courage or some kind of a notion in my head that tolerating means being nice. I did my bit for society but never really pursued discussions to change anyone’s mindset with vigour, lest it became an argument. I will admit that at some point in the past, I also believed that being a good wife, friend and daughter-in-law means sacrificing one’s own happiness and keeping others over self. I evolved with time but it was my baby who largely reformed me.
As parents, we all endeavour to make sure that our kids become fine and responsible human beings by learning the right life skills. But, we cannot say something and do something else, because in due course children learn by example. Today, I stand up for myself when the situation demands and fearlessly express my thoughts and opinions with the world without any fret of anyone agreeing or disagreeing with me. I discuss, question and debate relentlessly with all my might in the hope to trigger a change in some way because there is really a lot going wrong in the world today, and I want to give a better world to my daughter. Usually, most parents say that having a child made them selfless, which is inevitable. However, in my case, it has been the other way round. After my daughter’s birth, I have begun to think about myself too, and have understood the difference between being submissive and keeping others happy. All this because, that is how I want my daughter to be – a sensitive, helpful and self-respecting person who loves and embraces her own self; someone who never shies away from speaking her mind and who has the valour to stand up for herself and her beliefs; someone who treasures her relationships but can also judge when to put her foot down.
I realize that the person that I am today is the real “me” because I have never felt so much at ease with my own self ever before. There is nothing more liberating and blissful than the feeling of being yourself, especially in a world that is constantly trying to push you to be someone else in many ways. I owe it to my daughter to have helped me connect to my innermost self, my soul. Thank you my baby, for bringing out the “me” in me!