"Lap it all up now. Very soon, it will no longer be about you,” said one veteran mom who dropped by last week to check on how I was doing.
She is not the only one. Every woman has something to say about the imminent ‘storm.’
“Try and get all the sleep you can now…you ain’t getting any for months now..”
“ Don’t worry, all the pain will be worth it, when you hold your bundle of joy…”
“Watch TV, lie on your side…”
“Listen to music, read, talk to your baby…”
“Whatever you do, don’t use disposable diapers.. take it from me…”
“That’s the end of your life…only susu-potty now…”
Believe me, these are not regressive, low self-esteem, purposeless women—most of them have been high achievers, super-bright and super-creative, held or still hold good jobs, are attractive, articulate and make good money, but somehow transform into mommy divas the minute they know you are expecting.
Unlike marriage or career, motherhood instills a cockiness in all women, as though they have got a booster shot of hormonal confidence. Everyone, right from the lady in the lift to the maid to random woman you met at the Café to the sales assistant at the mall has this “We know.. we have been there” look and some advice to offer.
I wondered how such martyr mothers get created. Is it that some women use motherhood to create a new power equation that is so fuzzy that the world lets them have the benefit of doubt, because it’s pointless challenging it anyway?
But one friend Vasu who will remain my inspiration said something to me that stuck. “You will realize that there will always be another way … that you could have done many things differently. That someone else always knows more than you do. But when it comes to babies, expect the unexpected… just do what instinctively comes to you.”
It’s surreal, but I feel something is going to irreversibly change about me by the time I write this column again, which could well be next week, or a few weeks from now. I just hope it’s for the better.
Of course I will do exactly what seems right to me, even though I feel more laden with an information overdose than the 13 extra kilos on me. Yes, I am fully aware of the divide between natural birthing and epidural infused labour, of the politics of C-secs versus vaginal deliveries, of actual labour versus induced labour, of nursing versus formula, of super-lactating cows versus existential milk machines.
I do not know where I will fit into all this motherhood hierarchy and frankly, I don’t care. All I know is that I will be one cool mom. And hopefully, I will have enough chick and wit in me to last a while, mommydom notwithstanding.