Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mommy-go- lightly

Something is expected of women when they become mothers. They are supposed to turn into these calm, benevolent souls, anesthetized at some level to negative emotions like anger, greed, ambition, scorn, spite and other such, and instead acquire calming auras and kind bosoms that will forgive all.

No such luck with me. Although I did have some fleeting out-of-body experiences that belied my true self. So the husband is frequently nonplussed to find that my fangs are still as sharp, the mother continues to pray to her gods and goddesses to keep me calm and help me mind that tongue, the sister continues to soothe me with Reiki, the homeopath wonders why I am still keen to change the world and friends are constantly surprised to find that I haven’t lost my spunk and motherhood hasn’t changed me in a bad way.

Needless to say, I am a total misfit in mother-toddler groups where people ‘bond’ over song, dance and babies, and I always have this what-am-I-doing-with-these-women feeling. I don’t see women or individuals, what I see is a mommy blur, and what I hear is a non-voice. And then I realise how much more of all this there is to do, with playgroups, nurseries, play-dates, schools and whatnot. But the son loves my feistiness and my quirks, and flashes his million dollar smile in approval, so all is well.

I am reminded of a recent incident where my reluctant fangs were forced to be on display again. I receive a ‘to many’ email promoting a website that does reviews of mommy-baby products and is looking for "experienced mommy writers" to do them and purports to “pay handsomely” for your posts apart from showering you with freebies. I do something totally out of character. I hit “yes, I am interested.” Now I am not a freebie girl, but strange things happen when you become a mommy. For instance you buy a packet of chicken nuggets for he-who-loves-his-meat just because there’s a free Toy story toy tucked inside somewhere (which I still haven’t found by the way).

Back to the mass email. I get a reply saying that I have to send a sample review and if they approve it, I will be paid a princely sum of Rs 100 per review. Now, you will well understand why this could have aggravated me, so I will not go into that. What amazes me is the reply to my aggravation, which says that most moms do this not for the money, but for the greater good of the community, and how nice it would be to exchange information like this, and so may I please appreciate the larger purpose of the whole thing? What further amazes me is that not a single mommy on that list speaks up.

I pray for my fangs to retract. They don’t.


  1. Dear Lalita
    I am probably going to be telling you something you already know. Your column tickles my funny bone and I adore it because you are probably just a south indian version of me albeit with more flair and larger vocabulary :)
    Boy am I glad to find this blog. Why didn't i find this earlier is what I am wondering? A little intro... Im from Mumbai, a misfit everywhere i go. Originally from Darjeeling, odd one rather "white one" out in the engg class (an ocean of browns), and the oh-mi-god-she-knows-how-to-speak-in-hindi at my workplace in Mumbai. Phew !!
    I missed reading your column and the Lokhandwala Lad in HT, now that I am here in Uncle Sam's. Keep at it !!
    Know that your words makes someone sitting very very far away smile :)

    Hugs to the youngest male homo sapien!!


  2. thank you tenzin. but misfits make the world a more interesting place, don't you think?

  3. Yes, for sure!!
    I feel we (at the risk of sounding pompous) are the tadka in an otherwise bland daal.

  4. OMG...I would never think that someone like you would even think of having a child in the first place(not that its bad that u did) but my question is how did you decide? How did you know that it was time for you to have one and that aal waas going to be well?
    I ask because I'm ur clone...getting dangerously close to 30 and see no signs of maternal instincts setting in. How did you do it? What prompted you? Do these motherly feelings just appear outta nowhere once you've had a child?
    I love your blogs btw :)

  5. hey, it would be a cliche to say 'it just happened', so i won't . the reason motherhood is so overrated is that today's mums made it that way. i just figured, if i could do cats, i can do babies (much the same). the pity is, while there is no time limit for the cat (or the animal), babies need to be made while your womb is still ticking!
    to answer another question, i still don't know if aal will be well, but i am taking it one day at a time