Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just a thought...

Holidays are over! Schools have started again. Home works and projects, assessments and assemblies are all coming up and making mundane life blissful by its sheer predictability. My kids occupy a lot of my brain and soul space. They make me laugh, they make me worry, even anguished and tearful, they are the reason of most of the things I do or decisions I take. My world revolves around these two kids completely. Maybe its not correct, maybe even not completely normal, maybe I am too involved.. but that's the state at the moment.

It started with them being too tiny to fend for themselves, and then it became a habit to look out for them, and then a pleasure to be a part of them. Long back I was asked by a friend, "What are you first, a woman, a wife or a mother?" I didn't have to think at all, I am confidently a mother first, the last two have no fixed place value I guess, they depend on the mood and the circumstances.

A recurrent thought lately is about women who leave their children for love. Who take the plunge and never look behind, or maybe they do and live in pain forever, who's to tell?. It could be a sad marriage or a genuine love that calls, it could be a frustrated existence, a stale relationship.. it could be any of these or something else, but does it justify leaving your kids, does anything justify, even death?

I do not believe in right or wrong, whatever can be dealt with is right for me. I am not moralistic or judgemental, and I also believe that love can happen, anytime any place, beyond age and marital status. But I cannot understand how a mother can turn away from her children in pursuit of her own happiness or dreams. It is possible, for it has happened many a times through each layer of society, but I fail to understand it. It takes a brave heart I am sure to live without the routine pleasures of grubby hands that make the home untidy, of home work left undone, of remarks in school books, of the numerous PTA meetings and the smiles that warm your heart in spite of the turmoils life throws at you.

To have dreams about myself is an option that my motherhood doesn't allow me. Does yours?


kavita said...

Sujata...your post today is a complete reflection of my thoughts at present..i keep on delaying my joining the practice full time because kids are too small right now....there is a lot of pressure on me to go back to work...leaving kids for anything else...naaaahh.

Pesto Sauce said...

Motherhood is real tough and demanding....and you ready to surrender all for being a mother..I adore you

PURN!MA said...

aah, i rilly dunno what to say here. But I'm sure my mum wud completely agree with u. :)

and btw v. Sorrieee...dint comment on ur earlier posts..did lurk arnd. snaps are amayzing!

ZiLliOnBiG said...

well,you have summed up motherhood. I very well relate, and would like to say the same about fatherhood, which i feel is overly understates. but perhaps its understates bcoz more fathers leave their babies for happiness and dreams(rather its pursuit, as u mention, but i doubt one attains it by leaving aside the above mentioned).Really nice post.TC

ZiLliOnBiG said...

**understated**-typo :))

Anonymous said...

Schools started already? We have another month. I am dying to go back. I miss all those things too. While I was there, I wanted a break from it. But now I want that routine back. My kids are my life. I totally agree. Every other dream and every other desire takes a back seat. Just simple pleasure like friends and blogging...right?

Aparna said...

School started here a month back.My older one has flu. She has to submit 2 projects tomorrow and has to learn a horrible geography chapter. I have to give her dinner and then the meds.
The younger one has a hindi test coming up. I have to pack her bag for school tomorrow and then have to put her to sleep.
When I have time I'll let you know if i am a woman first or a mother.

Kavi said...

Its a very difficult subject to examine. But you have done it with great elan and candour.

And yes, it is difficult to understand how a mother can leave her children for her own life.

But then, all kinds make the world. And i guess every 'different' position taken by individuals will fit right in there.

Sensitive post, that left me pondering for quite a while.

Balachandran V said...

How strange is the world! As a son, later father, who forsook professional advancement for the sake of parent, child respectively, I resonate with you. For eg, I just could not think of being away from my 2-year old son for the sake of promotion! I said nothing doing, I want to be with him as much as possible. I cuddled him, played with him, sang him to sleep. Now, at 17, in spite of the occasional adolescent assertion of identity, I know that he remembers all the love and priorities I gave for him, and loves me for that. My mother was bed-ridden for 4 years with Alzheimer's; I took care of her, which, after even 5 years of her death gives me immense satisfaction and peace.
Sujata, I don't know about the others. Those who wouldn't have children, those who would leave the family for a career, for a love...I don't know. They are just different, I guess... In a deceptively simple way, you bring out fundamental issues of the modern individual.
Remember, the best gift to your children is Happy Memories!

Nazish Rahman said...

Oh thats what makes mothers special u see. They overshadow all relations, no one can take their place.
A kids happiness n success is a mothers success.

eye-in-sty-in said...

wouldn;t u be living ur dream thru ur child after being a mom?
PS: I'm having trouble with getting followup comments in my inbox

Nikki said...

Once before my PG course started, we had an introduction seminar. We all sat in a circle and introduced ourselves and spoke about a few life changing moments.

My advertising professor, who had worked for 17 yrs in Mudra, said she couldn't think of anything about herself. Her life revolved around her children and family.

My mom may say the same. Don't get me wrong but I would like to be a woman first! [Maybe I feel so now...not married and no kids!]

Aw.S.M said...

I m no mom :P...but i have a really sweet loving one who things exactly like u...who puts her kids before anything else...so in that way i know where u r coming from with this.

Having being spoilt silly by my mom..i really dont see how mothers can let love for some1else overshadow their love for theirs kids...dare i say it..its very selfish and not very maternal. I feel for those kids who ve had to go through such a situation and also am glad my mom is exactly the way she is :)

And i m sure toshali and soumya feel the same way about their mom too :)


Babli said...

Becoming mother is very tough.You have to be very caring for your children as their happiness is everything for you.If they are not well then obviously it affects to you.Children are like flowers which is to handled delicately.If you go outside without your children you will definitely miss them and thats what a mother is.Your children should be proud that they got such a nice,sweet,loving and caring mother.

Priya said...

that was a thought provoking post...well-written as usual. :)

BK Chowla said...

Very impressive.It is true that ..they are Woman,mother and daughter at the same time.

Meira said...

I guess its true. But most mothers look for alternative options when the kids grow a little older and don't need to depend on mothers a lot. Many women get over possessive , and don't let the children move out into the world. A lot of women realize that the kids are growing up and will soon learn to fend for themselves.:)

Gymnast said...

I am not a mother yet and so cant really know.

But i wonder what is so wrong if a woman decides to leave her kids in pursuit of the true happiness in her life if the kids are old enough to take care of themseleves.

Totally a different matter with very young kids..

But , apart from being a mother, a woman is a person too and she has every right to happiness.

sujata said...

@Kavita I understand how you feel, work is understandable..but I am talking about women who walk away from their kids for another love.

@Pesto Sauce I am a mother, and I have realised unfortunately that I am not capable of putting myself before my kids, this has made me sad at times, will not deny it.

@Purnima thats perfectly ok..as long as you go through the posts and even if you dont..its ok dear, just look after yourself and stay well.

sujata said...

@ZB i really cannot say, maybe fathers are wired that way..they are the basic providers after all, maybe todays things are changing and women are earning the same or more but the mental set up takes times even generations to change. Fathers are the providers mothers are the nourishers thats how it is..if the father has to go after a dream..its for the family..more money, better living..but if the mother has some dreams that conflict with her role in the family..what then? None of the roles are understated, they are just roles.

@Jyothi take care and come back soon we miss you too

@Aparna its at times like the olden days when a woman would be called as"apu'r maa, or gopu'r ma" I think thats how it is with me..

@Kavi all kinds definitely make the world, I just want to go inside that woman's heart and find out what it beats for

@Bala you have just hit the nail on the head!! This is me totally,am in complete agreement here, nothing pleases me more than the memories I have and I just want my kids to have such beautiful memories, even if it means that I have to let go of lots, its ok.

@NR a kids happiness is a mom's happiness I am sure

@eye-in-sty-in a kid's dream is his own, why should i dream through him?

@Nikki thats a great feeling to be a woman first..even the friend who asked me this question is a woman first, she goes on vacations leaving her kids with friends, she globe trots and says that they will do it on their own someday. I cannot find fault with her justification, shes a great human being and a lovely friend..but I cant be like that

@Aw.S.M wow I actually thought you were a mom..thanks for letting me know you are not!! WEhens your next post coming up? its been ages, I read a post from you.

@Babli thanks dear

@Priya thanks

@BK Chowla thank you

@Meira the line between indulgence and clinging is very fine in motherhood, we have to be very alert to realise which phase the kids are in, what was indulgence and hugs before can suddenly become embarrasing..so you are letting go at every stage..but I was not talking about carrers..thats a part of life..I was talking about personal dreams, about walking away for a new life..leaving the kids behind

@Gymnast.. i will say the same I said to Meira just now..i think your comments are similar.

SJ said...

Well written, but I don't know what to say! I would have hated it if my mom had done something like that- leaving for love :P I am what I am only because of her!

JD said...

a woman is a woman till she bears a child, a mother is a mother all her life..
nice post

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

Great post, Sujata!! Thankfully, I've never been asked to pick between womanhood, marriage, and motherhood. In my life they've become inseparable...kinda like molding different colors of play-doh or clay together. For me it's impossible to pull the colors apart to judge their separate value. Some days the balance of time swings more to one area than another, but they work together to make up me as an individual.

On the dreams question, I suppose it would depend on what we each mean by dream. If dream means we leave our children to pursue a completely separate (& selfish) life, nope. My life totally includes my children's needs. Simultaneously, I want my children to know that I value myself enough to continue to be a voice in my community and in the world AS LONG AS I take my family's needs into consideration, first. I can be a better mother when I acknowledge my value in BOTH the home and the world at large. Part of that comes from my belief that my responsibilities (and obligations) don't end with my own family.

I hope all of this makes sense...remember, I'm juggling children. LOL!

Again, I'm so glad you're back!!

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Vow it’s great, the new look.

“Maybe its not correct, maybe even not completely normal, maybe I am too involved…”

If you’re an ascetic trying to assume detachment it would have been correct. But for a mom there’s no such thing as too much involvement, at least I don’t think so.

Children need to be loved intensely and unconditionally, that’s the only way we can make the world a better place. I don’t think that any child who is fortunate to have been showered with affection indulge in anything that harms others.

Love and education can make them better people in a better world.

I felt an under current of sadness in this piece, may be misreading from my part.

Fantastic writing as usual, all the best.

The Survivor said...

I cannot answer that :)

I do realize that mothers sometimes have hard choices to make something their children wont as they take her granted for most of the time for what she does.

I would say don't stop dreaming, after all there comes a time when we also get an opportunity to fulfill it

sujata said...

@SJ I feel lucky to be part of a generation when moms were mainly moms and completely devoted to us.

@JD so true, I agree

@Shaye I really like the way you post your comments. The detailed work removes cobwebs and gives me a clearer and better view of my own thoughts.

@Arun maybe you didnt read wrong.

Suree said...

thoughts of a mother exposed on ur post...

nice one...

Deeps said...

What a wonderful post,Sujata

"I didn't have to think at all, I am confidently a mother first, the last two have no fixed place value I guess, they depend on the mood and the circumstances."...totally agree.

As for those women who leave their children for love,I really dont know what to say her,Sujata.Like you said,it is happening,hence very much possible.But why they do it,totally clueless.Maybe their priorities are different.

R. Ramesh said...

thanksssss su....

sujata said...

Thanks @Suree

Thanks @Deeps am clueless too

@Ramesh no comments?

numerounity said...

Quite a nostalgic post, it reminded me of my cysling adventures...Used to be fun and dangerous too!

Isn’t cycling one of the best joys in the world? Esp if you are cycling on a rich country road,in or after a rain shower?

Sumandebray said...

You love your children because..

You gave their birth?

They are the symbol of your relationship with another person?

You are a loving person and you have grown an attachment because of togetherness (like foster families)?

You can see your own childhood in them?
I guess these are a few questions whose answer determines the mother child relationship in a normal individual. There surely are exceptions in overtly ambitious or selfish individuals...

Indrani said...

When I see others balancing home and office so well, I can't understand why I didn't try. No regrets, but then I think I could have.