Is there anything in my life I am more passionate about, or more involved in, apart from parenting? - No!
I have studied Child Development, and I remember a fervent wish being kindled in me, while studying Erikson, for a child of my own to watch and develop. Of course, at that time I was a believer in 'quality time' vs. 'quantity time', and, also, that 'mothering' was a role that could be assumed by anybody who had an interest and stake in the development of the child. So, I was just as keen on my career in marketing. Does that sound like I was interested in part-time mothering? Or mothering as a hobby? Maybe that was the kind of idea I had. Could I have been more mistaken?!
Anyway, I soon got married. While it was almost mandatory amongst my peers to wait for at least two years after marriage to have children, and meanwhile have a life and consolidate their careers, what did yours truly do? Get pregnant, of course. Almost immediately! I reveled in the changes in my body. But becoming a mother was not as hunky-dory as my textbooks led me to believe. For one, although I had studied about developmental tasks and milestones and what could be done to help and accelerate, there was nothing about caring for oneself, the mother. So as I threw myself into the world of mobiles and flashcards, I started believing that all quantity time should be quality time! I saw myself as a 'facilitator'. As if the facilitator is an automaton, without developmental needs of her own. Sadly, circumstances too didn't support my career. (Sad only on hindsight though - at that time I was blissfully wrapped up in my firstborn!)
All those energies and ambitions became focused on my children. And I came to, then, think of myself as a 'professional mother', or my children's 'manager'. How deluded can one get?! There I was being managed and manipulated by a pair of experts from day one. "Ammaa'" goes a whine. "Pl-ea-se! Pretty Ple-a-se" goes a wheedling tone. Even if just the 'please' won't get me, the 'pretty please' surely will! Always been susceptible to flattery. A fact that my children caught on to, almost from the day they could talk. They could teach their father a thing or two - he hasn't caught on to it after twelve years of marriage..!
I still am their facilitator, though I facilitate for myself first. "No, Amma's going to the hairdresser, and then out to dinner tonight." "Okay, okay, you can come too. But only if you promise to behave yourselves." Is it possible? What's that about hope and human breast? Oh yes - hope springs eternal in human breast!
"Eh? What did you say? Sucker? Who me? I don't think so... I don't think I'd have done it differently' W-e-ll, maybe, a bit.." But honestly, for the most part I've enjoyed it. The past decade has passed by in a flash of nappies, feeding times and sleepless nights. But it has done me a lot of good - I've changed from being a SYT (Selfish young thing) to a person with an outward focus. Perhaps the pendulum had swung too far the other way. But slowly, there is a semblance of balance now