I am not a natural mother. I was quite disgusted by the whole birthing process and as everyone told me, I never felt a rush of emotions come to me when my baby was placed on my chest. I actually wanted to tell everyone to take away the baby and please clean her and wrap her and then give her to me but I did not have the energy to do so. After what seemed like hours, she was taken away from my chest. I remember throwing up after delivery because it was so disgusting. I wondered, how in hell will I be a parent to her?? How can I protect her if I don’t feel like a mother? I thought I was not human. This is not what I saw in movies, this is not what everyone told me would happen. At that moment, I decided I will never do this again in my life. 

As I expected I did not like being a mother. I did all I was supposed to do, I breastfed her, had sleepless nights, gave her baths, started on solids when she was 5 months old and did everything as a mother. But, I was doing it because I was expected to do so and not because I wanted to do it. I played with her, I talked to her, I made her smile and laugh, got scared when she was sick, and cried with her when I did not know for what reason she was crying. Somewhere in between, I started loving her. The moment I understood that, is when she got lost in a very busy mall in Singapore when she was 1.5 yrs old. I couldn’t find her for 10 minutes and each minute felt like years in my life. It is at that exact moment I understood that I can’t live without her, that she is not my dependant but I am her dependant. 

4.5 years after her birth, I went through the same emotions of disgust again. This time I got a boy and this time I knew that I am a mother already and I will start loving this baby sometime later if not now. I still feel I am not a good mother. I have anxiety issues. There are days when I want a break from my kids, there are days when I don’t want to take care of them, give them food, give them baths, talk to them, play with them, check their homework, teach them, drop them at classes. Some mothers make it seem so natural, on top of everything, seem to know their kids in and out. Hats off to them. But I don’t feel guilty saying that I struggle every day, I struggle to be a mother and big hugs to mothers like me. 

  • Parvathy Chandran

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