Many have asked me about the title of my blog. So I thought I will share with all of you, where my inspiration came from.
For those of you who have read my notes on mothering, will know that the one aspect of mothering I have consistently found most difficult is giving my children the freedom of choice, empowering them to charter their life in their own way but rise up and beyond the expectations of their parents. I think what made it even more difficult for me (as those who know me will vouch for I am sure 🙂 ), that I myself am a strong, opinionated and determined personality. Early on as a mother I realized that having a strong mother was not always good for the children, as it is quite easy for children to get cowed and bent to a strong will at an early age and lose any iota of personality that could have flowered for themselves in this process. And by the time the strong mother realizes this fact, it is too late to change it. Such children are then always attached to the umbilical cord of their mothers. Like all mothers, I too love my children more than life itself and think the sun and the moon rises and shines with them. But if there is one thing I wanted to achieve for my children, it was for them to be free of the (more in the Indian context I am thinking) burden of thinking that they “owe” their parents. I truly want my children to be like arrows that I shoot from by body bow and the true test of my nurturing will be how far they can go above and beyond my own expectations for them!
Aadit my son was a soft, sensitive and very pliable little boy as an infant. When he was put into my arms immediately after delivery, he just curled up in my arms and slept. I remember I was so worried about him always as he almost never cried for a feed. I waited impatiently for his Terrible Twos to happen and it did not! People who met him (my friends, our social circle – especially Indian, as also his educators) labeled him ‘shy’. I knew that Aadit was not ‘shy’ and that it was the sensitive side of his personality that was showing up. He could not literally kill an ant. For those who have met and know Aadit today, will surely be shaking their heads in disbelief at this description of a toddler Aadit. To date if he sees a cockroach or an insect he will run from it or pick up gumption and very gently lift the poor creature and let him out of the window. I loved this aspect of him. Yet I was very conscious that if I was over zealous about keeping him sensitive and not allow his personality to flower, he could very easily be labeled a wimp (I understood this term as ‘a pliable impressionable personality with no opinions of his own & always needing a strong person to fight for his rights / take care of him). I have seen many such children and did not want this for my son. And in this regard I struck lucky. Aadit foundation year educators were fabulous teachers and within two years of starting formal schooling, Aadit was a self-confident and a highly communicative personality in the making. Those first two years of my son’s schooling, I learnt a lot about how to nurture that intrinsic sensitivity and yet make a strong personality. However, this is material for a separate blog, so I shall not elaborate here.
My daughter (as I have mentioned before) was born with an opinion. From the scowl on her face when she was first put in my arms after the doctor delivered her, she appeared to be already scolding me about not feeding her immediately, as could I not hear her crying for it? She was demanding, clear about what she wanted and what she thought of the world from day one. With her, my personality came into its own, as here was a miniature me, confronting me! Thus nurturing Deeva I learned to be flexible, have patience, be subtle (if you were a Punjabi you would know how difficult this is for me) :), have empathy (and how) and my skill of cajoling and persuasion is unbeatable, if I might say so myself 🙂 🙂
Okay, by now you are surely thinking … er where is this going? I thought you were going to tell us about the title?
And yes I am. Due to all of the above and the fact that it was very easy for my children to drive me to insanity with their continuous questioning of every single thing I asked them to do and be, when I was at the end of my tether, I would say “you will do it coz I am your mother!” Meaning that’s it, enough of questioning … do it, or else :). I would shamelessly pull rank. Of course much of this was pure hot air and bluff and my strong and singularly opinionated children realized this very well. But I have to say, they played along very well more times than not. Nevertheless, it has become a standing joke in the family. When I get that way, all puffed and red in the face, then before I can say it, my children will chorus “ya ya ya we know you are going to say “coz I am your mother!”
Thus as I did not want my notes on mothering to come across as preachy, lecturing, hectoring, boring … you know, you get the drift, I chose a title poking fun at myself. One that will remind me to chill out a bit as well 🙂 🙂 🙂
Before I end this piece I have to apologize to my son; I know he will chastise me severely for putting so many smilies on this blog. But I cannot help it, I am smiling so much as I write this piece and I want to communicate that.