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PS – A big thank you to my dear friend Pooja who introduced me to this beautiful poem by Khalil Gibran and I am grateful to have a mom who truly emodies what this poem means

 

 

I have always struggled to write about my relationship with the people closest to me – my parents, husband, son and my closest friends. Not sure if it’s that deep vulnerability that is often needed to write about people I love the most, fear of something or trying to respect other people’s privacy but it always takes a lot more courage to write about my relationships with others than my relationship with myself…

However, for the last few days, I have been mustering the courage to write about what I am most grateful for in my relationship with my mother and it’s this – space & acceptance for who I am.

I clearly recollect when she came to stay with me after my son was born and she truly, gracefully and beautifully held space for my love, anger, fears, joy, insecurity, hunger (a breastfeeding baby!) without her judgment, opinion or the plethora of advice (that a new mom often receives sometimes even when you don’t need it). She could feel my pain and my needs even before I’d say it and ask me how she could best support me if she wasn’t sure what I needed. One day I was genuinely curious why I wasn’t getting a barrage of advice and I actually asked her what was going on and she said – I don’t need to keep telling you what to do all the time. When you need my opinion, you can ask and I’ll give you mine but as a mother you have most of the information you need and you often will know what you and your child need and I want you to listen to that voice instead of mine. You will make mistakes and will be imperfect in your parenting and that’s what will make you a good parent. And it is precisely because of this space and acceptance why she is always the first person (or maybe the second after my husband, sorry mom!) to hear about all the big and small details in my life and is the person whose advice and opinion I often most value over everything else because I know I am loved even when I disagree. I am loved even when our views are different and we can respectfully call each other out when either of us notices judgment or the unconscious attempt to change who we are in a way that’s not supporting either of our growth as human beings.

She has also been my biggest strength as I have navigated with a tough inner critic, my restlessness and confusion with my inner world, my career and my desire to make a positive contribution in the world over the last few years. She has always taught me that I’ll find my voice, I’ll find my path and I need to embrace the journey I am on. She’d spend hours and hours listening to my confusions, dilemmas and my pain of not knowing, my aggression of wanting to have an answer right now and my lack of patience when I couldn’t be kind to myself at many, many tough moments the most recent being postpartum anxiety…

Our lives are very different today and we live thousands of miles apart yet what makes my relationship sacred is knowing that I can make a mistake, I can cry over the simplest struggle, I may not have the answers and I may not be following her plan that she may have had for her adult daughter at every moment yet I can pick up the phone, giver her a call, speak my heart and know that there will always be a place for me, a very special place for me & my imperfections.

Thank you mom for always being my rock. I miss you and I wish I could hold you tight right at this very moment and you could wipe the tears that are trickling down my cheeks as I write this post. My world is truly richer because I am your daughter…

Happy Mother’s Day!

Also, wishing all the lovely mothers, grandmothers and caregivers reading this blog.

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  1. Pooja Agrawal says:

    Love the post Neha. You said it ! We need to accept our kids for who they are and not what we want them to be.

    Lovely reminder .

    • Neha Mandhani says:

      Thanks Pooja! Yes, even though I may not realize it, my own fears, ego and insecurities can play into my parenting and paying attention is often the first step. Thanks for being my wonderful parenting partner in crime:-)

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