This is a picture of the four of us on our flight back home from Seattle
A friend and I were exchanging texts the other day figuring out the logistics to meet up and at the end of our conversation she asked me – So, how is motherhood. I paused and thought hard on what to say over a text. As I have written earlier, to me it’s a beautiful collage of a million different emotions & experiences. However as I pause today, almost 34 months after I became a mom the first time and 2 months after I became a mom the second time, my one word on how is motherhood is that it’s beautiful, period. If I had to write a line, I’d say it’s beautiful, meaningful, rewarding, exhausting and above all a great spiritual journey that has helped me understand life grow and find joys in a myriad number of ways…
As a response to her question, I thought I’d pen down what motherhood feels right now. I feel the fog is lifting slightly as I am able to sleep a few more hours and enjoy motherhood even more than I did the first few weeks.
The hardest part initially was sharing my mommy time with 2 children and often the little munchkin got his needs met way ahead of the older one. If they both started crying at the same time and it was just me around, then the younger one got milk first. This is getting easier as I am learning how to navigate and perhaps even minimize both howling for mom at the same time. Despite the exhaustion and the frustration in those moments, I also recognize what a privilege and honor it is to be loved and needed so deeply by your young children. I know there will be a day when they’d want to spend the whole day(s) without me and all I’d want is a simple hug and will miss these beautiful moments.
Unlike what I would have expected, I don’t mind spending the whole day with a little baby and not have any adult conversations until I go to day care to pick up the older one. I greatly enjoy our quiet time together. I appreciate having so much white space in my life right now. I have gotten time to think, reflect and spend a lot of time alone. Some days are easier and I get a lot more time to myself and can go for a walk, exercise or write this blog and there are others where lunch doesn’t happen until 2:00 pm!! I also really enjoy not being on the “clock”, having very few deadlines in my life and not thinking much about what I have accomplished in a given day. Some days, I can’t wait for my husband to come home so I can go and shower peacefully or get some fresh air outside or take a 10 minute nap. Then there are other nights when I can and have dinner with a friend. Overall, I have an increased sense of respect for mothers (and fathers) who stay home all day and take care of their kids. I am enjoying doing this for a few months while I am on maternity leave but couldn’t spend 7 days a week being a full-time mom to two little kids…
During these few months off from work, there have been lots of beautiful memories that we have made together as a family. My favorite time is when all four of us are in our bed either at night before the baby goes into his bassinet or in the morning when we are all cuddled up together. We have taken several walks in the double stroller, gone on a plane ride to Seattle, made trips to farms, parks, and museums. Has everything been perfect, no far from it – When we got into the plane, both the kids started crying at the top of their voice and everyone started looking at us. Sumit and I looked at each other took a deep breath and smiled at each other. This is what often helps us get through those tough moments.
One big difference with two kids (over one) is that given their needs are fairly different; an automatic break from parenting is hard. I have to prioritize it and often schedule or plan for it. Yes, there are Sunday afternoons when all four of us have napped together but that doesn’t happen often:-) This means that self-care is an even bigger priority for me. I am willing to let the toys be all over the floor but exercise is more important!!
Most importantly, I have gratitude for all the little and not so little things in my life. And this joy of gratitude also has brought sadness around the injustice in the world in so many ways. I have been asking a lot of “why do some people go through suffering x or y” lately. I still don’t have answers. With this abundance also comes fear of losing what I have and that not every time in my life will be so rich and joyful. I guess I will come back to my breath, to this canvas, to process when life does throw more curveballs…
For now, I am off to calming down a baby who wants to nap.
PS – I wrote this post a few weeks back, but couldn’t get to editing and publishing until today, the little one will be 3 months tomorrow!!!