Motherhood changed me. Accept it.

Much has been written about the transformative experience that motherhood is. The change is both internal and external - from how we feel to what we look like. The archives of this blog have many examples of such confessions and outbursts. Some have been made in reflection, others in utter frustration. But what about the social transformation that a mother goes through, or rather, is put through?

Motherhood made me a different person. Accept me as I am.

Let me explain. For me, becoming a mother coincided with settling away from home in a new country. As my life changed completely (and beautifully), I realised that I just could not be the friend I was earlier. I couldn't keep up with what everyone was doing, or ring them up just like that. Anyone who has spent time with a newborn knows how the days converge into each other until you don't know whether it's dawn or dusk! It was not about the physical distance, but a mental gulf that was forming between me and the people who were friends and acquaintances. I began to feel like I was inhabiting another planet, one with just me and my baby. The rest of the world was elsewhere.

I understand now that most of my friends simply couldn't relate to the parenting experience because they didn't know what it was like. It's one of those things that you simply cannot explain to someone in words. Over time, I realised that I was expected to be what people knew me as earlier - but here's the realisation I came to: I couldn't be that person anymore. The carefree days were gone. I had so much to think about, so much to worry about. There was no way I could answer every phone call, or remember every birthday, or attend every social event. More than not being able to, I didn't want to. I didn't want to take my eyes away from Little Dude's smiles, and I just wanted to hold him close.

 I just wanted to scream out loud: This is the new me, so just accept it! I don't want to apologise for giving up my past life, because the bottom line is that I am happy. It may not be somebody else's idea of happy, but it defines me. I don't think I have made any sacrifices by not going back to work or giving up some things I used to do (such as watch movies at the cinema). I have simply made a choice of what kind of person I want to be now that I'm a mother. 

To an extent, I think every new mother goes through this process of fracturing and creating social bonds. Why are mothers expected to just give birth and then move on with their lives - looking fantastic and getting back to whatever they were doing? I respect all working moms, but I also know that it's doubly hard on them to focus on their career and take care of their kids.

What I'm trying to say is that moms shouldn't be made to feel that they have to be perfect in every way. We have a right to make the choices we want, change our lifestyles, or give up on a few things for the sake of our children, or simply because we can't keep up.

Parenting is hard as it is, so expecting mothers to live up to an exaggerated social life is just not acceptable. I know there are a few supermoms who manage to do everything, but even they rely on some help. But for the rest of us, even getting out of the house on schedule is a big task. Every little thing that a mother does, be it the laundry or cooking, goes a long way in making a happy family. So, if all I have to talk about is my toddler's sleep or eating habits, it's because right now that's most important thing to me. That's me as am I am now.

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