Monday, 29 February 2016

Go, Fly Son

Few days ago I was discussing with my friend that parenting has become so unfair now. We, parents, make our babies, nurture them, raise them and one day they leave us either for higher studies or for pursuing their careers, or they want to settle down somewhere else. In fact, for parents of a girl child, life has always been mean. With society's convention, girls leave their parents after certain time, no matter how hard this departure is. But soon we realized that it's a natural process. Be it animals, birds or any other creature of the earth, we all are designed to follow this process. And example can be seen around us only. Let me tell you one that inspired me and made me stronger for coming days of my parenthood. 

Delhi is full of pigeons and even the place, where my 2 rooms flat is , is also full of pigeons. You can see them flying around buildings and sitting over sun shades. They keep on visiting balconies of different buildings and many times they make their nests in any of them. People are now getting annoyed of them. These birds not only visit houses untimely but also make mess there. They bring mud, twigs, leaves and sticks for making their nests. Being not so mannered , they can shit anywhere and anytime. People even break their nests intentionally and indifferently. I must admit that I'm an nature admirer and I love birds, butterflies and bugs, but after living with hundreds of pigeons for more than 3 years. I'm also sick of them.

2 Years ago (when I first came to know about my pregnancy), a pigeon built her nest in my balcony. We both, the pigeon and me, were in same situation, we were expecting. As I was having a poppy seed sized baby inside me, my husband decided to let the 'mother bird' be in our balcony until she left by herself. About a month later, I saw two tiny beaks poking out of the nest. I watched the mother feed the babies. All day the mother bird was back and forth to the nest with food for her babies. I watched those two yellowish birds get bigger. Soon, they stretched their wings, flapping, and I knew what was coming. One day, the nest was empty. I looked out into my balcony and saw little ones dashing between walls, zipping high and low. I couldn't find mother bird around. May be she had left wishing her nearly grown-up babies good luck. 
It was emotional, exciting and inspiring to see baby birds fly. I kept telling myself that I wasn't watching the empty nest. I was witnessing a natural process. In their sweet chirping, I could understand them saying "I'm flying! I'm flying! I'm flying!". It's sad yet beautiful reality of parenthood that we raise our kids with the possibility of getting separated from them. Girls get married and settle in a new family. Boys leave for higher studies and may sometimes decide to settle in a new and bigger city/town ( or even in a new country). We, parents, should actually let them go, independent and self sufficient.It's a natural process that we should allow to happen. After experiencing the bird's life closely, I admitted that this separation can happen to me as well. And I need to stretch my heart for that. But when I ask myself, "What is the best gift I can give to my son for the future?" I have just one answer: I say, "Go! Fly SON!"

I'm first a MOTHER

My US clients visited India last month. And for getting along with the whole India team they agreed to go for a team 'Dinner'. I have emphasized the word dinner because it was the best choice for everyone in team except me. I informed my manager that I wouldn't be able to join honorable clients for dinner. With surprise, he started questing me why, how, really? I explained him that I'm a mother of 16 months old baby and I don’t want my son to wait for me until it's something unavoidable. So I skipped that dinner party and I reached home timely for my son. Next day when I faced my clients for a meeting, one of them, Ashish, asked me why I was not there in dinner party. I told him that I am first a mother, then wife and then a software person. So my greatest priority now is my son and I don't want to miss any chance of being with my son after office time. Ashish smiled and said "that's awesome". Perhaps he understood what I wanted to convey.

As what famous singer Adele said few days back that motherhood has give her the purpose of life. I also think that after becoming mother I got a new aim for lifetime "To be the best mother for my son". Having my son was such a life altering experience. In-spite of ups and downs, highs and lows I love being a mother. And I'm trying my best to be good in it. This doesn’t mean I don't make my share of mistakes. But I learn from them and move ahead. Best part of motherhood, I feel is, hugs, kisses, giggles and grins which become part of a mother’s life. Motherhood is about making joy even while experiencing the hardest trials of life. With rarely any dull time, I find more happiness in mothering my son than enjoying with my office mates. I must say being a working person, my life is hectic with schedules, office deadlines, diapers, baby food and managing home. But there are many other things which make me feel proud in being a mother. I love that at the age of 30 I can do world's silliest act just for making my son happy. I can jump and dance, act like a cat/dog/monkey, observe ants and birds and behave like a toddler. I feel young and old at the same time. Motherhood has given me a chance to revisit this world through my son's eyes as his life is full of new things, new words, new sounds and new understanding.

Many working ladies also say that their role as a mother has kept them from career growth. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has written about it through her book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead." She explained in the book that women sometimes have to make choices between a successful career and motherhood, when in reality both are attainable if women face the challenges ahead. So right now, when my tot needs me most, it's only a job for me rather than an ambitious career. And it’s awesome that I got refresh button clicked for my life. My team mates often get confuse in taking my name ‘Shipra’ because of another team mate ‘Shikha’. Although I think both the names are quite different but yes they get confuse in calling shipra or shikha. That's why I have told my team mates "Call me Mumma if you forget my name :)" I can get it crystal clear.