Long before I actually became a mother, I knew I would not go back to work once I did. Not within the stipulated maternity leave time atleast. I knew this because I was sure I would be unable to leave my child at home with anyone else, I so needed to be there at all times. I am paranoid, and need to be in control as a mother, so handing my child over to someone else, just would not work for me. And I personally believe, no one can replace the mother. Once I became a mother, such thoughts only grew stronger, and I wondered, if I would ever be able to let go and do my own thing again.
What I never understood was that the BB will grow up and need less of me in terms of quantity of time spent and more in terms of quality time. (I am incredibly slow at times.) So I wondered how I would manage being at home all times, because I knew I was not motivated enough to make it last a lifetime. I marvel at the women who do it. The ones who stay back and take care of home and family of their own free will. Because this is the one place, where one needs tremendous self motivation. There are no obvious perks, no raises, no benefits, nothing. The only thing to keep one going is their own want to do so, and the knowledge that they are giving something very special to their family. I am extremely impressed by the women who can do this. Being a stay at home mother, means less money, more work (yes there is more to do at home, than at work), less adult interaction, a lot of self discipline, and over all just a lot of self sacrifice. And very few women actually have it in them to do it without holding any grudges or getting absolutely frustrated. And here I have completely gone on a tangent to what I really want to say here.
Coming back to my initial line of thought, I was quite an attached to the baby kind of mother, when the BB was little, still am in a lot of ways, but I can see that the need to constantly being together is indeed gradually reducing. No, this does not mean I can just leave the BB with a neighbour and head out to the spa, quite yet, but I know I will get there in a couple of years, atleast, I see the hope now. I know I need to get out, and work, do something self satisfying to stay sane. I cannot stay at home forever, I am incapable of that kind of dedication, and it would lead me to get supremely frustrated, which is not a desirable state of being. It is not happening immediately, and I know that I will not be able to let go right now either, but I know it will happen in the future.
And I just marvel at how I have changed in my attitude as a mother, without having even realised it. I was such a paranoid crazy new mother the first few months, that the thoughts of going to work would have actually driven me crazy back in those days, and now as the BB is growing, getting more physically independent each day, I understand that his needs are changing, his need for me is not the constant physical presence, but more in terms of what he learns from me, and how that helps him interpret the world. Two years back, I could not even have imagined this as possible. And yet, here I am today, knowing that things are changing and will keep changing in the mother-son relationship I share with the BB.
Its fun, fun to know that there are no constants here, except for my love, even the protectiveness will over the years diminish, because he will step out into the world on his own, learn and explore, and I will have to let go, for him to learn, and that will be indeed the real test of what he has actually learnt from all that I teach him, that is when it will show whether the core values that I wish to impart does really hold or not. It is scary, and yet challenging, because I always need to be prepared, think ahead, and be prepared for the next step. So far it looks quite good, but I know the real tests of strength and capability lay in the years ahead, beyond the breastfeeding and lulling to sleep each night.