Monday, June 06, 2011

Its like being on a long road trip...

...that is my experience of parenthood.

I find it hard to privilege motherhood over parenthood. I really am not so sure that my experience is very different or more engaged than that of the father of my child. Apart from the initial physical attachment with the child, I really dont think that the tug in my heart is any different from the tug in the father's heart and guts.

I have thought this over a lot. My notion of feminism has pushed me to think of this relationship with my child as being defined by my philosophy and ideology rather than by gender. I am still forming my thoughts on this though.

Dipali has tagged me to list out five things I have learnt from motherhood...parenthood.

1. I have learnt to be fluid. I spent most of my adult life trying to define myself. Parenthood made me expand every notion I had formed of myself and that was liberating.

2. I have learnt to be confident of the choices I am making as a parent.It is easier to enjoy ones choices rather than fret over the fact that it might be the wrong choice. Nothing can go so wrong that it cant be rectified.

3.I have learnt to eschew guilt. Really.
Guilt is supposed to be a parent's shadow. I, no actually we,george and me, as a team have made decisions very consciously and decided to keep gauging if these choices are working for us and for our child. If they are not, change, modify, what the hell will guilt do. We have never felt restricted by or compelled by our choices. We are constantly forming, and reforming. And we do what feels correct for us. It is of no concern to us that others might think differently.

4.I have learnt to enjoy the fact that life is not predictable, settled, or in my control. It is okay. I can still manage, and do all the things I really want to do.Or not.

5.I have learnt the thrill and the dangers of being an all powerful influence over a little being that is forming a sense of herself and of the world in which she lives. I like that it makes me more mindful, more reflexive, more critical. I like that she has begun to be more mindful, more critical of us. (it makes for very tiring argumentative days, but hardly any tantrums or fights)

Banno, Maid in Malaysia, Aneela I'd love to read what you have to say about this whole motherhood trip.


Space Bar said...

I need to learn to do away with 3 also.

Banno said...

You are doing really well if you've managed to do away with guilt, which in my opinion, seems to be the bane of parenthood. And I love the tiring argumentative days, as opposed to fights and tantrums.

I won't promise to do the tag right away, am exhausted right now with some demands of parenthood :) but will think about it.

SUR NOTES said...

disclaimer: this list is as fluid as me. the list of five could morph into a harried mopey one on a bad day.

SUR NOTES said...

banno: do it whenever. and space bar, wanted to tag you, but on your literary blog did not want a post that would make naipaul smirk and say, i knew a woman wrote this.

Choxbox said...

Lovely :)

sraikh said...

Loved the list. Guilt is everyone's shadow. But I do wonder if the father of my child(ren) feels the guilt. I dont think they do. For eg, I completely messed the timing of an event and child arrived late 1 hour. And to him, its not a big me..Its OMG I feel so bad, child missed out, blah blah

How come no one has tagged me! Am going to do this even though I am not tagged! Hrrmmp!!

dipali said...

Why do you think I tagged you-for your absolutely original take on parenthood!

Loved your post, and especially loved your comfort levels with Life!

SUR NOTES said...

sraikh: consider yourself tagged.
dipali, choxbox: thanks.