Seven years back, I had a fairly positive view of my ability to multitask, to make decisions, to toil, to ace it all; and then, I became a mother. I don't even have the memory of the first 7 days; then once the haze lifted, and the reality of a little being anchoring on me for life itself dawned. I no longer was the boss of my life. The seconds became shorter or the ask longer, I still can't say. But suddenly I couldn't handle more than a project (read the baby) at a time, couldn't make a sure-footed decision and tired out just from a trip to the kitchen. Months passed, I learnt quicker than I imagined, to toe the line the little one drew. Just when we had set a rhythm, the 12 weeks were over and I found myself back with the faces I knew so well, all so happy for me and to have me back. My tired eyes and slow walk were received with knowing nods and soft assurances of "things only get brighter".
Always late guilt
Today I pride myself on just how I managed the work and the feed breaks, remembering to eat in between (thank heavens breathing is automatic!). Back then, the first word into a room was not a greeting, but 'sorry'. I was just never on time even if I had not allowed myself the snooze. For two years this went on. Rising up the little one early in the morning, hugging away a separation melt-down or attending to a simple 'I want mumma", with one anxious eye on the watch to "Beta! please rush, mommy can't be late again", I despaired thinking of those glances when I would enter the workplace all hassled, unkempt and head sinking with the 'always late guilt', till I taught myself to prioritize time above all. I realized that when I tied myself to schedules, life ran like clockwork. It pushed the little one to be more independent and me less procrastinating. (This ensured that when the second one came, I was absolutely in control and a happier person to be with).
The most humbling lesson of motherhood was learning that it is alright to seek HELP. I truly understood the meaning of, "It takes a village to raise a child".
"I can't join a start-up as much as I want to", "I can't travel, how will he sleep without me", "I can't expect the grandparents to run after them at this age"; I had tied myself in so many misplaced beliefs.
I spoke up, I sought help and I was amazed at how eagerly the father, the grandparents, the friends, the siblings walked into the rink. It made the little one more social, more playful and me more relaxed.