How do I feel when you tell me that you are pregnant? There are a flurry of emotions that come to me all at once. There’s envy followed by relief and then realization gives a hard blow. It dawns upon me that life as we knew it is on the brink of changing completely. That friendship will finally have to take a secondary position and family will become your first priority. The momentary feeling of envy that sets in a ripe n ready female body is washed over by relief that my life doesn’t have to make some serious adjustments just yet. I can still enjoy a glass of wine. And the occasional smoke. And the terrifying yet saving grace of high heels. I don’t have to deal with jelly belly or jiggly thighs that are not the result of gastronomic indulgences but are reminders of ugly words like ‘morning-sickness’ and swollen feet.
I have often been told by those expecting or on the verge of it , ‘you’re never ready until you really have a baby in your hand’. It makes for a good argument but am i ready to take that lousy chance that i might not change my opinion about the tediousness of motherhood even after i’m a mother? Lets face it. Motherhood is serious. And challenging. As i see it right now, it’s self inflicted pain. And i know for a fact that its not every body’s cup-a-tea.
Yes, perhaps the joy of a baby will be much more than the discomfort of the’slight’compromises, as i am assured by suddenly righteous, motherly women. But i am scared that i might not be selfless enough or careful enough to be a mother. And with a kid, there’s no turning back. Is it true that every woman has been inherently gifted with the ability of being the best mother to her child? How will i know what food or which advice is right for my child? How will i know if i am pushing the child too much just for the sake of my dreams for him/her? How can i stop them from making the mistakes that i’ve been making or unlearning the fools that i have been suffering?
I refuse to believe that pregnancy instantly transforms you into a flawless angel from a fallacious human being. I shudder with unexplained yawns when i think of all the sleepless nights that i will have to face an incomprehensibly small, bawling human being who is depending on you to satisfy him without having any means of communicating what he really wants! And the millions of bucks that will be spent on nurturing a person who you are inevitably going to be disappointed with!
Whoever paired the words ‘joy’and ‘motherhood’ must have only seen a mother when her baby is asleep. Yeah, sure i will smile when the baby smiles and cry when the baby walks for the first time or utters her first word, but i know that momentary pleasure is going to be followed by a chaotic house and constant nagging for attention.
And then there are the constant competitions of ‘Best Dressed Kid’ or ‘Most Gifted Child’ or ‘Most Brands on a Kid’ that i will be unwillingly dragged in. Even though Gucci and Prada were never my idea of salvation, i will be expected to glam up my unaware baby with designer clothing (and hope that the baby does not poop/vomit all over it) if i am to be called a ‘hands-on’mother. I will be faced with gasps and all sorts of dramatic expressions if i decide not to enroll my child in a million extra curricular activities.
And of course, my child will have to go to one of the ‘branded’schools to stand a chance at being friends with the ‘who’s who’ of the little-people’s universe! I will be expected to do all this for a thankless child who is bound to hate me as she grows up. Inevitably, i will live with the constant guilt of not having done enough for my child and would have lost my golden years towards the upbringing of a subtly similar version of me. So, how do i feel when you tell me you’re pregnant? I feel like telling my husband to sleep on the couch for the rest of the month!