Mom visited me recently and as usual we sat for hours together talking about nothing and everything. While I struggle to juggle between the needs of a grown kid and an infant, the foremost thought that kept going on in my mind was – How did my Mom bring up three children all born within a span of 4 years? And along with that clean the house, cook meals, tend to an ageing mother in law, stitch, sew and even socialize. She is not gifted with any super power and we, of course, were not super behaved kids. Then how??? How could she, and perhaps all Moms of that time, achieve this miracle, while I struggle with it daily, even though I have half the responsibilities she had. In addition, I have ten times more technology and environmental support systems in place to help me bring up my kids.
When I finally asked her, she just looked at me with a confused look (as if wondering – why was I asking such a silly question) and said “Pata nahin, bas kar liya”. (Don’t know how we did it, but we just did). I, who was look for some silver bullet answers to solve my problems, did not appreciate this response. There must be something that moms of that age did, that I was not getting right. Was it something they ate, or something they wore or something they fed the children? I really had to find the answer behind the miracle.
After more persistent probing, she finally admitted that life was tough for them too, but they didn’t have time to worry about it. Perhaps even more important, they didn’t have a choice but to take on all the responsibilities. That made me think that the reason I considered my life difficult was because I had the luxury of time to think about it. More so, I had a string of friends and relatives, ready to pamper me and listen to my woes. This constant attention actually put me in the sympathy zone and encouraged me to cry about my life all the more.
One simple solution, therefore, to make life easy would be to make it so tough, that I simply didn’t have any time to think about how difficult it was. Or another solution could be, to close doors to all well meaning ears and face my problems myself. Either solution doesn’t seem appealing to me and I am pretty sure I could never adopt either one of them. So till such time that the miracle doesn’t happen for me, I choose to believe that moms of that age were truly blessed with some super power and perhaps if I was devoted enough to my children, I would find that super power too, someday!
P.S: I was proudly showcasing a fancy mobile crib to my mother. This gadget has cute toys hanging from it. It rotates above the crib with music and keeps the child entertained. When I asked my Mom, how did she keep her children entertained, she said “We used to tie colorful balloons from the fan!”
Life sometimes is so simple!