I have two kinds of friends: The amazing mothers who know exactly when it is time to transition their children from a sippy cup to a spoutless bottle with prospects of being working mothers when they want to and the super successful career women who are flying high, and I know would become wonderful mothers if they choose to some day. And here I am (and certainly not selling myself short), freshly off the B’school boat, unemployed and trying to be the best mother I can possibly free.
If you ask my two year old, she will tell you that I could be better. While I have overdone in the kisses department (3 million and counting? I don’t keep track really), we are yet to achieve sufficient potty training points and the tantruming is off the charts terrible. I am sometimes so preoccupied with my phone that when she points to something and asks me to identify it, I mumble something like “muffimifn” just to get her off my back.
Yet, this morning, while I was driving her to school, I was mulling over a conversation I had had with a couple of friends earlier about a career and motherhood. I am ashamed to say that I let myself think “yep, they all have a purpose in life and look at me, driving my daughter to daycare at 8.30am with an empty schedule for the day.” How dare I? How dare I?
As a woman in the postmodern world of feminism, I have been led to believe by my misguided ideas that my career is what defines me. You can imagine my shock when I arrived in USA and realized that I had to stay home all day mulling over dinner menus and which room to clean today. This is what led me to do my MBA with a year spent on prerequisites. While these are choices I made for myself, becoming a mother changed all that. When we bring a baby into this world, whether we like it or not, we start living our lives based on them. If you don’t believe me, try sleeping through the night when a newborn brings the roof down with her unabashed crying and try doing this once in 40 minutes. Whether we like it or not, we change our clocks according to our baby’s whim and fancy.
On this particular day, I looked at my baby through the rear-view mirror, pretending to be talking to one of the monkeys that fell of the bed and felt guilty for thinking there was no purpose in life. The thing is, I am going through a trying phase in life, trying to find employment and putting my education to use but I haven’t hit anything yet. That doesn’t give me the right to belittle anything in this world, especially not being a mother and taking care of my daughter.
Some day soon, I might find that job and become professionally active. That would not mean I would be any less of a mother than what I already am right now. For now, I should probably sit back (at designated times, of course) and become better friends with my daughter. If we conquer pottyland on the way, well, more power to us!