Many years ago, when I was in my mid twenties, I was asked by a friend if I thought Motherhood was highly over rated? I could not even reply to this one, although in the past we had shared an easy banter; a camaderie. I mumbled something and looked away, out of the window of the tiny white car she was driving.
I was confused, so I could not answer. I thought of it as a non-question. Could you choose motherhood? Wasn’t that something that happened or did not happen, as per God’s will? Did we, mere mortals have the right to interfere in nature’s scheme?
Later, when I married and it was time to have kids, we did. I never gave it a second thought. Sure, it was difficult, at first. The tiny ‘bundle of joy’, always crying, never sleeping, not gaining enough weight, requiring vaccinations, medications, countless visits to the paediatricians… most of the time; I felt helpless, even resentful. I was at a loss. How to take care of another life, so entirely dependent on me when I had not even figured out what I myself wanted out of life?
Things got worse before they got better. But the second time was easier. I knew the tribulations enough to even expect them, I was more prepared and I enjoyed the process a little better. Both children are now at a stage when I do not have to constantly tend to their physiological needs. Emotional needs, I know would continue throughout my lifetime
Coming back to my friend; I think of her often these days. She was trying to analyze something that for me was and always will be the wonder of creation. The other day, I was fed up and my mother called. I poured out my frustrations and ineptness and the pointlessness of it all, of meeting the endless demands. And she answered that I am actually participating in the creation and sustenance of life. That is what keeps me going. Indeed, it fills me with joy and a sense of purpose.
This post was written in response to Daily Prompt, a free writing exercise.