I’ve started having more tea. My average was two a day (since becoming a mom). But when visiting someone or when entertaining or when it rains or maybe when I felt super daring I would graduate to three cups a day. But I would always be conscious of the amount of caffeine going into my system ( breastfeeding does that to you) maybe because I did not want to add to another not-so-good habit but now I have started thinking less about it. Perhaps there is something inside me that sees it as a form of rebellion. “You want to chew on your crayons? Chew on your books? Go ahead, knock yourself out. You want my phone? Here! Take it. Take the remote as well. happy? And you know what? I’m going to have another cup of tea. There!” That’s my pathetic revenge. I’m sure the 18 month old is scoffing inwardly. Still I see no empathy in his eyes, no indication that he even considers me human.
No one said it was going to be easy. In fact I knew it would be quite the opposite. But nothing anybody says can prepare you. It’s a realm all its own. I was mommying like a ninja- all homemade organic food, no screen time, co-sleeping, breastfeeding. In my Type-A-ness I made motherhood a chore for myself. I weighed myself down with the responsibility of it. I was playing on both sides– the defense and the attack against myself. Since I had quit my full time job for it, I had to prove that this parenting thing was something I would rock at. Little did I realize that NO ONE rocks at motherhood. There is no perfect human being, no perfect mother, no perfect child. It is all about your personal journey, that’s all.
Having said that, there is great juggling to be done. There is a lot of blood and sweat and tears. It is made up of severely frustrating moments. From the time your child is a year old, it’s all frustration. He a little monster, he is mobile, he can scream and cry and ask for things the most valuable of which is your attention. And you are not used to giving your undivided attention to anyone. But he demands it. And he has his tiny hands all over you, pulling pushing tugging. Hands, hands, feet, teeth, mama mama mama. His sharp teeth biting your thigh while you are enjoying those last blissful moments of cozy sleep on a winter morning, jolting you into the harshest reality. Your patience will not just be tried. Every last drop of it will be consumed and more. That elusive genie called Time will be a myth. Until you try to put your little one for a nap. Then Time enshrouds your entire living space.
A sleep-deprived person like me, doesn’t wear patience well. I want to read that page, I don’t want to make his lunch. I don’t want to do his laundry. I want to finish that chapter, and the next. Then I want to go take a nice long bath. It would be an understatement to say that patience doesn’t come easy. Many say it comes through practice, and I feel also through perspective. Just keep telling yourself that these are just a few years of your life. You baby will sleep in his own bed, you will go watch a movie in the cinema, you will have a cup of coffee alone, you will read a book and you will go for a vacation alone with your husband. These things will happen. Wait.
Don’t get me wrong and don’t judge me. I don’t have this perspective myself- it’s just coming to me in this self-righteous rant. But I’m glad I’m able to pen this down as a reminder. For me patience runs away, far away. I scream at my toddler when he screams and scold him. I regret it minutes later, but I do it again and minutes later. So yeah, as a sage once put it: practice and patience. And tea. Lots of it. Yes please.