Shilpa tagged me to write about ‘what mommyhood has taught me’.

The tag:

It’s been a while since us Mommybloggers came up with something to celebrate, well, mommyhood, so the lovely Monika and I came up with this. A tag that has us list out five lessons of life that Mommyhood has taught us, these could be sweet, bitter, funny, touching, whatever. These could be survival tips or cooking tips, or something as simple as the best thing to get puke smell out of hair.

So, the rules are simple. Put the badge up. Write out five lessons that Mommyhood taught you. And tag five mommybloggers.

So here goes:

1. To give up control. Newborns cannot be controlled. They will eat, sleep, cry when they want. They will fall sick and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it but wait. The ‘nothing you can do about it’ was the part I found the hardest to deal with. When your child is sick you want to do something, anything to make him feel better. It can drive you insane to sit around watching and waiting and doing nothing. When my son had reflux, the doctor told me he would get better in three months. But that seemed like eternity – I kept trying different things, going to different doctors, and then I ran out of things to try and doctors to go to and I realised that basically, I couldn’t handle not doing anything and just accepting that this was out of my control. I cannot imagine what mothers whose children have more serious issues do.

2. To have patience. I never realised how impatient I am but sometimes when I am trying to put Benji to sleep and he will keep fidgeting and whining for half an hour, I borderline lose it. Nothing has tested my patience like having Benji because he cannot be rushed. He will do what he wants in his own time. These days he has this new whiny noise that he will do increasingly loudly (ending in complete howling) if he is not picked up. That noise has become the soundtrack of my life. I have to find a zen place inside me to not completely lose my mind.

3. To love babies. To be fair, I started to like babies when I moved to Hong Kong. Before that I thought babies were at best uninteresting and at worst, ugly and annoying. But something about Chinese babies – the way their hair sticks up like a porcupine, their look of complete surprise when they spot you, and their general lack of yowling – made me interested in babies. My niece La was the first baby I felt a connection with. Both V and I were terrified to hold her, tiny as she was at three days old. But Sil insisted that we do. V held her for exactly three seconds and then passed her to me. I held her for half an hour – I sat perfectly stiff, my arm going numb, terrified I would wake her, marveling at her look of utter self-containment. My niece Sibear was when everyone realised I could be maternal. Granted, I was pregnant at the time I first met her at a little over than a month old, but I surprised everyone at the enthusiasm at which I rocked her, sang to her, jogged her around the house to get her to sleep. And then Benji arrived and clinched the deal. Now I coochie-coo at every baby I see, I go all googy at particularly the very small babies with their dopey faces because Benji is past that stage and I miss his Benji-buttonness. God help me when he’s a teenager.

4. That I could have a physical connection with someone not attached to me. When Benji just arrived I couldn’t sleep because I could hear him crying two rooms away over the noise of the TV. I have outgrown that, stretched the umbilical chord so to speak. But the chord is still there. I cannot watch Benji being sick without tears in my own eyes. If he is howling, I find myself getting hysterical too. I never realised I was such a wuss. It does not bode well for the cry-it-out method.

5. That my husband is a great dad. V was the one who pushed for us to have a baby. I would have delayed indefinitely. I grumbled to my sister that it was very convenient for him to want a baby but what if once the baby came he stuck me with it (like most Indian men) and I had to manage on my own (which I was pretty sure I was incapable of). My sister pointed out that V does a lot of work around the house and I shouldn’t just assume he would lump me with the baby. V has exceeded my expectations as a father. He is so into Benji. There is a special expression in his eyes when he looks at Benji that is completely new and reserved only for his son – tenderness, amusement, pride, love. Second only to Benji’s grin at me, V’s face when he sees Benji is the most precious thing out of this whole experience.

Now to tag 5 mommies. I had to struggle to think of 5 mommies to tag because I read only a couple of blogs that profess to be mommyblogs. And even among those who comment and whose blogs I have checked out, can’t remember who is a mom and who is not. Anyway, I tag:

1. 30in2005: You like writing in 5 points don’t you?
2. dipali: For the perspective of a mommy whose kids are all grown up.
3. R’s Mom: The one of two blogs I read with Mom in the title and whose entertaining stories about her little girl I enjoy
4. Ri’s Mom: Who I used to know as Su and recently realised is a mom
5. Garima: who commented when I was going through the worst of Benji’s reflux.