Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Children take care of us


Recently I met up with an old friend from high school at a local cafe to catch up. I hadn't seen him in 11 years since we graduated. He is unmarried and traveling the world. Our conversation turned to parenting, and he marveled at how many people our age are starting to have kids. He was playing with Maya, when I remarked that he was good with kids and that he'd be a great dad someday. He said, "yea...but then I'd have to take care of them, that would suck..." I nodded, knowing all too well how hard parenthood is.

I thought about it later, and what he said stuck with me. As we all know, taking care of a child is no easy task. It is 24/7. From cleaning, to changing, to feeding, to playing, to sleeping, it is non-stop in a way that there is NO time for anything else. I mean, there isn't any time to use the washroom on any given day. Raising a child is not for the faint of heart. Raising them physically, emotionally and spiritually is a heavy task full of trials and errors. Parenting is a lifetime commitment to be there for your child - not just when they are little, but when they are adult too.

But then I thought, as much as we take care of our children....
they also take care of us...

Since we had our daughter, we have had numerous crises, involving personal health problems, familial turmoil, work stresses, average marital problems, my dads cancer, and the death of two most beloved relatives: a matriarch and a patriarch in both our respective families. And we survived intact solely because of our daughter. Everyday we had to wake up and take care of her, and in taking care of her, we were brought back to what's important. Her daily routine comforted us. No matter what was happening, we knew that she would eat at a certain time and go to bed at a certain time, what park to take her to, what stories she liked to hear. Her routine comforted us, enough to heal ourselves as two halves of a whole marriage. We healed much faster than if she wasn't there. We weren't allowed to fight too much, or fall into a depression, because we had a kid to raise. We literally didn't have TIME to be depressed, and we weren't going to make the time for it either. We are guided by the fact that we need to keep ourselves emotionally healthy because even the littlest thing effects her. Not only that, but seeing her grow up everyday - whether it was eating her first carrot, taking her first step, or saying her first word - filled us with a deep happiness that only a parent can delight in. This deep-seeded happiness we get from watching her grow up is like an invisible barrier that any negative thing bounces off.

The truth is, I wasn't entirely ready to have my daughter. Is anybody ever ready, anyway? But through parenting her, I was forced to step up to the plate in every area of my life out of the purity of love that I have for her. The experiences that I have with her make me feel like I am continually growing - that she is teaching me more about life than I ever learned in all the years before her.

Sometimes, when I am deep in thought, my daughter comes up to me and grabs my face forcefully, looks me dead in the eye, and says "Look mommy..." Then she points up and says seriously, "the clouds are in the sky!" I smile at her and give her a kiss. For as much as I take care of her, she unknowingly takes care of me tenfold. No matter how hard the day has been, when I see her, it all just melts away. It is like reaching an elevated clearing. Everything is clearer in life. It is purer. I am more motivated. I feel like I can do anything. Everything is done with intention. I am careful with my time. I have become more patient and forgiving. And I know what's important: me and him and her. That's where it's at...

Someday when she grows up, I will tell her how much she took care of me, and how much she raised me...

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9 comments

  1. Beautiful and So True! I love your blog and your beautiful little family!

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  2. I agree children keep us young and fill our lives with so much joy and really teach us what love is! I love the picture of you too, so sweet!

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    1. They really do....they are little miracles...

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  3. Those are beautiful words.. I think my mother would have the same thoughs, even if it was only me and her and life was far from being easy we took good care of each other.
    I wish one day I will say the same. So far I don't feel ready for motherhood and I hope for the day our hearts tells us is the moment to be 3 or maybe 4.
    I loved this entry.

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    1. Thank you :)
      Sometimes I feel that our children are sent to us for a reason...
      I would love to have 3 or 4 as well :)

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  4. @Alexandra

    You have put it beautifully. Often husband and wives have big issues between them but when they look at their child, it is comforting to know that with all their differences they have manage to create something beautiful together.

    Indians were predisposed towards marriage and parenting because marriage is more or less mandatory. Nowdays, we see young couple reluctant to have children. Their priorities have changed which is understandable. They are more concentrated on their careers. There is so much to kill time these days, internet, mobile phones, malls, friends. People have money and are open to indulge in these activities. In such a scenario, who wants to change nappies and have endless sleepless nights.

    You need lots of effort with a child. It is always advisable to have children when you are young. Parenting at a late age becomes increasingly difficult because you have settled into a comfortable life and not prepared to make drastic changes to it. Young people are petrified of children these days. Pregnancy at a late age is always difficult, no matter what people say. The bottom line is when you finally decide to have children you find that you are physically and mentally prepared for it. There is also something else, as you approach you forties, there is wear and tear and the body and you may suffer from lifestyle disorders like hypertension and diabetics.

    I am no a fan of the new age couples who take parenting lightly and feel that they can cope with it with half measures. They often learn their lessons the hard way. Once you brought a child in this world, you cannot delegate its responsibility to someone else and crib about it.

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    1. I absolutely agree.
      There is nobody else on Earth except my husband/father of my child that I can speak to for hours about our child and the new funny things she does. When we both take delight in it, it is like a beautiful bond. It brings our marriage to another level.
      I have also noticed that a lot of youngsters are choosing to have less children. Many wait years to have them, and seem to have fewer in quantity.
      I had my daughter at age 26 and I was naturally tired, but nowhere as near tired as some of my parent friends who started in their 40s. Sometimes I do wish that we had gotten married earlier and I could have had kids even earlier. I would like to have more children too, before I get too tired. I think it is also harder when couples get older, as people tend to be more set in their ways and have their routines and lifestyles.
      I absolutely agree that the child is the parents responsibility.


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  5. So beautiful <3

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