I got married when I was barely 24. The right age to get married, as everyone told me. I was good and ready. I had been dating the to be spouse for six years, I had seen him at his best and his worst as he had seen me. I was financially independent, with a hot shot career as a feature writer with a publishing house. And it was time, I told myself, to plight my troth forever and ever.
Along with marriage, came a complete change of lifestyle for me. There was the adjusting to the rules and regulations of the home I’d married into, and then learning to juggle the demands of a full time job with the house, and very often dropping a ball or two. Life was a constant rush, work, home, deadlines, catching the ladies special local, making sure I swiped in on time at work, late night deadlines and page making. And then, grocery shopping, dealing with the last minute maid crisis that inevitably would happen on a busy day at work and more. There was also the freedom to pack up a duffel bag and drive off for a weekend whenever we chose, which was great fun. The years flew by. The polite enquiries began from family and friends. “Not trying for issue yet?”
The issue in question was taking his own time to happen, and to be quite honest I was quite happy that the stork had not come calling. I was busy, there was a hot shot career as a journalist that demanded long hours I was firmly entrenched it. There was always the next tempting job opportunity looming on the horizon. I had my baby a good eight years after I was married .By the time I was 30, I’d realised that it was now time to give in to the calls of the hormones going berserk within and have a baby. To cut a long story short, there was a very kind doctor who helped Mr Sperm meet Miss Egg and nine months later, I had one nos squalling brat in my arms.
The bottomline to this entire rambling spiel? I had my baby when I was good and ready to have one. I had done everything I had wanted to—jumped jobs, driven through the country with only a duffel bag for luggage, partied till the milkman came home in the morning with the milk bottles, found a career that made sense to me, something I could do with pleasure even if I wasn’t getting paid for it as long as I was having fun. I wanted to have a baby. I would have never imagined how strongly the hormones blindside you when they’re good and ready to procreate. Everywhere I looked there were babies. Everything I saw turned me into a puddle of mush. I was getting fake uterine contractions playing with friend’s babies.
I had my baby. And I became a mother.
I adored my baby to bits. I still do. I would throw myself in front of a speeding car, navigate a mountain pass barefoot, and do trigonometry voluntarily if needed for him. But I’m far from the ‘perfect’ mom. I’ve been known to be the worst cook in the universe and am crowned queen of the worst tiffin boxes ever. I travel a lot. I’m not always home when his examinations are on. I miss a lot of his PTMs. I mess up on project submission dates.
But my son knows, as I did about my mom, that there is a life that is very important to me, as important as he is to me. And that is my own. That when I work I am working and must only be called when blood is spilt. And that mom is not always around and he must fend for himself when she isn’t. I learnt it early, I was a latchkey kid. My mother worked, it was of economic compulsion after my father passed away. I learnt to be independent. I learnt that though she might not be around when I returned home from school, she did love me. And she had different ways of showing it. Cooking special things for me when she had a day off. Buying trinkets for me from the local train. Painstakingly combing and plaiting my hair into two plaits every morning.
I learnt from my mother to do what was important to me, along with my parenting. Parenting was part of my job definition, it still is. But it isn’t everything about me. My son recognises and understands this and I am glad he does.
Which is why this Titan Raga commercial resonated. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfYyAnJRkh0