It was a chance encounter I had, witnessing a new born baby and her mother, being cleaned after the delivery. The scene left me lightheaded. I kept looking away from the mother, and kept looking at the wailing baby, who was trying to hold my finger. And, the first feeling I had was, I sure wouldn’t have been able to go through this! I must sound selfish, isn’t it? As I stood there, in the delivery room, I kept asking myself if I would ever go through all the pain, the stress, to bring a human being into this world.
Would I ever be so selfless? So giving? For the sake of a child – my child? And, as the thoughts raced through my mind, I began to feel my blood pressure going for a dip. I rushed out of the place, into my world, where there was just me, and my thoughts. Yes, I was right. I really am not cut out to be a mother. I wasn’t born to be a mother. Maybe that is why I even find it difficult sketching babies! Animals – I enjoy sketching. But, babies – I tried. And, failed.
My respect for mothers has risen a thousandfold after witnessing the new mother go through everything she did. And, I have come to the conclusion, that it should be made mandatory for every father to witness the birth of his child. Witness the pains the woman goes through to bring his child into this world. The entire scene haunts me night and day. Yes, it haunts me. And, it makes me imagine the torture those women go through, who have to experience it several times, till the time they bear a son.
Coming back to my world, there are times, when I feel so out of place, when among a group of mothers. They have so much to share about their babies. And, I don’t. I share this here because it is a topic I would rather not share with my life partner. He would never understand! Which man does?! But, yesterday, a chance meeting with the mother of my ‘child’s’ friend left me feeling overwhelmed. I happened to meet a friend, who is a pet-mother. Just like me. Her ‘son’, Scotch, was my ‘son’, Chikoo’s, best friend! We got talking, and it felt like a dam had broken!
I shared with her Chikoo’s health issues, his growing age, the fear that haunts me night and day as time flies. And, at the end, it felt great! Just sharing my feelings, swapping stories about our babies, made me feel that I did belong somewhere. I did belong to this different group of parents, who had their own different stories to share. I know, there are people out there, who find the mere thought of ‘being a per-parent’ utterly ridiculous. That bringing up a child and bringing up a pet is poles apart. Yes, it is. But, it is these very different babies, who make women like me feel complete. Feel like mothers, albeit of a different kind!
True. I was not born to be a mother to a human baby. But, I was born to be a mother to a little, four-legged soul, who filled my heart and my world with the joy I had not known until he arrived. True. I won’t ever know what my mother and every other mother went through. But, I will know what a mother like me goes through just imagining how her life is going to be without the loving bundle of fur, who showers her with endless love, but is blessed with such a short life-span. True, I wasn’t born to be like every other woman in this world. But, I was born to live a different kind of life with my different kind of baby. And, for this, I am thankful. Ever so thankful.