Friday, 26 October 2012

Upheavals and then some settling down!

So, the good news is that the significant other and I have completed 7 years together! I for one am just rolling back and forth in the time reel to process how that ever happened. I mean, when one gets married, one doesn't really prepare for milestones like these, no?

It has been a sort of fun month too. Kidlet has her concert coming up at school and we have a slightly modified schedule, which involves her leaving very early and staying at school for an hour more. Though it has been an upheaval of sorts - from school at noon to the crack of dawn can be one!

There are other things too - which I am so grateful about. And given the fact that I find more occasions to whine than to sing about, so to speak, I would prefer to dwell on the positives for a change this month. For starters, I danced. As in really really danced. If my math and memory serve me well its been a decade since I well and truly let my hair loose and danced. And it just happened. Without much planning, at the most innocuous occasion (Husband's office party, if you must know!) my heels just started clicking together - and there I was on the dance floor - and boy am I glad I did that. Otherwise who knows how long I would have kept those hips just lying around. Ha, ha, ha..ok, not funny!

Next item on the agenda has been getting back on the career track. With some hits and several misses. Still a fledgling as a freelance writer. Though I know it would be way easier to get back to Research (my previous full time wage earning profile!), I really want to make my way forward as a writer. This month I had a few positive meetings with people interested in my work - so fingers crossed, lets see what comes of it! There are also some ideas that I really would like to see take wing - so fingers crossed for that as well - but lots of anticipation too :)

If you have been reading my blog (fat chance, I know!) you know of my guilt about not blogging about the kidlet more. But help is here! Blogadda has started a new platform for parent bloggers called And guess who appears in their Wednesday offering? Kidlet, of course!

And on that happy note, I wish you good tidings with a promise to be back sooner next time with a more well thought through post. Have been battling a sinus infection - and am not sure if it is the clogged airways or the medication, but I'm quite out of breath nowadays - ah well, you cannot win 'em all, eh?

Friday, 5 October 2012

An Uncomfortable truth..

As I type this, there is a voice inside me telling me not to do it. "Don't do it, don't go out and tell the world what a horrible terrible mother you have been."

What exactly am I talking about? Like the world (or at least those in India ) wakes up to daily updates of baby Ahuti who died at the hands of her mother - I feel fraught with despair, not just for the poor poor child who died a death so brutal but also for the mother who was obviously over the edge and desperate. By no means can I condone her actions but as details of the case emerge - of a mother with three children - two of them premie twins with obvious care needs .. Children who cried and screamed through the night - and ostensibly no or very little help for the mother...I can somewhat see how the tragedy could have unfurled. Though the extent to which the child (children?) was abused is simply bone chilling, I simply cannot join in on pointing fingers at the parents with righteous outrage.

The reason being that several times in the past five years I have felt on the verge of hitting my child. Out of despair, frustration, tiredness..anger! I know many of you would say - but of course - most of us feel like that at some time. But what I am talking about is another feeling - one which involves grievous body harm - a feeling of harming your child so badly that it shuts up, quietens down - acquiesces..submits. The feeling I am talking about is at the edge of desperation and would according to me qualify as being beyond the ambit of anger and sense.

It happened to me more than once. This feeling that I am talking about. When kidlet was younger than a year old - I would sometimes scream - at her, at the walls..or into the towels in the bathroom. I possibly had post partum depression - who is to know. Since we lived abroad with no family or support around - my desperation just kept getting exacerbated. My child was fortunate that I did not take out the violent feelings that I felt onto her during that time. Really- I am grateful for whatever last vestiges of sanity that I had for keeping me from doing anything stupid - either to myself or my child.

I took anti depressants ..vented out on online forums .. Cried, cribbed and shouted at my husband..nothing provided respite. Then one day, I got a glimpse of how dangerous I could become. It was one of the nights that my husband was away. My daughter - always a fitful sleeper was not only awake but crying - a persistent whiny cry. I tried to pat her, carry her, sing, feed ..she would not budge - the whining persisted for the next few hours. I was exhausted - I implored her to quieten down ( she was around 20 months old) she responded by increasing her pitch. I raised my voice - the whining turned into full fledged crying. I shouted. She cried even louder. Then almost by its own volition my hand raised and rested with a resounding 'thwack' on my daughter's back. It was all quiet for a second. I looked at my daughter in the darkness and I could barely make out the shock in her eyes..and then I hit her again on the back..yes I did it twice. And even as I cried I felt the worst feeling that a mother ever should - that of feeling good after hitting her child. That one second of shocked quiet felt good. Good sense made me pick her up and take her to the living room and switch on the lights before I could do more harm. My daughter continued to cry. But suddenly I was numb to it because I was too shocked by my actions, too scared of myself. I begged my uncomprehending child for forgiveness. Later that day I would confess my actions to my mother and husband. They both reacted as they should - cautiously understanding but asking me to find ways to control my rage.

After that day, I became truly aware of how dangerous I could become under the combined influence of whatever environmental and biological factors that there were..and I knew I had to be very very cautious of myself. I would be lying if I said that I never again felt like hitting my child. Several times when I felt myself moving into that mood I rushed to another room - shouted, screamed, threw things around .. Put on music and closed my eyes .. But thankfully I managed to resist the urge to hit her again. The guilt and shame of that time has stayed with me though. Every time I remember that instance (and now that I write about it) I want it to have never happened. And then when cases of parental abuse come up in the media, I shiver and recoil in terror. Maybe I never could have actually committed such violence but my experience has shown me how darkness can seep through into what is otherwise painted as the most wondrous time of your life - motherhood.

I am not sure if I can do a 'moral of the story' sort of end to this post, but the reason I wrote about this is to admit to the tumultuous nature of parenting. Not every motherhood is hunky dory and filled with play doh and gurgles and all things happy. For some, parenting can the most painful, challenging thing - it would be good if we could accept that as being a possibility.