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Mother’s Corner: Motherhood, the Balance of Accounts

12 May 2013

Continuing with our special series on motherhood in the run up to Mother’s Day. Today Maya Chandrasekaran, mother to a two-month-old, talks about how her tiny bundle full of gurgles and gas is worth all the pains that come with motherhood.  

Mother’s Corner: Motherhood, the Balance of Accounts
Mother’s Corner: Motherhood, the Balance of Accounts

OK, so you’re a mother now

There are lots of things you’re prepared to lose on becoming a mother. You’re prepared to lose sleep. And hair. And your figure. And free time.

But no one tells about how, along the way, you also completely lose clarity of vision. All babies are born essentially looking the same – red, scrunched up, and more than a little pissed off – but as a mother, you’re instantly convinced that not only is the baby beautiful, but also that you can spot strong resemblances to family members. Really? How many of your family members look like angry monkeys?

You lose your memory. One year ago you were complaining that Facebook was full of nothing but baby updates, and rolling your eyes at yet ANOTHER photo of someone’s offspring. Now you’re spamming your friends constantly with pictures of Baby on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3… and expecting them to respond cooingly each time.

You lose all sense of shame. New parents, and mothers especially, are the most shameless people I know. Not only are the baby’s bodily functions discussed at length and in excruciating detail, they’re also treated as though they were accomplishments of the highest order. Actions that, in a grown adult, would be frowned on (at the very least) are met with resounding praise and applause.

“Oh good boy – the bad gas went!”

“Oh, that was a nice BIG burp!”

You lose all sense of perspective. In a previous life you might have been a successful businesswoman, software engineer or lawyer, but in the first few months of motherhood, you lose track of all that. The only things you can think, read or talk about are nursing, sleep patterns and, of course, the above-mentioned bodily functions. And these days it’s gotten so bad that not only are you obsessed with those three, you are also competitive about them. If a mother friend of yours boasts that her baby slept for 4 hours at a stretch one night, you feel compelled to say that yours slept for FIVE. If a friend says that her baby rolled over at 3 months, yours rolled over at 2.5.

And yet, the clichéd, treacly truth is this – for all those many, many losses, you gain a tiny bundle full of  gurgles and gas, and strangely enough, it all balances out.

Written by Maya Chandrasekaran

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