I got married at the age of 21 and did so because I was very much in love. I became a mother at 24 and this was unusual because most of my friends were either travelling or doing vocational courses. Many young people from my generation do not want to be tied down so quickly and want to explore life a bit more before committing to marriage and parenthood. A lot of parents warned me that life would change completely after my baby came.
My son was a few weeks early and no matter how much you read about child-birth and prepare for it, it is a surreal moment when the baby is placed in your arms and you realise, this is the ‘person’ who made you puke for the first three months and kicked you from within. I have realised with time that yes, my life has changed completely but only for the better.
I can no longer afford to be irresponsible , impulsive, short-tempered and careless because another life is blindly dependent on me. I have learnt so much from this experience. The fact that I must value my existence more because I have to take care of another being. I can’t be angry whenever I want to and lose my temper over small things because the larger picture is more important and my son is at the centre of every decision I make about my life.
From small things like how he calls out to me, hugs me in his sleep and wants me around for every little thing, to the big realisation that one day he will grow up and need me less, I feel impelled to cherish every little minute with him.
It is about finding the joy even amid stress and seeing the beauty of parenthood even in those moments when being overstretched makes you want some alone time. It is about what you take away from an experience. And I see only how blessed I am to have him in my life. I think the most beautiful moment for me was to see him on stage during his Annual Day when he was just over two. Whenever he is afraid or nervous, he touches my lips with his little hand.
And there he was on stage, playing an angel amid this group of children, facing this huge crowd with a Celine Dion song playing in the background, touching his lips. Just to feel connected with me. And I burst into tears because I realised that this connection between him and me is the purest bond of my life.