Straight from a mother’s heart ….

Once you become a mother your life changes completely. Your time is no longer yours. Your priorities change. All your energy and emotions are invested in the children while your own interests take a back seat. You make adjustments for your children , but the beauty of motherhood is what you do for your kids comes so naturally to you that it never seems to be a sacrifice.

In fact, your life revolves around the children but when they grow up, spread their wings and fly away, the empty nest syndrome hits you hard. You are left with the feeling of emptiness. You feel incomplete and even redundant at times. All these years children have been your life, you have assumed multiple roles, donned several hats catering to their never ending needs. You have been their personal secretary doing all sorts of odd jobs –from helping them complete their school assignments, arranging dress for their fancy dress competition to finding out their lost items. I remember having been one (wo) man search squad carrying out many successful search operations to trace out a lost belt or a missing notebook. My mother unearthed the lost property for us and in the best of motherly tradition; I too have done the same. No wonder the saying goes, “A thing is not lost till the time your mother declares it has been lost.”

Despite the fretting and fuming about the pressure of bringing up children, juggling between home and work, you enjoy being the ‘queen bee’. You may not have any ‘me time’, but you feel important. However, when the children fly away, you feel miserable. I remember when my elder one left home a decade ago, I cried but then, I had to wipe my tears to rush to the college as I had my job to attend to. I was disturbed, but could recover fast also because, I had my younger one around to keep me busy with his gruelling coaching schedule. When it was the turn of my younger son to leave home, I was distraught, tears won’t stop. It has taken much longer to adjust to a new reality.

When the children leave home there is bound to be a void, a vacuum But  don’t let sadness, self pity and feeling of distraught fill the vacuum. It is time to pat your back for the years well spent, well loved and a job well done. You have given wings and also the strength to the children to fly and soar high. It is time to be content and enjoy their success.

But it t is easier said than done. A popular post by Sudha Murthy (wife on Narayan Murthhy, co-founder Infosys) advocating ‘attachment with detachment’ is the way forward. Continue to shower your love on the children but don’t expect them to reciprocate in the same measure. Children have their own life; their dependence on you is bound to diminish over time. Eventually they would make their own nest.  Equip yourself emotionally to deal with the change. It is important to cultivate hobbies, develop your own interests so that you don’t keep reminding the children about every little thing you have done for them. Be happy and let the children live happily.

(Published in HT  Sunday Read on Sept 9 ,2018 )

75 Replies to “Straight from a mother’s heart ….”

  1. I wanted to wait until my Mum and Nani read it before posting my review:

    I believe it’s extremely relatable to all mothers regardless of whether they have sons or daughters and thanks to the busy lifestyles we “kids” now have, I am ashamed to admit but it’s sometimes more convenient to put one’s Mum on the backburner especially when work, office dinners and never ending deadlines are not as forgiving as Mums tend to be when ignored.
    I constantly try to juggle between giving time to my family and being good at work. It’s incredibly hard sometimes but somewhere down the line, I think it’s important to remember that I am where I am because once upon a time a twenty-something much like myself sacrificed her sleep, solace and even career opportunities that came her way just so that I could get here.

  2. Being a new Mum the struggles are totally real. But I believe that your kids definitely bring out the best in you. I’ve realized my passion after having my Son. The fulfilling feeling of doing that you love the most. Very nicely articulated piece Ma’am. Always remembering your teachings.

    Warm Regards

  3. To meet to love and part is the sad tale of human heart we left our parents to fulfill our dreams and our children left us to achieve their goals ,by and by our relatives and friends left because of various reasons.The toughest separation to bear was our our children . lonely, tired ,old parents in empty houses and nothing to do, of course mothers are more sufferers due to their more envolvoment and moh, attachment. The agoney of separation is beautifully described by the writer it’s very touching, Now after finishing our duties towards our children parents and dependent,we got breathing time. we participated in run race of Life with full enthusiasm . Now let us celebrate our sunset in peace. Serinety and calm before the final call of separation comes. To part is sad tale of human heart

    1. thanks Ms Behl for adding yet another dimension to the discussion , raising it to higher level. Yes, parting is a way of life!

  4. Very well written ma’am. You have explained stages of motherhood . I feel when children are independent, that’s the time of self exporation for parents, It all depends on us how we look at CHANGE.

  5. Honest and beautiful articulation of emotions. No matter how far the children go, mothers retain that special space reserved for them in every heart. Speaking as a child 🙂

    1. Thanks Divya. Undoubtedly, mothers have a special place for her children but some students are also special for the teachers.And you know you are among those.

  6. Very nicely written ma’am. As a child I would like to say, no matter how old & successful we become, we always need our mother the most. She will always be the most important person in each n every child.

    1. Anchal, i am so happy to know that the children value their mother’s contribution in their life, though I will not like to use the term ‘sacrifice’ for what a mother does for the children .
      Love u, bless u Anchal

  7. It is nice to see picture of a mother and her children in the blog. Please paste related pictures in blogs for readers far away from you.(Eg. Chandigarh- Now and Then.Balle, Balle,Punjabi Oye!, TheToilet Hunt). Madam, I also share the same stages ,views,feelings. And fan of Mrs. Sudha Murthy !

    1. Garima, always a pleasure to hear from you. Regarding pictures,i shall try but I am afraid u may have to help me with that .

  8. You touch a chord in every mother’s heart whose children fly from the nest to seek and build a world of their own.It is tough to accept and get used to it. I always say that children grow up but mothers don’t. You can’t help worrying about your child despite his/her refrain of don’t worry mom. Attachment with detachment remains a process one continually tries to perfect. Beautiful article Rama.

  9. This such a beautiful post reflecting how a mum craves for some personal n mee time during her earlier days and then misses her babies when they go away.She misses the same routine of work which she always wish to get rid off.I loved the part where you wrote that one should get up and pat one back than self pitying her situation.Beautiful thoughts.

    1. Yes Neha , that is the reality of life.the sooner we realize , the better it is for our well-being and also that of our children.No emotional blackmailing then…

  10. This one is a beautiful peice ma’am , but another very true fact is that the moment a child is born a mother dreams of his/her achieving heights that have not yet been known to the world and eventually gives her all and everything to prepare the child for that.
    No wonder it is one difficult moment for both of them to part, but deep down both know that no amount of physical distance can part them. That no time zone difference would stop a mother from calling at exactly the right time to ask if the child has had the dinner or not? Or how the presentation went?
    Etc. etc. probably that is the beauty of this relationship. That is the essence of it. And that is how maybe the world runs.
    At a time you are at the giving end of it and another time you are at the recieving end, and the cycle continues and will continue till generations to come.

    1. Beautifully penned down Pooja! It is really a cycle that has been going on since generations but perhaps the reality sinks in when you become a mother. It hits you hard when it is time for the children to fly away.

  11. There was a reason behind the custom of kanya daan…… The intensity of parent’s feelings (specially when sons leave home /hometown to create their own world) is because they are not mentally prepared for the day…. Coz they might not have envisaged or visualised it fully for all the years they grew…… The concept of kanyadaan prepares the parents for such day and event…. Year after year it prepares parents psychologically so when that day arrives they are already conceptually in agreement…… It is high time we change the narrative and start calling it a santaan-daan(gender neutral) … And start celebrating it the day child steps out of the ecosystem parents have created for them call home……

    I admire the simplicity and bluntness of the message article is trying to highlight….. Individuality should never be forgotten, your interests, hobbies should be kept alive, ultimately that is what will fill your days with meaning and liveliness…..

    1. Absolutely , kudos to you for putting it down so wonderfully. Though the word ‘daan is somewhat demeaning to me as a woman but going by its essence that a daughter is to leave her home after marriage prepares the parents mentally.Perhaps in case of boys feeling is different, though now-a-days nuclear family is a reality. I guess as a mother of sons ,I could see the writing on the wall, yet when the time came it was not easy.
      And yes, instead of sinking into depression. it is better o develop one’s own interests .

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