My little one spent the first month of his earthly life in a transparent, rectangular box measuring 60 x 40 cm, and attached to different machines by coloured wires of all sorts. I suppose it’s safe to say that, for the first month, we hardly heard him cry. Rather our association with a fully mature baby was the intermittent noises and beeps that these monstrous machines emitted. No one knew what was wrong. Or what had caused it to go all wrong. All we knew - was that something was very wrong. And so we hoped. Prayed. Cried. Comforted each other. And watched his little pink, tummy, gently rumble as he slowly breathed in the disinfected air of the Intensive Care unit that had become his first home on earth. But this post is not about him. This post is about someone else. No, not me. But about his mother.
His mother, who went through all the ups and downs of pregnancy. His mother, who despite often shedding a tear from the prick from a needle, somehow found the strength to keep going through the dreaded contractions. His mother, who bore the brunt of the eight-hour labour, when he decided he didn’t want to come out. His mother, who he almost bled out trying to escape from the womb. His mother, who put on a brave face, when the nurse said he had to be admitted to the ICU, within hours of his birth. And his mother, who spent sleepless hours sitting by the glass box, waiting for a positive sign. That thankfully came.
I still remember the first few days, after my little one came home from the hospital. All of my paternity leave had been exhausted while he was in the rectangular box, talking to us in beeps and numbers. I still remember how I woke up in the morning and almost called in sick. I just wanted to spend every single second with him. But such is life. As the sole earning member of a three-member family, I had to work. So fighting back emotions, I went to work. I’d call every hour to check on what he was up to and how he was doing. Over the next year, I cribbed as I heard about all his firsts - the roll-overs, the crawls, the holding fingers….every single thing. I think I might have even blamed his mother, for the fact that I was having to work while she sat at home.
And then a year later, the equation changed. I had the opportunity to stay at home (while working on a few bits and pieces, of course!) while she returned to work full time. In my stupid little head, all I saw was: yes, this was my turn to rub it in. To tell her every single thing that she had missed while she was slaving it away. But there was something that I never realised till much later. If as a father, whose part in the birthing process was largely one like the proverbial stork delivering the baby, I missed the kid so much - how would a mother feel?
I started to realise that every single time I mentioned about my son’s milestones, underneath his mother's smiling facade, was a heart - bleeding from every blow, my words inflicted upon it indirectly. So today, I want to apologise - to my wife, to the mother of my child, to every single mother - who works and has to spend time away from her off spring(S), by choice or not - you are truly are my #sheroes. And the full-time mothers, you too. Anyone who tells you that you’re sitting simply at home because you chose to spend more time with your family and kids, well, they’re idiots. You rule.
Before I continue rambling any further, I’m going to share this message to all obnoxious jerks who raise their funny-looking eyebrows at working moms:
Yes, you….I’m talking to you, right there at the back, smirking as you see my wife leave for office in the morning.
Yes, you too, who trivialize her motherhood just because she also chooses to have a career.
And you, let me not forget you, who thinks that she shouldn’t have a kid (or future kids) at all, unless she’s ready to forgo everything and sit at home looking after her little ones. Well, I’ve got news people. Whether you like it or not, she’s a mother. And a damn good one at that. So shut it!
P.S. This started off as a status and as I rambled along, ended up on the blog. It's unedited and may have typos and errors. Kindly excuse.