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Why is it so hard to be a mother?

by Apurva Rungta 01 Jul 2022 0 Comments
- Surbhi Goyal
Associate Director,
Valuations at Touchstone Advisory
Partner, GSAS and Co


I see mothers – all hen pecked running behind their offspring. In parks, in malls, in homes, everywhere.

Have we made parenting so hard – this is a question I ask myself every day.

As a new mother after a late-term pregnancy loss, I was anxious and determined to be the best mother I could be. I read parenting sites, government health sites and social media sites extensively.

When my son was born at 34 weeks, I was ready. I was going to exclusively breastfeed him and ensure he got the best nutrition possible. Of course, this came with the pride of doing something that is really hard.

I didn’t have issues with latching or feeding. My son was a champ, latched straight away.

After a couple of months of careful feeding, and developing a pattern, my son was thriving – active, meeting milestones and gaining weight (this is the bible of motherhood – how chubby your child is and my baby seemed to be getting there).

Starting month 3 or 4, I realised that in my goal to do the best for my son, I hadn’t done the best for myself. I have a good career in which I have spent almost the last decade of my life. With the baby dependent on me for sleep (4-5 times a day and then bedtime) and as a food source, I had no place to be me. I tried my best to introduce pumped milk via bottle, and formula but it didn’t help and perhaps my son loved his mum too much to not accept any foreign items for food.

The real struggle began a couple of months after introducing solids and food strikes became a constant battle. Making 10 things a day just to get my son to eat a few measly bites. His food – whether from the family pot or things I made just for him were tasty – my husband and I could eat them, no worries. But nothing seemed to attract my son for long enough and he is growing up on biscuits and mango.

Early bedtimes which I am promised will help us one day have become difficult. We are not able to go for dinners and functions and just normal life.

Oh through all of this, I had unstinting support and help in the form of my husband, my father-in-law and various babysitters. Yet there never seems to be enough time to be me, to relax and be normal. Some days when my husband and I watch an episode of a series on Netflix after the baby goes to bed, oh I feel so good. I sometimes get to read a few chapters of an interesting novel and there is happiness to retain some bits of me. But I am struggling. Is this because we are all taught to have ‘chilling out’ or being entrepreneurs as our primary goal? I don’t know. I feel like I haven’t adjusted well to the version of myself who is a mother and a wife and a daughter and a daughter-in-law.

There is also the struggle of having a mum myself who is the epitome of motherhood. She will stand for hours just to ensure the comfort of her 3 children and here I am who is struggling to manage 1. She makes everyone comfortable around her, and adjusts in every situation, climate and environment and I am just not getting there.

At the crux of all these things is just this self-doubt. What am I doing wrong – what wrong sleep associations have I given, what bad food do I make, what bad food habits am I nurturing? Will the baby grow up and not respect his mother’s time as a working professional? Will the toll of not getting enough sleep for 14 months get to my sanity and make me innately unhappier and later impact the personality of my son?

There is no happy ending to end this post on. Just asking myself for inner strength and patience and to just get to that elusive greener side where I am a better mother to my son and not just a tired girl waiting for days to pass by.


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