It’s been more than thirteen years since I last gave birth [to my youngest daughter] and unblinkingly took on a habit of a lifetime: motherhood. Of course, having three daughters one after the other wasn’t a walk in the park but I did take raising them in stride.
I am not a tiger mom [despite being Asian :D), though I do get results done, emotional blackmail as the last [and most powerful] resort when all else fail. It’s my birthday in a few weeks and, along with the realization that I’m hitting my middle forties [whatever that means], is that my girls aren’t babies anymore; well, yes I’ve known this for some time now. However, adjusting to the fact is a different thing for me.
So this morning I found myself picking up socks dumped on shoes, airing mattresses, and ironing school uniforms, but with my husband’s disapproving voice echoing in my mind. Damp towels I hang to dry, strewn textbooks I sort by subject; lunch I had to cook, and the laundry I had to wash. This is not to say I don’t get help. On the contrary, I’ve been accused of being a perfectionist, a slave driver, a broken record, and various other unpleasant metaphors. On other occasions I get dagger looks, pouts, and cold-shoulders. All these I take poker-faced, hiding my laughter else I not be taken seriously.
Suffice it to say that I love being a mother, so much so that I had forgotten how it was not being one. So now, I have reached some kind of crossroad. My husband insists on letting the girls do the bulk of the house chores as this is an important training for them; that I should refrain from pampering them so much. He is right of course. But it is a hard habit to break. And I have to admit that my resistance stems from sentimental reasons. Although my life revolves around them, theirs don’t revolve around me anymore. I am painfully aware that someday soon, I won’t need to be doing these things for them anymore, that the sense of independence my husband and I have instilled in them will encourage them to prove their capabilities. This is why I’m holding on to these habits , for tomorrow they will become just memories–like their first cries, first tooth, first time walking, first word, first day of school, or the first time they confided about their crushes or cried over one.
So I guess, I will have to live in this moment and make the most of it.