Trials of the "Not-So-Mommy" Mommy.

marriage is not for the faint-hearted. neither is having babies.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

a moodswing?

From now on, until blogger learns to behave, I will be blogging at

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

all choked up.

About a month ago I had my anomaly scan. For the non-moms out there, that's the midway detailed scan which is done to ensure that the baby is doing all right, there are no exra organs developing that don't need to be there and that generally, there are no problems. Since k had not been with me for any scan yet, it was an exciting moment, one that I had been looking forward to and that we had talked about quite a bit. I mean, this would be a sort of a first introduction with our baby. Without it looking like a blob.

Cut scene to me lying on the bed and the sonologist peering at the screen, which faces away from me. K can see it and since I can't, I'm watching his face for signs of overwhelming emotion. Now I don't have much experience with dads-to-be since it has been most of my closer female friends who have had babies, so I have all these preconceived notions about how men generally get choked up at the thought of a child. Blame the Indian films but men (good men, that is) always seem to be most anxious for children and exhibit appropriate amounts of spontaneous emotion especially when in the dramatic situation. Now knowing k, I couldn't expect that of course, but I was optmistically looking for any tell-tale "I'm-looking-at-my-future" wobble to the chin or glisten in the eyes. As I waited for the doctor to finish making her notes so she could turn the screen to me, I could see k's eyes narrow then widen and then finally this triumphant smile broke through. He looked directly at me, and excitedly exclaimed, "Awwww, it looks like a dinosaur!!"

Congratulations everyone, we are having a dinosaur.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


In one of the only prenatal classes I attended, a sweet-looking nurse sat opposite me and some other newly mummied people and told us about stuff that will help us in the coming months. Posture, diet, mental well-being, happiness. She talked about the actual physical formation of a tiny person inside us and the different stages that will follow. Fascinating stuff.

She commented on how we all must be (note: MUST be) overwhelmed by it all and perhaps feeling a bond with the baby? I darted a sneak glance around me and all the young early twenty-something moms were nodding vigorously, one going as far as to say in an emotionally wobbly voice that the baby was the most important thing to her now. Seriously? I asked in my head. What about your husband? Or family or work? Thats it, I thought to myself, I am devoid of the maternal gene. The nurse smiled patiently at this exuberant mom and looked at me, almost willing me to reply also. After a few seconds of studiously looking at the execise pamphlet in my hand, I looked up.

"How old are you?" she asked.
"29", I replied. Definitely the oldest one here.
"Is this your first baby?"
"How do you feel?" she prods.

"A little tired," I answered, looking around again.
I sounded absolutely robotic and she looked at me enquiringly. So I took a deep breath and try to go on. "I actually forget sometimes. And if feeling a bond with the baby in the first trimester is any indication of what kind of mom I will be, then I don't think I will be very good at what I do. Honestly, " I add, as the other girls shuffle a bit. "Maybe you should ask me again in a few months." Some of them nod, a little relieved. Maybe she's just slow, I can almost hear them thinking.

We, again, as a society tend to want to do what othes want us to. We react in predictable ways because that is what is accepted. We indulge in banal small talk at social occasions and feign ecstatic responses at weddings because to say we are petrified for someone or possibly having second thoughts for ourselves is just too risky. We, as a rule, should exude glowing joy at having babies despite the fact that it hasn't even hit us yet. We should suddenly start looking maternal and peaceful, call children "beta" and generally move into an advanced aunty type mode where the only "real" discussion of course is about children. Trust me I have seen it happen. One day you find out you are pregnant and the next day you are someone else. Sometimes it gets annoying. Mostly it stays amusing. Actually, it depends on the hormones.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Great Segregate.

Becoming part of a couple these days is all the more exciting because not only are you now being emotionally taken care of, you also get to go to places "with" someone. After many many years in our 20's car-pooling with friends and then perhaps eventually acquiring your set of wheels, it's a weird relief to finally be able to rely on someone who will, without questions, perform the pick and drop. One more reason to love him. Socilizing takes on a new charm because you meet up with friends "with" someone and almost all outings are borne of mutual agreement. You get spoiled because you choose to hang out with people who are like you- who celebrate your choices and conversations and decisions and being in life. It's easy.

Part of being a married couple, however, eventually means socializing together on a level that is not so voluntary. Occasions come up where one or the other better half has to acquiesce to the other persons request to "have to" go to a work dinner or meet up with a random lot of people who have been planning to meet for a long time. And usually, you cannot get out of it.

Recently we have found ourselves at two dinners with unlikelies. One set of people was a lot we didn't know at all, and the other a lot of extended friends. Both had one thing in common.
The Great Segregate.

Now when we hang out with our group of friends, we don't even think about segregation. Most of the people around me have been lucky enough to have fallen "madly in friends" with people we ended up with so chances of there being a gender bar (or any bar) on conversation is not even considered. And when we do want to have a "girly" conversation, we simply meet separately. I'm sure so do the guys. Coming back to the dinners, the first one was most interesting as the men holed themselves up in a room resplendant with smoke and the wives awkwardly settled themselves in the lounge almost as per habit. Conversation was at best, routine, with yawning gaps here and there- mostly about domestic help and children. The divide was unusually orchestrated, not quite comfortable but almost done to fulfil some unsaid social requirement.

The second dinner, at an old school friends house, saw a similar phenomenon happen but in a different way. The segregation that happened was smooth and effortless. There was no wall separating the guys from the girls. No physical barriers. No uncomfortable please-dont-communicates hanging in mid air. It was a simple slight turning away of the body to create your own space as the girls' conversation jumped over topics like the new Bond to the issues of being a lawyer at work in Karachi to having three kids to food to inflation to roads to anything. It was not a case of having to segregate, more so of it happening in a natural unconscious way even, and just as smoothly, as effortlessly, the two sides of the divide found themselves coming together as part of a larger conversation.

Perhaps we have evolved so much in our own group of friends that we forgot to make the distinction between men and women, the distinction that society, on so many levels places, upon us. With us, it has become more about individuals. Sans the gender. And it always takes stepping out into the "real" world of men and women to realize how lucky we are that, in our social existence, we choose not to tell the two apart anymore.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

anniversaries of the heart.

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Recently I forwarded out an email to a close few friends called Anniversaries of the Heart. The gist of it was "We all have anniversaries that go largely unspoken and unobserved. The day you met your spouse, first kiss, break up, the day you bought your first house and so on. There is no calendar to reflect them, no Hallmark card to express the emotions tied to the events, only a quiet observation within a few hearts. They are not restricted by the passage of time either. Today, think about some of your own secret anniversaries and perhaps observe them in a meaningful way. You cherish these memories for a reason, so honor them by not letting them fade from your consciousness. After all, these are the most personal of all holidays.".
I got a prompt response from Hussy of course, my usual and most enthusiastic partner in the crime of overanalysis and then there were some other answers on a completely different level altogether. Heh. Always good to keep the perspective wide, I say. Anyhow. K's birthday from the year we met to today has always been one of those days when I get suddenly taken aback by how far life has come from those days of platonic conversations and denial. This pic taken was at Hussy's house at midnight on Nov 27, 2004, almost exactly a month before I said yes to him and a little more than two years after we met. I think by this point I knew where we were going but was too scared to really believe it could be quite this easy. He, of course, will tell you a different story about how "not easy" it really was.

Happy Birthday k, to many many wonderful years ahead, together.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good Wives, Bad Wives

There is so much advice floating out there on what a Good Wife should be. It starts hitting you from right about the time you are old enough to be married (and THAT is another topic altogether!). The advice continues flowing from all corners of the world-from well meaning friends to interfering relatives and even randoms who of course must always provide some kind of commentary and input.

What is sad is that in all this plethora of well intentioned but absolute rubbish, no real issues is ever addressed. Advice skims on good recipes, being there when he gets home, being pleasant, well kept, and all this is said in the most generic terms possible. OF course life is not this general at all, and one hardly uses mass advice.

A few weeks ago, a friend mentioned feeling like she was not a good wife, because she just couldn't fix what her husband was going through, job-wise. She said he was feeling demotivated, tired and blah. "I'm trying to tell him it will pass but I feel maybe that is depressing him even more."

The pressure is so intense to be the everything in your partners life these days. It's like if you are married, nothing should ever afflict you again. There should be no depression, no tears, no demotivation, no simple blues and blahs anymore- simply because You Are Now Married. I told B that one of the most important things I think I have realized in my 15 married months is that lows are as much a part of marriage as the highs are. And learning to give space to each other to mourn on our own on any level becomes more important. I used to love a good solo sob every few months- even if it was triggered by something retardedly meaningless. It was a much needed negative energy release. I'd hate to think that one of my therapeutic sobs or wallowy lows was automatically associated with my partner.

A major part of being the good wife for me has been realizing that, no matter how wonderfully connected a couple you are, sometimes you just need to fight solo battles. And lose on your own. And win on your own. However, if you know you are being watched over from the sidelines, it's the best feeling in the world.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

steering clear

In a conversation today, a friend was telling me about a friend she has- who she has never ever had a fight with. No argument, no showdown, no not-talking-for-months-then-making-it-ok. She said that whenever they felt they were heading towards a topic where they would have a difference of opinion, they would steer away, not talk about it. "Over the years," she admitted, "we do have less to talk about completely honestly, but I guess atleast we are still friends."