I’ve never known what jealousy feels like. When my brother was born I was happy there was someone younger than me. He was the naughtier one…in fact one of the naughtiest I have ever seen. Quite naturally friends and relatives were eager to hear about his latest escapades. I, on the other hand had no achievements to boast of! And though I did cry once about being the ‘good’ one, jealousy remained an unknown emotion.
When Aniruddha and I got into a relationship there too jealousy remained elusive. He was always the good boyfriend and is a terrific husband. Too secure, too loving and focussed to make me ever feel jealous about his classmates then or colleagues now.
But something’s snapped inside now…at 30, after motherhood I have sensed the traits of jealousy…or something that is new to me! I didn’t realise it at first and dismissed it as Baby Blues…but something tells me this is more than that! This, my dear readers will be one of the toughest posts I will perhaps ever write…
Yes, I am a jealous, insecure mother! I am jealous every time he is easily soothed by someone else. Everytime he is put to sleep by someone else. Everytime someone gives him the bottle. Everytime he is happy with someone else that he hardly notices me… I am insecure, scared and sometimes sad that perhaps Vihaan doesn’t know me enough…that perhaps his needs are so basic that they are taken care by almost anyone. Does he really know me? Does he really need me? Does he really care? Is he happy everytime I pick him up? Does he really look out for me?
I never imagined my baby to be a clinger, ‘maa ke aanchal ke neeche’ kinds. I had always wanted a happy, easy to mingle kind of baby…not fussy, friendly and really no nonsense. Vihaan is exactly that and much more. I haven’t seen a nicer baby. In the last 4 months I have never had the reason to complain about my night shifts. That’s because right from the start V has set his own timings. Twice a night in his first month and then once thereafter. He has his own play and sleep times leaving me with very little reason to complain. He rarely cries. Infact our neighbours say they never know if the baby’s there or gone back to Delhi. People who have come to see us say that I am a ‘pro Mom’. I know how to hold V, massage and bathe him so well! Really, I’ve never needed anyone else to handle him for me. All new mommies out there…did you need help? I had conditioned myself for the baby’s needs…somehow strangely nothing felt alien to me. It was always like I knew how to hold a new born…how to bathe him…how to soothe him…Vihaan is my first born and I know what it takes to keep him comfortable.
Vihaan is an easy baby to handle, infact both my mother and mom in law have masterly handled him in my absence. For a month long during my hospital visits my Mum would step in to handle the baby. The day I was operated upon for the breast absecess, my mum in law had stepped in to feed, clean and soothe the baby. In the last 4 months I’ve stepped out without Vihaan only a couple of times – a dinner with brothers and sisters and a movie! Both times he was with my mum-in-law…with no reason for me to worry…but I couldn’t get him out of my mind! Is that what is being a mother? I knew he was in safe hands, but I imagined all kinds of little disasters! In my heart I hoped he’d be looking for me…perhaps a little (not too) cranky…a little (not too) fussy…I hoped he’d realise his mom was not around! The good boy that he is, Vihaan slept through both evenings!
In a week’s time we will be back in Delhi. Back to where we belong. Away from his grandparents, I know Vihaan will miss those smiling, doting faces. And then he’ll have his Mum for company. Daddy’s missed out watching his son grow up…from a featherless little birdie to a playful infant now. While we’ve all watched Vihaan grow up a little every day, Aniruddha has been reduced to a BBM-FB Daddy! In my heart I’ve wanted him to spend more time with his son…now is the time. But will I be jealous of the Dad-Son bonding too?? I dunno…
In less than 10 days Vihaan will have a Nanny…I think I’ll die with worry! But a Mom’s gotta do what a Mom’s gotta do! Will Vihaan prefer her over me?? Gosh! No!! I never imagined ‘being tied down’ to a baby would be so much fun! I don’t have a life outside Vihaan now…and I haven’t started complaining yet! Will the fatigue set in? Will I ever overcome the impulse to be with him forever? Will I itch to get back my life before Vihaan ever? Will I be able to do my late nights at work without guilt? Will be less insecure and jealous everytime I hand him over to someone else for his daily needs? Will I worry less?
Being a Mom is synonymous with ‘being taken for granted’. Don’t I do that with my Mom? Why should Vihaan be any different? Why do I want him to ‘show’ me that he loves me? Bah!! Knowing me…I know its nothing to do with the fact that I have a son, a daughter would have brought on the same feelings! I have to arrest this nagging want for my son’s love and recognition…someday he’ll grow up to make friends, find a girlfriend and then a wife…Gosh!! Can you imagine what I’d become if I don’t stop this now?? *hides face*
Venting it all out here is cathartic. It’s like showing you all that I didn’t want to share. Laugh it away, tell me ‘Vihaan loves him Mom’, I know all that…its just a phase…the return of Baby Blues perhaps?
Vihaan turns 4 months today…a gentle reminder to me that ‘Mommy I am no longer a new born now…I am officially an infant!’ I think its time his Mommy grows up too!
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