It took me years to understand the women who bore me, brought me up, and even educated me for a while. For me as a child; she was someone who was constantly threatening me with bad grades in fifth class board exam or that my father would be mad if I asked to go to my friend’s place since they had stopped coming to mine on the pretext that I did not visit them. Later when I came to Lahore to pursue my further education I felt her heart to soften a lot for me. She came to live with us again after her retirement and that was when she again started the usual scolding. My using too much phone or more appropriately being lost into it drove her crazy. My being a grown up adult and leaving for college or university without breakfast would leave her in fits of rage.
Not for a single moment I thought that her being mad about it was my fault. I had become the adult who wanted privacy even from my family for no reason. Obviously being in an eastern society I had no relationship issues as there were no relationships; still I wanted privacy and only god knew why? I did not want to cook, clean my room or even do my own laundry. Living in Pakistani society where people hardly make living enough to feed families I was expecting an emotional support which was unknown at that time. People normally live in joint families where not much time is left for the mother to stand the teenage tantrums of her children.
I needed an escape badly and before I could land myself in further trouble I got engaged. A lot changed after that and I started looking forward to a fairytale life where I would be going out having the time of my life. Little did I know what was in restore for me.
After being married I had some duties to perform and leave alone not doing them I could not even negotiate. I missed my home, my folks and especially my mom badly who would come to me every time I overreacted and behaved rudely. It was too late for me to make things up for my mom and then right after I got married I started expecting my first baby.
The pregnancy went well and with the gender of the baby revealed it became even better. The day came when I delivered my son through a c-section and then came the night when everyone was in deep slumber because of a hectic day. I woke up to my son’s loud and high-pitched crying and didn’t know what he wanted; all I knew was that I could not stand his crying. I tried waking his aunt up so he could be attended but all in vain. She was dead tired after hundreds of rounds of upstairs and downstairs to get my things and medications.
I was in immense pain, could not get up on my own but still his crying was literally biting at my heart. Maybe he had soiled his diaper, wanted to be fed or God knew what was bothering him but one thing was sure I had started becoming a mother. This went on and on and is still going on but first few days were very crucial for me. Even though in pain I would wake up to his slightest needs, walk about the room singing lullabies for hours with my scar still throbbing and then looking at him for hours checking if he was still breathing.
After all this I spent endless hours crying not for my baby but for my mother who had given me this much love and I had never valued it when I was with her. The only thing that I wanted was fly back into her lap and tell her how much I loved her, how mean I was and how I so wanted to make up for all those angry mood swings of years gone by.
I will not repeat the cliché terms like “Mothers are gifts of God” or this and that. The day you become a mother is the day you fall in love with your mother. Tell her you love her before it’s too late. Overcoming with guilt later in life is even more painful when time is gone and hurt has stabbed her heart time and again.