Stories about motherhood

The repercussions of being a working woman instead of a mother in Pakistan

Recently, I posted an article on Facebook titled, ‘Sorry but being a mother is not the most important job in the world’ only to be faced with the wrath of many women, both with and without children, about how insensitive this article was and how I would never understand the importance of motherhood until I had my own child. The reaction I received to the post points to two things. First, perhaps understandably, the reactions seemed to be based on emotions rather than a critical reading of what the article actually says. The author is in no way trying to deride or ...

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10 ridiculous reasons for which I was ‘un-friended’ and blocked on Facebook

I am probably one of the very first people after Mark Zuckerberg to have joined this most readily available medium of connecting with old friends, existing colleagues and future soul mates; yes, I am talking about Facebook. Like every bald-headed, pot-bellied film director who does not even have the contacts to arrange the appropriate number of extras to dance behind a newbie actress in his never-to-hit-top-charts upcoming movie, but still insists that he is the mentor behind the success of every highest-paid star, I also take this privilege of being that one friend-in-need who invited nearly every close pal to this medium. If ...

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My mother’s last words to me

I wrote this a few days after my mother passed away today on October 2, 1989. I have carried it with me since not knowing if what I wrote was meant only for me.  As the memories of that night flood me again, I feel that the heaviness of carrying it for so long has made me weak. I also don’t know when I might join her (and my dad), and this true story will go down with me. I suppose by sharing this with you I can tell you what a fine woman she was and how all she ...

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Why do some mothers want to hurt their newborns?

New motherhood is no picnic. The indignity of childbirth, stitches in unmentionable places, the physical marathon of labour, the month-long bleeding and more. It doesn’t matter how easy your pregnancy was or how much you wanted a baby, the reality of motherhood usually comes as a bit of a shock. It’s impossible to overstate the major lack of sleep and the sheer exhaustion of looking after a newborn. Struggling to feed a newborn every two hours, cleaning sticky newborn poop and worrying as they inevitably get jaundice is all part and parcel of the deal. Add major hormone fluctuations as your body ...

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Why I do not care about teaching my toddler about letters, shapes and colours

How many adults do you know that can’t read, can’t draw a circle or can’t identify colours? Honestly, you may be able to think of one or two in your life. Statistically, one in seven adults has issues with reading and writing. So this is not an issue to completely forget about, but if you are reading this blog, chances are your child will not be one of these children. This statistic mainly comes from very impoverished and neglected children and these adults will need far more than basic grammar skills to function in life. So what’s your rush to get your toddler to ...

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Working mom dilemmas: A life in progress

There are too many things on my plate. That’s how it has been for as long as I can remember. Selected highlights of a typical day of mine make me feel sorry for myself. I am a working woman and this is my life. My day revolves around handling my maid’s mood swings and training her to make Thai food or gajar ka halwa, while I make Thai food and gajar ka halwa, and masoor ki daal that happily simmers on the other stove. Amidst this cooking and cleaning, I take out an hour to do aerobics a few times a week. This involves stretches and workouts ...

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This mother’s day, I forgot my mother’s birthday

My mother, who remembers all of her five children’s birthdays, who remembers her children’s childrens’ birthdays, if she was ever to forget, I don’t think any of us would let her forget for a long time. If my kids cough too hard I know I can call my mom at three o’clock in her morning and she will tell me 10 things I can do to soothe my child. She will call back, again and again to check up on us, forgetting about her own sleep, and telling me to get some rest even though it will be afternoon at ...

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What men can expect when a woman is expecting

The news of conception can be kind of alarming for many fathers-to-be. While the mother-to-be is busy enjoying the extra attention, the poor father isn’t given the time of day. I believe that the dad-to-be is affected a lot more due to the added pressure of looking after two people now, from when the test comes positive to the time of the baby’s delivery. I remember collecting the pregnancy test results on the way home from work in 2003. ‘Positive’ it read. I immediately felt an adrenaline rush on reading it. As was expected, my wife turned into the eighth wonder of the ...

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No matter how old she grows, she’ll always be my baby

Recently, my daughter graduated from kindergarten. The emotions I feel are hard to describe. As clichéd as it sounds, I still remember the first time I held her in my arms. I remember being mesmerised by her dark eyes, as if they still held secrets of the world they had come from, wide awake and looking right into my soul. I remember the feeling that took over me; a feeling more powerful than love, more powerful than any other emotion I had felt before that. I don’t have a name for that emotion. Only a mother knows that emotion and understands it. It ...

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‘Don’t tickle your baby’s feet’

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman in possession of a new baby must be in severe, dire need of parenting advice – or so the aunties would have you believe. Parenting is probably the only profession where you can be an expert with the least amount of training. All you need to do is have a baby, or have a sister who has a baby, or have seen a fleeting glimpse of a baby bawling in a park. It seems like the minute you announce you are expecting, a swarm of visitors besiege you with ...

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