The word ‘Love’ has various definitions and forms. Some define it as ‘strong affection’, ‘warm attachment’, ‘affection based on admiration’ and even ‘infatuation’ or ‘lust’. It means different things to different people. Needless to say, finding just the right way to describe love is difficult. I like to call it LIFE’S ONLY VITAL EMOTION.
Experience has taught me that whatever the definition of Love may be, it may not always be permanent. There are very few relationships in life where we can say that the love never dies. This particular emotion is put to test in many relationships, more than any of us ever realise but when you come out of it with the ability to still feel that emotion, then you know that the relationship will stand the test of time.
According to me, the definition of Love changes for a person throughout the different stages of life. Growing up, this word is thrown around quite effortlessly and we tend to fall out of love as easily as we fall into it. It doesn’t take much at that stage in life to find fault with someone and immediately stop loving them. Those are connections that can easily be dissolved. Later on when we start forming intimate relationships, love takes on a more emotional role. Commitment comes into the picture and this is when we ask ourselves if this love is forever. No matter how much time passes by and obstacles faced, will this love endure all?
As a mother, I have learned that love knows no boundaries. I wonder in amazement sometimes how the meaning of love changes for a person before and after becoming a mother. The love I feel for my children is the truest and purest form of love I have ever felt and I did not know what it meant to love unconditionally until I gave birth to my elder son. Many people out there may not agree with this statement of maternal love always being unconditional. I remember someone asking me in the past if unconditional love is a pre-requisite for motherhood. Sometimes it does not have to be although I think most of us like the idea of it more than anything else.
The bond between a mother and child is formed from the time the baby is in the mother’s womb. Raising a child is not easy for any woman and there are times when I have wondered whether or not I will be able to do this for the rest of my life. In the midst of all the exhaustion and sleepless nights, there are still those magical moments where your child smiling at you even for a second makes your chest ache and makes the exhaustion slowly fade away. However, in those moments of exhaustion and frustration, I have questioned the emotion of love and wondered if that is enough to be able to care and protect my children. I am sure many mothers out there have thought this time and time again and maybe with extreme guilt too. How can we as mothers question this at all? Unlike when we were young, there is only one answer. The love we feel for our children is a basic part of our make-up. We are hooked for life. Despite all the tantrums and arguments, the love for our children goes beyond being addictive and sometimes bordering on obsessive.
The bond with our children will change over the years, but the strength never fades.
The statement ‘Friends like Family’ or #framily as I like to call it has always been a favourite of mine. When we are young, we learn that family consists of our own flesh and blood. However, over the years as we make friends in school and when we are 3000 miles away from our own family in college, friends start to become family. Bonds are formed which cannot be broken. Family, is not always blood.
Some of my best friends today are friends from school. We have seen each other through thick and thin and provide a strong support system for each other even now. It has been quite a ride throughout the various phases of our lives – from the then immature and care-free teenagers to the now responsible mothers. Every mother needs mom friends and non-mom friends.
Having friends who are like family when you become a mother is essential and therapeutic. There are all sorts of emotions a new mother feels; I think we are all extremely familiar and in-tune with our feelings as mothers. We are trying to deal with and get used to the unfamiliar territory of motherhood, at the same time trying to maintain some sense of normalcy. When a person is going through a significant change, it is always comforting to know that someone else is experiencing the same and can empathise. It is reassuring to know that a friend is also grappling with various degrees of uncertainty regarding being a mother and is waking up at all hours of the night to feed and change diapers. How much ever we wish things were easier for them, we feel a little better knowing that we are not alone. We feel a little better knowing that we have people to share our deepest fears with. Our non-mom friends are of course always there to lend a shoulder to cry on as well; they are also the ones we turn to when we want to shut down the mom brain.
I feel lucky that many of my friends whom I have known since I was a teenager are still my friends today, and now are my mom friends as well. But there may be many young mothers who are not so lucky, especially if they have moved to a new city and have to start all over. The whole process of making new friends, let alone mom friends is not an easy feat. However, we need to remember that all mothers are in the same situation and crave friendship at every stage. My friends who are also mothers were my reinforcement during the first few months of motherhood and still continue to be so today. I know they are available at any time during the day or night for me to call and vent to, and they know that I am there for them as well. From trying not to let our hearts break when our babies are unwell to managing frequent tantrums and stopping ourselves from wanting to run away, mom friends are the one-stop shop. They will never get sick of hearing you worry about the colour of your baby’s poop or the various methods to soothe your cracked nipples from feeding. They will never complain when you want to talk about the loss of your old identity, and the challenges in settling into your new one. Talking is therapeutic. Bottling up feelings is not.
Most of my readers are aware of the reason I started this blog. There are mothers all over the world who feel that they need to keep their experiences and thoughts to themselves, letting them fester deep inside. Many are hesitant or ashamed to voice their feelings as they think many of the thoughts may come off as negative, gloomy or unwelcoming by other mothers. But no one has ever said that motherhood is filled with all hallmark moments. There is also no 'right' or 'wrong' when it comes to how a mother decides to raise her children. More often than not, the reluctance to confide in another person stems from increased levels of self-doubt. My aim as always is to encourage moms-to-be, new moms and veteran moms to speak out and share their experiences, at the same time providing support to all those out there who need it. I cannot stress enough about how good it feels to confide in people.
So to all the new moms out there, if you do not have any mom friends yet, put yourself out there and make some. They will not only keep you sane, but they will also hold your hand through the ups and downs of motherhood for the rest of your life.
To all the fabulous non-mom friends out there, don't think that you don't have an equally important role to play as the mom friends! I think your mom friends would have an extremely hard time taking motherhood in their stride if it weren't for time-outs now and then provided by you. So keep planning those girls nights because at the end of the day, you are your friend's light at the end of the motherhood tunnel.
Hi! I'm Antara and I was once a 'let's get the party started, consume a bottle of Rose Champagne on the weekend' kind of girl. Now at 33 and a mom of a teddy bear looking 2 year old boy (with another little bundle on the way), I am still that 'let's get the party started, consume a bottle of Rose Champagne on the weekend kind of girl.'