By Mittu Gopalan
“Motherhood” is a key role that comes with no manuals or rules or formulas or job descriptions or guidelines. On Mother’s day, I want to share that this is a role where you learn every day and even after almost 21 years, I believe that I’m continuing to learn to be a better mum each day. However, it is the most rewarding phase of my life and a role that I would never trade for anything else in this world. Being a mother is nothing like achieving any of your other goals- like securing your dream job or dream home or ticking off a holiday destination from your bucket list. It is a constant and continuous journey, where one learns invaluable lessons, evolves, experiences various emotions and invaluable memories to treasure a lifetime.
When one of my children asked me which course would I recommend her when enrolling at university, all is I said was: ‘Baby whatever you decide to do, bear in mind that it really doesn’t matter what you do- unless you can achieve two things:-
1. Achieve happiness, spread joy and serve every single day, doing what you do and
2. Learn the art to juggle’
Being a woman, I believe, you have no choice but to master the art to juggling without dropping any of the balls! Have you ever found yourself looking at your to-do list for the day and wondering how you will find a few minutes to breathe in between your commitments?
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Have you ever found yourself amidst a teleconference (which is running late) and you are simultaneously texting your nanny/ husband/ partner saying that you will be running late and requesting him or her to pick your child up from the daycare and then rushing home to cook dinner for your family?
Well then, you are a juggler yourself! Motherhood these days is a fine art of juggling between work, play, friends, family, social lives and other commitments and the fine art of keeping it all in the air. I believe that motherhood is becoming more and more challenging in this day and age.
Considering that we are constantly in a rat race, trying to please one’s husband/ partner, the boss at work, in-laws, parents, children, friends, and other commitments, it is rare’, that you get to take time out to, breathe and find time to nurture and look after yourself.
Juggling is hard, but there are ways to make it easier and better –
-When you accept the fact that there are going to be days where you will drop certain balls.
-Once you accept this fact, it becomes easier. Knowing that you did try your very best and you cannot be perfect all the time.
-When you try to make your facts right rather than perfect, juggling becomes fun.
So dear mothers, forgive yourself for the days when you drop your balls occasionally. Also, find the time to invigorate yourself with what replenishes and rejuvenates your inner soul. Once your soul has been replenished and your cup has been filled, you will be in a position to pour cups of energy for others around you, who depend on you.
Stop feeling guilty. The constant struggle that I face is forever feeling guilty for not being a full-time mother to my kids.
As much as I want to be a progressive, career-oriented business owner, I do have regrets (like other mothers) that I wish I had spent more time with my children. But the fact is as they grow up and as they watch you flourish in your career, there is no better joy than them idolizing you as their heroes.
Dear mothers, forgive yourself for the days when you feel guilty, be kind to yourself for the days when you think you need a time out and forgive yourself for your imperfections. Enjoy the ride of motherhood, for before you realize it, the days of nappies, burps, colic, bottles, tantrum times, sleep times, music lessons, dance classes, soccer sessions, prom nights, stressful year 12 days, university days, date nights, late nights and party nights, all fizzles away and you wish you
had held them more and hugged them more, loved them more each day and be their best friend forever!
Dear mums, always remember, ‘There is no way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million ways to be a good one’ – Jill Churchill.
And as for me, there is no better joy or no better successor no better achievement, that I believe I have built over the years, than being a mum and having played a role in my children’s lives. Being blessed with the gift of motherhood is certainly priceless.
I am also forever grateful to the incredible mum of mine, an iron lady herself, who laid the foundations for me to have a good life.
Happy Mother’s day to my mum and to all the wonderful mums out there. Take time out to celebrate the incredible you!
(With over 20 years of experience in law and heading a multicultural team, Mittu Gopalan is the Principal and owner of Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors. The Sydney-based law firm has been featured as a finalist in prestigious awards such as India Australia Business & Community Awards as Business Woman of the Year in 2016. Views expressed are personal.)