Never believe anyone who says no kid is born bad. They don't have a clue. The nicest of parents, who get enough sleep and are in full emotional control and work hard at parenting, get the rottenest kids. There will come a point when the twerp whose bottom you wiped a million times, who managed to do targeted projectile vomiting on you and your most expensive dress, whose snot you have cleared using your own hands will tell you to get a life.
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My son was born at 30 weeks. I felt nothing when the nurse brought this little lizard-like character wrapped in a towel to me. Instead of being overwhelmed by love, I distinctly remember thinking, “Oh my god! He is such a scrawny ugly little thing. What a waste of six months of throwing up good food!” For days when he was in the NICU and I was in my bed two wards down, I went to see him only because the nurses asked me to…
I feel a pervasive sense of helplessness, of danger, of responsibility, a sense of guilt and unreality. It is as though our earth has shifted on its axis and something unfathomable has occurred in the galaxy in which I live. Even as I realise that, I know his confusion must be so much more. It is a whole new world to him -- in an awful, confusing way, he must be in a city where the street signs are missing.
When I told my mother, that fateful morning, that her son was dead, she fell in a heap, as though she imploded. She hit her head as she fell, but I just walked by her and went to drink some water, leaving her lying there for the relatives to pick up. Was I unnatural? Maybe. When I see Nupur Talwar's face and the steely determination in it, I know where that comes from. From a need to act normal when nothing around is.
I have a fridge magnet which says: "There is no such thing as a non-working mother". But try being a mother who has a full-time job outside the home as well. And while your male colleagues will always tell you that it is all about time/stress management, I can guarantee you at least 80% of them go home to get ready-made tea, meals and welcome hugs from nicely bathed, cute children.