Thursday, February 7, 2013

The promise made to self.

He was ready to come, and they were trying hard. And then finally she heard, he's here, and before she knew it, he was placed on her chest. The instructions were hold him tight, he knows you already. Tears started rolling down her cheeks. He was literally the first child she had ever held in her arms. It was magical. He was her son. It was hard to believe that she had created this living being. A whole human being was thriving in her for nine months and even though they had never met, they knew each other.   

As night came, he cried and the moment she held him, he would stop crying. She said to herself, its a coincidence, how can someone a day old be so smart. How can someone whose brain is still developing recognize a touch? But he did and proved it to her. One night, he was crying, for you see he was colicky, night times were not exactly his favorite. And she had gone down the "to do"list three times, and nothing seemed to work. She put him down on the bed.. and said "what do you want me to do. Tell me, I don't know this stuff. This is new to me too." At that moment it happened, for a hair splitting second he stopped crying and their eyes met, at that moment she knew what to do. She laid down on the bed, made him sleep on his chest, covered themselves with a blanket and kissed him good night. 

They both slept like babies. 

She knew the doctor would be mad for co-sleeping. She knew the nurse had warned her of kids suffocating to death in grown up beds, but she didn't care. She was his mother and her instincts could not be wrong.   That night she made a promise to herself, she will take care of her kids and next morning, she quit her job. A job that brought in a handsome 70K. But she did not care. 

Such is the story of many SAHM's like me. Now when I think about it, its very similar to a suicidal moment. I know you're thinking .. WTH is she talking about! But seriously, it is that split second of a moment when we take that decision. If someone would stop and hold back, then maybe in a day or two, the decision would be different.  Maybe sanity would kick in.. LOL!  It's the most rewarding feeling, but comes with a "Groundhog day" life. 

I am not trying to justify or start a debate on the topic of SAHM vs. Working Mom's. I think we all agree that both situations have their challenges and there is no right or wrong answer to this debate. Its a personal preference, because we are all different.  But I do want to bring forward are the promises that we make to ourselves. 

A fresh out of college student, a newly wed couple, first child, second child, 40th birthday and so forth are all milestones in a typical average Joe or Jane. The priorities and promises we make to ourselves change with us.  And as we keep going, some where along the journey the aspirations and dreams get buried under grocery lists, soccer schedules, doctor appointments and corporate presentations. 

To me that is; Life, it happens.  

Life happens to all of us, but there are a brave few, who either don't let the aspirations get buried, or take a moment to pause and dig those dreams and aspirations from the rubble of life.  It is these few who dare to walk the path less travelled.  Joe and Jane say they are lucky to live their dreams. Are they?  Are they really luckier? Or are they simply those who took the time and effort everyday to do something, a tiny little task that helped them move closer to their dreams and literally one step at a time, crossed the bridge of life to reach their dreams. 

"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost
These lucky few had made a promise to themselves to not get lost.  

We all need to pause, and think of what we want to do besides life. Maybe it is to learn a new language, start a business, learn to salsa, or maybe go visit the Swiss Alps.  What ever that dream is, pull it out and make a promise to yourself today, to make it a reality. 

10 years ago, the dream was to see "every first" of my child. Today, that dream stays, and joining it is another dream to make a living. Why? I haven't quite figured it out yet.  But I do know, the dream has been in the making for a few years and now has taken shape.  

"Life is not about finding oneself. Life is about creating oneself."  

I will create myself, and not get lost in this crazy world. That's a promise made to self. 


  1. Shilpa your thoughts are irresistable! And I am glad they are like that , because they make me feel immersed further in the aroma of creating, rather, re-creating and re- dicovering myself. An unending effort... though.
    On a positive note: 'Dreams can come true!'

    Well written :)

    1. Thanks Amrita. It's good to see you here and I am glad we are on the same page. I think as women and nurturers of the family, we forget about ourselves. But over time, I am beginning to realize that we can nurture only if we first nurture ourselves.

  2. Thank you for the inspirational words. You let us all know that, "making a living," does not necessarily mean bringing home a paycheck. Do something with your life that is just for you.

    1. Hi Amy,

      You're the only one who picked the connection between "making a living" and "creating oneself." While bringing home a paycheck is important and I am hoping to someday do so.. it is more important for me at this point to do something about the dreams I had 20 years ago.

      The realization took a while to come, but I am glad it came :-)