Wednesday, 1 September 2010

i want to be do I Greta, so do i.....

FB update:Yesterday the lady at the pharmacy made the intelligent observation that by me holding my baby instead of keeping him strapped in his stroller screaming his eyeballs off, he would be spoilt. Theres a fine line between expressing an opinion and being a complete asshole. Welcome to motherhood Khairun.

I don't have the luxury to be quiet these days. Greta never had children of her own. Perhaps because she knew that a miniature version of Greta would have her screaming those famous words instead. Miss Pharmacy Lady saw to it that I never retreat to my cosy self made shell again. And she wouldn't have been on a mission to put my blossoming parenting skills down, without there being a baby in my arms.So it was Isaac who got to the job at hand, that of holding his podgy hands up to my face, to stop me from retreating back into the closet of Thinking everybody is Nice and Thinking everybody thinks I'm Nice-Land.
Before motherhood went and shoved my creative free time high up where the sun don't shine, I had the luxury of having my quiet moments uninterrupted, my boredom free to roam and wander and multiply. Me and Mr T secretly delighted in being occasionally ignored by the more talkative parent scene at random get togethers. Add to the bag the fact that I'm usually surrounded by non English speaking individuals, it was even more of a pure unashamed indulgence of mine to slip out of the conversation, which I didn't understand anyway,about various schools and the funny things my child says which I also didn't have much to add to accept a smile and and a reallllllyyyyy??,and instead would find myself jiggling someones baby on my hip or smile at random children whilst they imitate my mute condition by staring back at me, before running off to find someone slightly more entertaining. It didnt bother me in the sense that I didn't pressure myself as I did in my uni years, to get out of my shell and cure myself of this crippling
. It meant I never had too many kids wiping their noses on the back of my skirt and asking me lots of questions. I just figured, why fight the very essence of what makes you YOU? I was grateful for feeling confident enough to be quiet, to go with the flow, to not give a hoo haa what other people think. Us quiet folk are often misinterpreted as being rude, unsociable, selfish, insecure, cut off from what is supposed to be the basic human prereqhuisite: communication. Not to say that there aren't any quiet mean people out there. I just like to think I'm from the quiet and nice variety!
Try being quietly nice with a baby then Khairun. It worked for Greta because of 1.Being childless and 2. Being what you call, sassy.
Sassy Khairun is an oxymoron. Sassy Khairun sounds like swahili for wimpish. My wimpish temperament combined with motherhood, meant an inevitable facewipe from complete strangers who think they know how to be a better mother than me. This smiling mute condition doesn't hold up so well in the face of unsolicited advice and the very real changes that have to take place in order for me to take it on the chin. I cannot be chinless anymore. I created my own version of self confidence out of something that, for as long as it remained untested, which was my feelings and ideas, I was doing great. My own personal manifesto on how to survive a very loud opinionated world with a very quiet,chinless and totally unsassy soul. Smiling in the hope to win over peoples hearts with my ditsy ways doesnt work whilst jiggling a baby that is very much mine and will always be mine and nobody elses. I need to know how to take hurtful comments with a firm hand. I need to know that keeping myself to myself, isn't going to do much for me anymore. Im touching upon an issue i wrote about recently, about how I've spent too long defending a shyness that has now proven to not work in the real world. Being a mother has suddenly made the world very real to me.
There is a me somewhere in all of this. Its through the writing, the painting, the way i love my son, the things that make me laugh, the things that make me want to be a better version of the current version. I love all these things about me. i love that I want to know so much without ever feeling that I know it all. To see that I am still the same person to those who matter, whilst knowing that I need to change so much of that person. The acknowledgement of this has been a real joy for me.

It's good to give a voice to these things.


Mónica said...

Yes Khairun, it's really hard to be a mum in this world. This happened to me when my daughter was little, everybody was keeping their noses on my oun life, telling me "Don't do this, don't do that". In some ocasions i had to argue with my family members so they could see that i do what i this it's best for my family. It's my opinion and it deserves respect. At some point they learned the message, and now nobody tells me pretty much anything. Now my grandma (especially) even say to other people: "Leave it, she's her mother, she knows best" :))
At some point, if you are still firm, they will leave you alone :)

khairun said...

and family are the toughest to deal with, particularly when the opinions come largely as a complete surprise.
Youre right, standing firm is the best way. Theres a part of me that always feel im being inconsiderate, but i think some people really need to be put in their place. Sad but true. Sad but true but LIBERATING!