Shefali Chowdhary’s essay: When to stop worrying

Till the date I became a mother I did not understand the true meaning of worry. Yes worrying for an assignment not completed, exam preparation not being there etc but worrying about another being??

Nobody tells you that once a mother always a worrier! No it is not a typo, I do mean worrier and not warrior though we are that too protecting our kids from any harm.

And as they are growing up you keep waiting for the years when you can stop being apprehensive for them and now at my age with very grown children I realise that I may have left my youth and smooth forehead behind but what I am still carrying with me is the concern and worry for my child.

A constant anguish for the well being of your children. Are they happy? Are they coping financially? Is their choice of the way they live ok? If unconventional will it bring them peace? What will people say? Why are they not sharing their problems?

I am a mother and I should know your problems, right? And the reply comes ‘you will needlessly worry” Really!! When am I not worrying? When I am guessing that something is gnawing at you, when I can hear you talk incessantly on the phone walking up and down the passage , I already worry. So sharing will help me focus on a possible solution but why do they not get this. I know my ma would have worried also but then we were living a life similar to hers with no ground breaking (at least for us) new fundas.

And so, this is the thing then. We mothers need to understand that we have given birth to these little beings and tried to instil a value system and way of living ,yet they are individuals of their own. They will not live like our photocopy (not that I think all of it is worth duplicating). And so they view the world through a different lens. Their coping mechanism is different and they react and then act differently than how we may have done. Their value system and their scale of judgement is their own.

And this is where we mothers need to develop an understanding that though you are their mother and want to hold them safe but they have to learn and get up on their own when they fall. They will find a way to dust their knee and move on and cope in a way which may be different but will work for them(you hope!).Their sensibilities are different and it may not match your core belief and make you sad and remorseful but you have lived your life with your share of ups and downs and so will they ride their own crests and troughs. They now live in a society where they have more like them and hence they will emulate those beliefs and behaviour acceptances rather than yours . And though you do realise that they are more practical and pragmatic (well sometimes!) but yet you want the things to be as they were and as per your beliefs but it does not happen and then comes your feeling of being overlooked, uncared for and hence dejection.

Acceptance I believe is the way to go about it. And it does not come easy to a mother so I have to at this age train and teach myself that I will have to accept their way of life and be happy for their happiness even if it is not the way you want to write the script. Accepting that even with unconventional (as per yours) way they will find a way to exist peacefully and flourish and you just have to go with the wind of the new times because for mothers of any generation the next one does have a different way. And then there is what is called destiny. We may birth our babies but we don’t write their destiny nor their path of the journey . But yes be happy that should they need you, you are there.

Shefali Chowdhary is a physics teacher by profession and an avid art enthusiast. She loves to doodle in Madhubani paintings and organising various types of events. She also takes immense pride in her unmatched sense of humour.

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