Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Tonight will be the finale of the Korean drama Mother and I'll watch it tomorrow once the show is subtitled. It's a show about motherhood, what makes a mother and what a child, and it made me cry hard today.

I don't write much but recent posts show a preoccupation with understanding what kind of mother I am. It's all that I have thought of, lately. Although I wanted both my babies, and was happy that I got them, I never wanted to be defined by my motherhood. This blog has documented my refusal to join in the ranks of mom bloggers (even though I hung out primarily with that crowd back then). Again and again, I read my old posts and see a firm refusal to be identified as Sunayana Roy, mother. Even though every decision I have made since Rahul's birth, every 'choice', was decided by his needs, even then I needed to believe that I had agency, that I was not bound down by my child(ren).

It's not even true though, is it?

I really hated it when people kept telling me such and such was a necessary hardship of mothers and I should just accept it. I still resent the jobs I've left and the work I've turned down (or turned in so badly that I'd never get work there again) just because my children needed me. I do feel that I made a hash of it where I didn't do either the career or the mothering well, but I'm aware I tried my hardest. It just kills me that my hardest falls so short all the time.

Is this what mothering is, a constant rubbing in of one's inadequacies?

The last month has been particularly brutal. I've blamed myself over and over again for letting Rahul down, for not taking better care of him. What good is a mother that cannot protect her own child? I've been on the phone to my mother several times a day, fighting back tears as I tell her how difficult I'm finding this and she keeps building me up, telling me to find my strength. I know I'm on the right path but it doesn't make the journey feel easier. If anything, the more I learn, the more bitterly I blame myself for all that I didn't know, or do, or insist upon. There seems to be no valid excuse for any of it. I was not too young or not educated enough. I just failed.


I'm glad I didn't post this the day I wrote it. Time brought comfort, and strength, and sense. I went out drinking with friends that night and cursed my problems out till they stopped hurting. But yeah, motherhood's a bitch.


Anonymous said...

With you, Sue. Understand your struggles. Have always fought being labelled as a mother, too. Though lots of times, that's all I can be. Without any doubt. Thanks for sharing this. Articulated so much that many of us never express.

Anonymous said...

you are a ;overly tough gal sweetie. Fell so much of what you've written here but yes me too. The more I've resisted the "mother only" tag the more I seem to lean into all things motherhood. I thought the teens would be less of a hassle. Oh how I've been proved wrong!

Hang in there and vent it out when u need to.


Sue said...

Anon - I think it's the fear of losing myself that makes me resist the label, you know?

Deepa - Teens start next year, so wish me luck!