Life brings with a plethora of experiences, each with a flavour of its own. I wish to share with all my readers these various experiences and observations that I have made during my time here on this planet. They may be funny, thought-provoking or simple reflections. I do hope you will find these enjoyable and interesting.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Letter From A Mother To Her Daughter

My dearest Pallavi,

What a wonderful bit of news you have given us. Finally we are going to be proud grandparents. This was the day I have always been looking forward to, though to tell you the truth, I still find it funny to think of myself as a grand-ma.

I have barely gotten used to the idea of being mom to a grown up daughter. It seems just like yesterday that I brought home a little pink bundle of joy that brought so much life and happiness into our home and hearts. How time flies! Before I knew it, you were ready to leave home to go to university. On one hand my instincts wanted to hold you back and keep you safe and sound at home within eye-sight; but mercifully better sense prevailed. I did not want to clip your wings. I wanted you to go out into the world, establish your own identity and become a confident, young woman of the world. Believe me, it was not easy. But today I am more than glad that I let you go. Today we are proud to be known as your parents rather than the other way round.

Soon you will be opening a new chapter of your life. You will soon be a mother yourself. Goodness, the idea feels so strange. My little girl ....... You know I feel like the “Father of the bride” when she announces she is going to get married.

You are going to face a whole lot of challenges as one. But facing challenges is nothing new to you. In fact you positively thrive on them. “The moment a child is born, a mother is born” it is said. This being your first child, there will be lot of things for you to learn. Motherhood brings with it a lot of joy, but then it also brings a lot of responsibilities, heartbreaks and sleepless nights. To start with, the arrival of a baby is going to change your life and turn it upside down. You will not quite know what hit you.

Bringing up a child in today's world is no mean task. First of all you are going to have to decide what you want to do with your career. My “Superwoman” high flying executive in a multi-national company, you are used to jet-setting round the world. You are used to your independence and to your financial independence. Have you given a thought to whether you will continue to work after the baby is born and if so, how soon you will return to work? This decision is going to tear you apart. Giving up your job to be with the little one would be rewarding in a way. A baby is not going to remain one for ever. If you lose out on these precious moments of her growing up, you will have lost out on them for ever. I am always willing to drop everything on a dime and come to help you look after the baby. But would you like to lose out on these precious years? This is something you need to decide for yourself. The decision will be entirely yours (and of course your husband's – it has to be a joint decision). Rest assured, dad and I will support you whichever way you decide. (By the way, let me mention, you might be boss at work, but you will soon have a little boss at home. You will be at her beck and call and she will twist you round her little finger, but you will enjoy every bit of it).

If you have any plans of going back to work, you better start planning for baby care at home. My services are always available, but let me warn you I am not as energetic as I used to be. I would need help in the form of a maid to do the running around. I shall be very glad to keep an eye on her and keep the little one occupied. If you have any other ideas, you are welcome to do accordingly.

This will only be the start. Needless to say, other challenges in the form of school admissions, college admissions etc. will always be there, but these will be trifles when compared to some other major issues that will pop up. I shall not even go into the sleepless nights, the heart aches, the illnesses etc. Those are things that every mother has faced over the generations. You will find plenty of guidance for those issues through books, friends, mom, mom-in-law ........ But as a mother in the 21st century, you will be faced with an entirely new set of challenges that we of the past generations did not face.

First and foremost you are going to face a dilemma about what values you are going to give your child. On one hand you have grown up with the highest moral values and you are pretty scrupulous in living by them. On the other hand we live in a highly corrupt world and children are going to be exposed to various forms of corruption outside the house. Bring them up to be scrupulously honest and straight forward, they might end up being losers in the real world. On the other hand you cannot bring yourself to teach them to be crooked either. So what do you tell them? Or do you tell them what you believe and then let them go figure the rest out themselves????? Not an easy decision. I admit, I am glad I don't have to face this one myself.

My pumpkin (that is what an “all-rounder” is, isn't it?), I don't know how you feel about this, but I never pushed you to be a high achiever. I always focussed on your growing up to be a well-rounded personality, a happy child. It is a different matter that you had an academic bent of mind and did exceedingly well in your studies. Reality is going to be quite different for your child. She is going to grow up in a highly competitive, cut-throat world. Like it or not, you will have to push to compete to some extent. To what extent would be something that you will have to decide. Bringing her up to be a balanced personality in the midst of such competitiveness will not be an easy task my girl, but it is something you will have to do. I am sure you would not want to bring up a book worm who has no other social skills.

As if all this were not enough, you will of course have to contend with a whole lot of issues like making sure your child is safe and in good company. The advent of the internet era has not done anything to make things easy in that respect. While it has literally laid open up a world of information at the tip of one's fingers, it has also literally brought predators into our homes through open “windows”. Controlling your children's TV viewing habits and monitoring what they access on internet is going to be a constant policing job which you will have to do very subtly, so as not to make it too obvious.  You will have to learn the art of being a friend to your teenage children, a confidante to whom they can turn whenever they feel the need for help and friendly advice.  But never let them forget that you are their parent first and then their friend.  They must learn to respect your authority, otherwise you will be in for big time trouble.

Bringing up a girl child would bring with it a whole lot of anxieties. Ask me, I should know. You would die a million deaths every time she is late coming home. How many times have I sat watching the clock, chewing my nails, waiting for you to return home? I would not be surprised if God had started using ear-plugs to shut me out every time I so much as said “G..”!!!!! However, difficult it is, I am sure you will not not ever try to curtail her freedom. She has as much of a right to live her life to the fullest as any man. Living life in fear is not living. It is sheer existence which is just not worth the while. Lay out rules. Keep them simple and balanced. Allow her a plenty of freedom. But teach her to understand that freedom comes with responsibility. Bring her up to stand up for herself, to fight her own battles for justice and fairness and to uphold her own dignity. No easy task, but I am sure you will admit we did not do too badly with you. I am sure you will do a wonderful job with your daughter.

Should it be a boy, you will need to ensure that you bring him up to be a decent human being who learns to respect women and treat them well. Make sure you bring him up with the same degree of discipline as you would your daughter. He will need to learn that he does not have any special privileges just by virtue of his gender.

I think that is quite enough for now dear. I have no intention of scaring you. I only want to make sure that you are fully prepared – mentally and emotionally – to be a modern day mother. I know you are much smarter than me and think 10 steps ahead of me – always – but still, I do hope you will understand my need to prepare you. I promise you, you will be doing this in another 25 years time.

Waiting eagerly for the new member of the family and wishing you all the best. Lots and lots of love to the two and a half of you.

This blog has been submitted for the 4th Annual International Women's Day Contest hosted by


  1. "Have you given a thought to whether you will continue to work after the baby is born and if so, how soon you will return to work? This decision is going to tear you apart." I agree. In my office I have seen girls saying "Of course I am coming back." And after delivery they say "There is no way I am going to keep my child with the maid." !! The decision is important [and is preferably taken after the delivery!].

    I liked the idea of calling one's daughter 'Pumpkin.' I am going to call my daughter Pumpkin from tomorrow. Fun it will be.

    Enjoyed reading this post! Keep writing mroe and more......


  2. Hahaha. Vivek, I would love to be a fly on the wall when you call your daughter Pumpkin. :-D

    Thanks for the nice FB.

  3. Nice post Satchitananda......

    'Lay out rules. Keep them simple and balanced. Allow her a plenty of freedom. But teach her to understand that freedom comes with responsibility. Bring her up to stand up for herself, to fight her own battles for justice and fairness and to uphold her own dignity.'

    That's bang on Satchitananda......brilliant pointers and need of the hour indeed.....!

    Nice post.......Good luck for the contest.....!!

    warm regards,
    Bhargavi KN