My mother was a gentle, petite, feminine, soft-spoken woman while I am…..not. I inherited my father’s looks, height, assertiveness, and temper (to say the least). When my mother passed away six years ago, my world crashed. Deeply depressed, I sought therapy (side note- I am a psychologist myself and it is normal for therapists to seek therapy too). I was grieving and afraid. My mother was my rock, the one who had pushed away my fears my whole life. Who would do that now?
Through therapy, I learned to identify my mother in me. Helping others, being generous (sometimes to a fault!), loving animals, cooking, teaching, books, and writing- all of these came from my mother. My biggest fear though was becoming a mother myself. Could I ever be even half the mother that my mother was?
Adopting a dog seemed to be the safest way to test my maternal skills. My husband is a dog-lover, who has raised dogs in the past. I figured that even if I turned out to be lousy at mothering, at least the dog won’t suffer from a lack of care. So, we adopted Veeru. Raising a puppy is challenging. But, loving Veeru was instinctual! He is my first child and parenting Veeru helped me recognize a fundamental trait that I shared with my mother- my child’s needs came before mine, always.
Veeru has helped me trust myself as a mother more. I know that human kids are more challenging (and definitely don’t grow up as fast as dogs!). But, my fear of motherhood has decreased. While my mother is physically gone, I recognize that my sister and I carry her legacy forward.
On this Mother’s Day, to all the other mothers out there (human and pet moms)- Happy Mother’s Day!
Read more from Shraddha here: https://artoonsinn.com/author/shraddhaniphadkar/