Motherhood is hard

I don’t think I have missed my mother as much as I have missed her in the last few days. I haven’t felt the need for my mother for the longest time. I haven’t even really ever bonded with her in my youth. My yearning to see my mother baffles me.

There is something to be said about changing your world view when you become a mother yourself. I feel very intense love and equally draining fatigue. I laugh silly with my son and have a heartbreak every time he cries. I watch him sleep after a long day at work and can’t wait to be up to pick him up in the mornings. He is always so happy to see me, that I am sad when I have to leave.

I work hard to ensure he is well fed, cared for and loved when I can’t be there for him. I work hard at my job so no one holds my having a son in my 40’s against me. I miss my husband and our time together.

I miss my friends. The pandemic hasn’t been kind to friendships and parenting is isolating. I miss so many relationships but I understand their need to distance themselves. The ones who are around, are around for my son as the aunties they were always meant to be.

Somewhere in all the love and support and a baby I feel lost and forgotten. Until I speak to my mom. I feel like the center of her universe. I feel seen and loved and validated. I feel understood. I am exhausted by my 16 month old boy but my mother has shown up every single time over the last 40 years!

I’ve lived long enough to know that not all mothers provide the warmth and love like mine does. I know that not everyone has the best relationship with their moms and for those of you who have lost your moms and miss them dearly- please know that my biggest fear is to leave my son behind before he is ready.

But then again- will he ever be? Will he know that he tugs at my heart deeply. Will he know that I thank god every single day for the blessing that he is. Will he ever know the joy he has brought into our lives. Will he know that when I am away- my heart breaks each time I hear his voice over the tele, when he blows me kisses and cocks his head to the side in a way that I know he is telling me he loves me. Will he ever know that as I work hard to navigate my career and my relationships and my life, he is always at the center of my universe? Just like I feel and know when I talk to my mom.

Why doesn’t anyone tell you that being a mom is really hard.

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Filed under Challenges, Emotions, Experiences, Life, parenting, People, Personal, Relationships

Happy Mother’s Day

This will be my second Mother’s Day.

Even though I give my husband grief about it, last year was perfect. We had just grown our family, he ensured I was well fed, well rested and taken care of. He even managed to get me flowers and Trader Joe’s chocolate babka which happens to be my absolute favorite thing! And we were safe in the height of the pandemic. I couldn’t be more grateful.

This year I’m happy our son is healthy and thriving. We are doing better in our lives and while Mother’s Day continues to feel more of a Hallmark day my heart has been very heavy.

I can’t shake off the recent deaths of two young black boys. I know their mothers are grieving and so many countless unnamed, unacknowledged mothers too because they lost their children to racism.

I can’t help but think of the mothers in war/ famine struck regions who are struggling to keep their children alive. Every time food is wasted as my son learns to eat, or my husband goes on about organic products as he needs to protect my son’s skin I think of children who don’t have clothes, water, shelter, let alone vaccines and medicine. My heart hurts.

I hold my son closer acknowledging our privilege.

So many Mother’s Day posts all around us. It’s not more than a year ago that I was hurting, dejected and unable to find joy in other mom’s joy. I have friends who continue to struggle. I know countless women dread this weekend either because they couldn’t have a child or they lost theirs. My own pain is so palpable. I’m so heartbroken for the unspoken and unrecognized pain.

I’m going to put that pain aside for this weekend. I’m going to go hug my son and show gratitude for the blessings in my life. I’m going to pray women can be strong and that we can collectively show up for each other.

I hope we can truly make this weekend come to mean something.

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I am not okay..

And neither should you be!

A lot of good things have happened in my life. I am grateful. But I am not okay. The struggle is real. Senseless killings at the hands of the police in this country is no longer accidental. Its systemic, pervasive and abhorrent. The thought that a 20 year old boy will be killed for air freshner at the hands of a police officer who could not tell the difference between a taser and a gun is unbelievable. When I see the picture of the one year old in the arms of the 20 year old, I see my own son in both their faces.

I am not black. I am not allowed to identify as a minority in this country as I am an Indian physician. We are not a recognized minority, even though we experience all the racism and discrimination.

You cannot take my humanity away. I am now a mom who has held her son tighter since the killing for Duante Wright. The thought of losing my child for absolutely no reason but an anarchist police force- is gut wrenching.

I am not okay. Neither should you be.

You need to stand up for yourself and also those you don’t identify with. It may not be you today, but they will come at you.


Filed under Life

My little person

There is a little person sleeping in the bedroom as I write this!

The windows are open, the pedestal fan is on. He is wrapped up in a sleep sac and he is sleeping with no care in the world. His arms are in an open position and his legs are splayed open. Watching him sleep is one of my greatest joys. He is a baby sleeping well, hopefully knowing he is loved, feeling safe and care for.

Its been a hard year with the last week ending in a crescendo with the elections in the United States. It has been an unbelievable time. Humans however always display their ability to expand their capacity to tolerate, display their resilience, and overcome any hurdle that is thrown their way.

I often look at my little person and wonder what curveballs will life throw at him? Will he be made fun of for being the brown boy in a white country? Will he hate his Indian roots because his clothes are too loud, his food is smelly and feel different as we try to navigate raising an American child with Indian roots. Having Vice-President elect Kamala Harris, allays a lot of my anxiety. Representation matters!!!

I have often thought about what choices my little person will make as he grows up. Will he enjoy Science and Math like his mom, will he care more for History and Geography like his dad? Will his first crush like him back? How many heart breaks will my son experience?

As I try to memorize his constantly evolving face, I wonder if I will be able to teach him to love himself, respect others, tolerate all religions and have enough in him to always be generous. Will I teach him to be kind, compassionate and civil? Will he grow up to enjoy reading books, listening to music and appreciate the finer things in life. Will he know that his parents worked hard in their little corner to combat climate change so he has a world to live in. Will he know that his parents have discussed endlessly to always respect his autonomy, sexual orientation and life choices?

There is a little person sleeping in the bedroom as I type this. Will he know that no matter what, he is loved and treasured?

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Filed under A first, Culture, Decisions, Emotions, Expectations, Experiences, Life, parenting, People, Personal, Questions., Relationships, Society, Thoughts, Wishes


I get to say I have a 6 month old baby!

That’s it. Those are the feelings!


Filed under A first, Attitude, Celebration, Communication, Emotions, Thoughts

Reset, little?

It has been a tough week. Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. 2020 is truly robbing us of everything. It has been particularly hard to deal with her loss, as I also heard about a friend’s father who died without either of his children by his side. That really hurt, as that could easily have been my mother. What is even harder is the constant negative narrative around us. We are in the election year in the United States and that has always been an ugly horrible time. Families break, friendships are lost and the society fractures just a little more each time. This year the stakes are very high. It is going to be a bloodbath.

The partisanship, finger point, blaming is at heightened levels. Things are so bad at the moment, that a physician I have come to like and respect was full of sorrow and anger at the passing of RBG. Sorrow because it is a herculean loss especially for women who enjoy equal rights in this country. Anger because she felt that our current state of mess is somehow RBG’s fault. She should have resigned when the time was right so we wouldn’t be in this current mess were her exact words.

Okay! Deep breath!

She may have a point. I don’t know the entire history of events. What I do recall is that President Obama didn’t have the Senate backing to put his nominee Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court. What I recall is that this country chose to put Trump in charge of the Executive Office instead of Hilary Clinton (woman) and even if Hilary Clinton was elected president, not having the Senate majority we would have had vacancies. Even if RBG resigned during Clinton’s term which is what she publicly said she would do, Clinton would not have filled her seat- as you know Democrats don’t have the Senate. Trump’s Republican party was able to get Anthony Kennedy to resign to fill his seat with Kavannaugh.

We aren’t where we are today because a woman of RBG’s stature refused to resign a well earned seat on the table. We are here because of years of systematic work by the Republican Party, strong push back and policies. We are here because a Democratic President could not gather enough support in a Republican Senate when he had almost a year of his presidency left. We are here because the Democrats didn’t flip the senate in 2016. We are here because Democrats didn’t want to support a woman president. She wasn’t left enough- they preferred Bernie Sanders so she got no support even from the registered Democrats. Those very Democrats will support Joe Biden this year. Perhaps its is something about being a white male president?

At the end of the day, your placing blame on a woman for the current state of affairs is the very bigotry, RBG fought against. You have a voice and a platform because of her work. You are just not man enough to accept that you aren’t comfortable with a woman on the table.

Okay! Deep breath!

Perhaps she does have a point. The question really should be, where do we go from here? The sentiment really should be, thank you RBG- rest in power! The narrative really should be- why do I find it easier to blame a woman and not question my sexism? The point of reflection should be, how do I make this world more inclusive and better for my future generations so that they don’t find themselves in the same boat?

Deep breath!

Perhaps the real question is do we all need a reset?

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Filed under Attitude, Communication, Condolences, Conversations, Death, Disappointments, Environment, Expectations, Experiences, Inspiration, Issues, Life, Loss, People, Politics, Rants, Sad, Society, Thoughts

Empty cup

You cannot pour from an empty cup.

Today, this moment is asking a lot out of us.

I can actually end the post right here. The above statement in itself is a million feelings, gazillion experiences and a bazillion tears, insecurities, and fears.

Today, no one is spared of the pandemic and everything that has come with it. Fatigue is the word that comes to mind. Everyone is feeling some kind of fatigue. In this climate we are all being asked to give a little extra. Little more of kindness, compassion, understanding, patience, grace.

This is an especially hard time for first time mothers. The support every new parents needs and deserves just doesn’t exist and so it becomes even more important that we have each other’s back.

Despite knowing all of this if you find it hard to be empathetic to someone else, please know that it is okay. We can’t always identify with someone else’s struggles despite our best efforts. That is okay. Especially today it is okay.

I follow a clinician researcher on social media. She is a first time mom like me and her child is only one week apart from mine. I admire her for her success in her clinical and research work. I have to often remind myself while she is a great role model, she is also a native of the United States with very different exposures and opportunities. While she creates a good bench mark for us aspiring clinician researches, she already had a lead even before she started. Her parents live close to her and she has her entire support system a stone throw away from her. She has often complained of her circumstances and how she is truly struggling given the current climate. I want to empathize with her. I trust that things are tough.

But, I have none of what she does. So the empathy is hard to come by. I am not surprised by my reaction, but I am disappointed. I know I have to try harder to at least acknowledge her confessed postpartum depression. As a woman, first time mom, doctor I should be more sympathetic towards her but I struggle. Her grant writing, breastfeeding, Peloton riding self invokes no sympathy from me.

Has COVID truly got the better of me? Or am I just an empty cup at the moment?

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Communication, Culture, Disappointments, Emotions, Environment, Expectations, Experiences, Goal, Life, parenting, People, Personal, Society, Thoughts

Shattered dreams

One of the things we grieve the most after pregnancy loss, are the possibility of a future with our child. Subconsciously we make plans and envision a future with our unborn child even if we don’t verbalize the dreams we have. Those dreams for the future are a strong motivation to work towards a desirable future.

I happen to enjoy Marvel movies immensely. I wasn’t a comic book reader when young, but movies have been a different story. It was a huge effort to convince my husband to go watch the Black Panther with me. He isn’t much of a movie fan let alone ” fantasy movies” as he calls them.

As a foreign medical graduate, I’ve had to work much harder than an average American medical graduate to get to where I am. I knew I would have to play by the rules laid down by the powers to be and I decided I would play that game. However representation matters. It matters a great deal in helping create a level playing field, especially in academic medicine- I can write pages about this and perhaps I will.

More importantly being in Public Health in the United States, I see the impact of systemic discrimination and the effects of playing by the rules laid down by the privileged. There is no recognition for your struggles and no reward for your successes. There is no level playing field and no matter how much you elevate yourself, you are never at the zenith of your possibilities.

When Black Panther was released, it was very easy to see it would be a cultural phenomenon. Black Panther was more than a Marvel movie to me. It was about representation, it was about strong women characters, it was about respecting and acknowledging the oldest continent on the planet. It was about elevating people from Africa. It was about glamorizing science.

Even though I don’t fully comprehend what the African American diaspora deals with on a daily basis, as an immigrant, as a minority and a woman in academic medicine- Black Panther was a must see to me. My husband argued that I was helping Marvel and Disney make money, but he came with me anyway. I told him , he didn’t want to regret missing out on one of most important films of our lifetime.

When I was pregnant, I would often dream of taking my child to watch the Marvel movies and introduce my child to the world of super heroes. We all need something to believe in and what better than to show my child that people other than white people can do great deeds, be leaders and be super heroes.

As a medical professional in Public Health losing a young man at 43 to colon cancer (a disease when detected early can have good results) was disturbing and disappointing. As a mother who wants to raise her child showing him, his possibilities are endless, it was soul shattering. The loss of Chadwick Boseman, King T’Challa, was nothing short of a shattered dream, I had for my child.

My husband and I have spent the weekend watching and listening to videos of Chadwick Boseman’s interviews and speeches. He was indeed a marvel, a superhero, a decent man and an inspiration to all of us, on screen and off screen. I know in time, we will all move on from this grief. I do however want to take this moment to acknowledge that representation matters. Little children dressing in Black Panther costumes is more than being cute on Halloween, it is about normalizing expectations. Black Panther was bigger than a blockbuster movie- It was a cultural phenomenon we may only appreciate in the years to come.

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Filed under Condolences, Conversations, Culture, Death, Dreams, Emotions, Expectations, Experiences, Life, parenting, partner, People, Personal, Society, Thoughts

A pat on the back!

Do it and do it often. People don’t get recognition enough, but when they do it does wonders for their morale!

At a recent faculty retreat being conducted online via zoom, people were asked to talk about things that helped them through the worst weeks of the COVID pandemic. BACKGROUND: Our patients are high risk patients- we have lost many 100s in the last few months-burnout is real. This event was to boost morale.

A very unexpected person said ” Not all was bad, we had a miracle baby born to one of our strongest/bravest faculty who did so in the only week that the hospital was not allowing partners. She was alone but she did it. She is still alone with no help/family at home but she is back at work and a true team player. I tell myself, if she can do this, so can I. She has given me the much needed strength to survive this pandemic”

It took me a hot second to realize they were talking about me and my birth story. Yes I have stories to share, but never thought that we could be giving any one the much needed encouragement, we all need these days. I also didn’t think that anyone can fathom what my husband and I have been through this pandemic and what it is still taking out of us to keep ourselves sane. We have just about made it and we hope to continue to do so.

I am happy and grateful and have been on cloud 9 for a few days now. The shout out was a real morale booster. But most importantly it was a great reminder that a pat on the back can do wonders and right now we can all do with one. After all we are surviving these crazy times.

So from me to you-You are amazing my friend!


Filed under Celebration, Communication, Conversations, Emotions, Inspiration, Life, Living my life, People, Short

Mom Guilt

Is real and excruciating.

Let’s take a step back. I decided to work from home a few months into my pregnancy as this pregnancy was very intense and involved. We wanted to give this one the best chance we could. Given our past experiences, working from home felt like a viable option. It was easy when the baby was inside the belly. As the reality of a baby started to sink in, I wished that I could quit work altogether and raise our child. It would be the greatest achievement and honor of my life.

That is what I thought then.

Just when our baby was about to be born, a good opportunity presented itself. An opportunity that I didn’t want to lose. I knew it would cut into my maternity leave but I didn’t want to let it go. After a brief discussion with my husband I jumped on it. I saw this opportunity as a stepping stone into my future plans and success.

As I look back, I practically got no maternity leave. Every non baby related moment I was staying up to work and build on this new opportunity. I am happy I did it, but I also know it took away time from my newborn, rest, me time, or time that I could have spent catching up with my previous life.

I decided to go back to work a few weeks before I needed to for personal and professional reasons. I wasn’t mentally, physically or emotionally ready but I knew it was the right thing for my family. I would often think of my mom who was a working mom, as a reminder that women can do more than one thing in their life and be successful at each endeavor.

My mom has had an amazing career. She is my closest and biggest role model. When I am feeling defeated, I think of her. How she did it all? Wife, mother, student, teacher- appearing to have it all together on the personal as well as professional front.

I don’t have it all together. More days than I’d like to admit I feel like I am failing terribly. I don’t want to give up my career. I have worked very hard to get here. I also wonder what conversations will I have with my child? How will I tell him that I gave up a career I had spent years to build to raise him. What message would I be giving him? Give up when things get tough? People can only do one thing at a time? His mom “used” to be a doctor? I don’t know what effect that will have on him, on me? Will I resent that decision? Will I end up resenting my child who I once thought I could drop everything for.

So I step up my game. Do the best I can to expand my capacity to work, to be mum and keep my sanity. I rope in some help to try and do it all. Not a single day has gone by when I haven’t envied moms who had the option to be mum and wear that hat at their own discretion. Every time I go back to my son after a hard day’s work- I get the biggest smile. Instead of celebrating that recognition, it breaks my heart to have missed an entire day in his life.

In my head I never win. I am never good at anything. I am not a 100% good mom neither am I a 100% career driven. I constantly feel guilty about giving the other attention. I am constantly battling mom guilt.

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Filed under Environment, Expectations, Experiences, Life, musings, parenting, Personal, Priorities, Rants, Relationships, Society, Travel