Meet Saumya Agarwal, a software architect, a mum, a blogger and someone who wanted to share on the level of confidence parents instill in children. Born and brought up in a small town in Uttar Pradesh, she came down south to do her engineering. Later work and marriage made her choose Bangalore as her city.
She shares, “I would like to describe myself as a full time working mom. I love my work and am quite ambitious. Writing happened by chance and I found a new self through it. I am hoping that pen and paper doesn’t leave me ever.”
She also shares that work timings get extended based on work requirements; however she is particular on her son’s activities and schedule and manages work to ensure his time is not compromised.
Talking about her childhood memories, Saumya shares, “When my nana ji (my mom’s father) passed away, my mom stood strong. She didn’t cry. She went on doing all rituals, taking care of her mother. For the first time, I saw her so strong. She is not good at showing her emotions with people around, but I had never seen her so sure of herself earlier. I was too young to understand the impact of the loss on her, but in that moment, she looked different. Later, in the evening, when the crowd thinned, I went to the kitchen to drink water, and I saw her leaning on her uncle’s shoulder and crying.
My nani ji soon moved in with us, a mutual decision taken by my parents. Back then, it was looked down upon if a mother lived with her married daughter. And mom and nani ji had to go through the harsh reality of society. Life moved on for all of us. Even though, the society was not in favor of our arrangement, but we were all together in the difficult times.
My interaction with my granny till then was limited to school vacations when we visited the “nani house”. Now she was there to shower all her love for me, all the time. I instantly fell in love with her, her cooking, her skills of making everything perfect, be it my dress or my doll’s. My mom, rejoiced at the great bonding that I shared with my granny. Slowly my granny overcame her grief and started taking part in activities of the family, the festival preparations and the celebrations. She was indeed a great support for mom, who till now used to do everything on her own.
Mom had someone to advice and correct her. My mom is otherwise a nervous wreck. She would be so nervous if some guests were coming, or if I had program at school for which she had to prepare, or if there was a family gathering that she had to host. She was always nervous and my granny always helped her to make things perfect.
But on the other hand, my mom never corrected me. She let me do things on my own and only when I had finished, she would give suggestions to make it better. Be it making a block toy or doing my homework, or getting myself ready for school, or helping her making sweets for Holi. She always gave that first chance to do my thing and finish it.
Whether it needed improvement or not came later. I didn’t like her attitude initially because I felt that if she had told me before, I wouldn’t have done the silly mistakes. Or I would have made that perfect toy in the first go. If the task was tough for me, I looked at my mom, but she would just assure me that I can do it, in the best way possible. I always thought that she didn’t want to help, why couldn’t she be more like granny?
I slowly started liking and enjoying the independence that I got, I knew I could do. I was confident. I always excelled in a difficult exam, because I knew that if it was tough for me, it was more or equally tough for others.
Years later, my nani ji was gone, and I was casually chatting with my mom about a party that she was going to host. She was telling me that she was nervous as usual, and hope everything happens properly. I asked her annoyingly that why was she so un-sure about herself all the time. She just said, “I always had someone telling me what to do”. I knew what she meant.
And all of it flashed back, the day my grand pa died, my mom’s biggest support was not in a state to hold herself and so my mom was confident. Granny was always correcting her, telling her what to do, how to do. In that moment, all my complaints vanished.
All these years, my mom was slowly and silently working towards giving me the only thing she lacked, CONFIDENCE. She never complaint about her upbringing, nobody does, we all love our parents too much. For her and our family, granny was a big support and now that she is not there, I realize that mom misses her the most.
But my mom taught me the best parenting lesson, to realize what went wrong and to correct it, instead of denying it. She also made me realize that perfection is not told but gained.
And so, the daughter of a nervous wreck has now grown up into a very confident woman, not a perfectionist though. That’s still under work 😉
I hope to pass on the same to my kid and maintain my confidence and sanity in this insane world. I wish that I emerge a confident winner in this world, who never misses an opportunity to pull a woman, a wife, a mother down. I wish I will be able to do justice to all that my mom taught me and hold on to my nerves in the most difficult situations that life will throw at me.”