IN A COUNTRY THAT BELIEVES A MOTHER SHOULD KNOW IT ALL, IT TAKES A TOUGH MOM TO ACCEPT

I Didnt Know Stories

Almost Half Her Body Was Numb For A Time...

"Expectations. Even though they remain unuttered, every mother feels their weight. The expectation of molding your child into a good human being, the expectation of being always in the know, when it comes to their health or even their emotions.

In every job, you can clock out, you can even commit a few mistakes, but there is no scope for errors in the job of being a mother, and you certainly can’t clock out. I, too, was buried under this weight. I was so conditioned by these expectations that I made all the efforts to be the "perfect" mother. In the pursuit of perfection, I even trained my kid to sleep at a given time, according to a schedule that worked for me. But I realized the limits of my perfection when my 1-year-old's normal fever turned into a febrile seizure attack. A 10-minute episode of these seizures put her in the hospital. I was starkly reminded of my limitations as a mother when I saw the upper half of my daughter’s tiny body become numb. How could I have known that a small fever would lead to this? Try as hard as I might, I cannot know everything that can go wrong with my kid."

” — Chitranjali K allout allout allout allout allout

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I Started Blaming Myself For Not Knowing What Was Wrong With My Baby

"At the risk of sounding like a cliché, I have to admit that there is nothing like the experience of motherhood. It’s a completely surreal feeling. Yet this is the part everyone knows about. It is the subject of celebrated works of art. But on the other side? The anxieties of a mother, the pressures of being responsible for another human — these are the truths that not everyone is privy to.

These pressures are so intense that often we mothers internalize them. I did too, quite seamlessly. The day my son was born, my roles in life changed overnight. Not only was I his mother, but I was also the person who knew how his little body worked. At least, that’s what was expected of me.

When my son was only a few days old, he started crying profusely. We tried everything to get him to stop but nothing helped. Finally, we took him to the doctor who told us that he was crying because his nose was blocked. I immediately shifted the blame on me; how could I not know this? After all, I was his mother. It was only after my mother and husband explained that it was impossible for me to know everything, did I realize how unfair I was being to myself. Mothers are human beings too, aren’t they?"

” — Durba Mukerjee Sharma allout allout allout allout allout

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I Realized That There’s No Manual For Motherhood...

"Perhaps instead of all the adulation, and idolization, what mothers truly need is a sympathetic and realistic worldview. A more practical approach towards this responsibility would allow us to do our jobs with more efficiency and ease, for we would be able to admit our mistakes and learn from them without the fear of judgment.

I am a proud mum of a 14 months old, super energetic toddler. When my son was 9 months old, he had to be admitted into a hospital because of dehydration. At that time, all I could think of was how did this happen. I had been doing everything right. But even before I could examine what went wrong, I could feel everyone judging me. Since it was dehydration, not some rare or unheard-of disease, it was easy for everyone to blame it on me.

It was then that I realized that there’s no manual for motherhood. We all experience motherhood differently, we all have our own learning curves. But the irony is, whenever any of us get stuck somewhere, the only person whom we look to for advice is our mother. For a mother might not know everything, but she certainly knows best."

” — Eunice Das allout allout allout allout allout

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I Took Her To Many Doctors, They All Said She Was Fine...But She Wasn't

"Nothing quite matches the joy that you experience when you get to hold your little one in your arms for the first time. You just can’t get enough of your little one, your own flesh, and blood. Everything little thing that they do, seems like a miracle. It’s only later that you realize that now you've got the biggest responsibility in the world, that of being a mother.

Like every other journey in life, the journey of motherhood also has its own shares of ups and downs. Only we can’t share those hiccups, for the fear of attracting criticism.

I am sharing one such experience that I had when my daughter was 3-years old. I had bought an inflatable pool for my daughter because I enjoyed watching her frolic in the water. I thought by playing in the water, she would overcome her fear of water and become stronger. My heart and rationale were in the right place. She had only been playing in the pool for two days when she started getting feverish. Soon her fever ran as high as 104. I took her to many doctors, but they all dismissed it as common flu. After a week of running behind doctors, I finally approached a pediatrician who identified that my daughter had pneumonia. She was immediately admitted to the hospital from where she was released after three days. It was only then I realized that common things such as air conditioner, citrus fruits, a leisurely pool bath could also be fatal for a young child. It was a steep learning curve for me, but I learned from my mistake."

” — Geeta Madhuri allout allout allout allout allout

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I Had To Leave My Job For The Sake Of My Son...

"Motherhood is a double-edged sword for women who choose to work or those who have to work. On one hand, they constantly have to fight the notion that somehow their role as a mother takes away from their ability to perform at work. On the other hand, they constantly have to fight the guilt of leaving their kid behind. And this guilt multiplies a thousand times if their child falls in some kind of trouble.

I experienced this crushing guilt when my child fell ill. When my son was about 9-years old, he contracted chikungunya. It was a very difficult time for both of us. His platelet count was very low, and because he had a rare blood group, Ab+, it was very difficult to source blood for him.

It was an extremely trying time for me as a mother. Every passing moment was fraught with worries, and bad thoughts. I couldn’t even afford to sleep for an hour, because every time his fever rose, he would get fits. It was so difficult for me to see him like that. Ultimately, I had to make a choice between being there for him or my job. Obviously, I chose him. I left my job to be with my son. All this pain and worry, just because of one ill-fated mosquito bite..."

” — Ashima Rai allout allout allout allout allout

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An Expecting Mother's Support System Is Inadequate At Best...I Realized This When I Became A Mother

"Preparation and planning are the keys to success. This mantra applies to almost everything in our lives, doesn't it? Be it preparing for a major exam, or shifting to a new city, almost all major life changes are preceded by a level of detailed and careful planning. But the difference between these events, and motherhood is that while there is a large support system that is available to help you prepare for these life events, the support system for an expecting mother is inadequate at best. I realized this when I became a mother myself.

I am blessed with twin boys. While they are truly the joy of my life today the situation was very different when they were born. At the time of their birth, one of my sons had an alarmingly low birthweight and height. He weighed just about 1 kg! My heart sank when I looked at him for the first time. He suffered from so many issues because of that. All because I didn’t have anyone to tell me what to eat or how to care in case of multiple pregnancies. Even the doctors couldn't have predicted this, then, how could I?"

” — Sadia Khursheed allout allout allout allout allout

Sadia had to undertake the journey of motherhood, all by herself, without any guidance. Did you have a similar experience? Share your own lonely motherhood experiences with us on our Facebook page at:

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I Assumed That I Would Be Able To Anticipate And Fulfil My Child’s Every Need

"Everywhere in movies and television, mothers are depicted as these elusive creatures who can decipher the state of their kids just by hearing their voice over the phone, or by looking at their face. I thought that this was what happened in reality too. That I would be able to ascertain the needs and wants of my baby when I would get to hold him/her in my arms. I had no idea that these expectations and aspirations of mine were so misinformed.

When I held my baby in arms for the first time, I was over the moon! This was my flesh and blood, of course, I thought that I would be able to anticipate his every need. But I was quite off the mark in having that expectation. I didn’t know that if the baby doesn’t cry or ask for milk, you have to feed him yourself. I kept waiting for him to cry for food. And this landed my kid in the hospital, where he had to be admitted for 8 days. Mujhe bhi nahi pata tha..."

” — Preeti Vyas allout allout allout allout allout

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His Life Was Hanging In Balance And There Was Nothing I Could Do…

“Motherhood is often looked upon as a great boon, isn't it? But motherhood, rewarding as it is, comes with its own baggage — the baggage of expectations. The expectation to know it all and have all the answers.

I too bore this burden unquestioningly, and unknowingly. I became aware of it, only when it caused my child’s life to hang in balance.

Back in 2012, my son, who was only 7 years old then, became seriously ill. We took him to different hospitals. His right leg had become very swollen, and no doctor could tell us why. We took him to several hospitals, across two cities, and this continued for a month. After a month of feeling helpless, we were finally given an answer. He had filariasis, a disease that spreads through the bites of mosquitoes.

How could I have known that?

By God's grace, he is doing well today. Back then I felt so helpless when I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. But having gone through that experience, today I can confidently say, that no one, not even a mother, is capable of knowing every single thing in this world.

” — Indrani Roy allout allout allout allout allout

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Despite Knowing Everything I Couldn’t Protect Her…

“The society presents motherhood in a neat little package, with all the trimmings. After all, it’s the greatest mantle to be ever given to women. It even puts mothers on the same pedestal as that of God! But it forgets the reality that mothers are mortals. They can't be divine, omnipotent beings!

I was reminded of this reality when my daughter Tanya, who is only 8 years old, fell sick after contracting dengue. It wasn't that I wasn't aware of how I could have prevented this from happening. I had read about this in books and seen awareness programs on TV, but still, it happened.

I had known dengue was a pretty serious condition, but nothing had prepared me for my daughter's suffering. How dengue weakens a person and makes them suffer isn't something that can be explained in words. That pain is felt by one who has to go through it, as my daughter had to. I never expected this to happen, in fact, I had taken all necessary precautions to avoid this, but still, my daughter fell prey to this. She is fine now, but the after-effects of the disease have left her feeling feeble and weak. Her joints are still aching. I hope and pray that she gets better soon."

” — Sathi Kumari allout allout allout allout allout

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Like Everyone, I Thought That A Premature Baby Was Just An Underweight Baby…

“One of the sayings of the great Chinese philosopher, Confucius is this — the man who asks questions is a fool for a minute, the man who doesn’t is a fool for life. But, tell me can a mother ask how she should look after her child, without inviting a lot of judgmental stares? No, right? Right from the moment of conception, the mother is assigned the charge of knowing everything about her child.

A father who doesn’t know anything about his child is just that, a father, but a mother who doesn’t know everything about her child is a bad mother.

My younger son was born prematurely. And right until it happened, my premature delivery, I had no clue. When it finally did, like everyone I assumed that it just meant that my son was a little underweight. I had no inkling of the difficult time, that was in store for me. I wasn’t ignorant, I just didn’t know. And whom could I ask?

The coming few months were tough on both of us, me and my son. While he had to experience a lot of complications, I had to battle the fear of losing him every day. There was that nagging uncertainty as to what the next day might bring. Mujhe nahi pata tha…”

” — Amrita Pinto allout allout allout allout allout

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We Try Our Best to Take Care Of Our Family But Sometimes We Fail…

“It’s said that God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers. Sounds pretty comforting, right? This idea that a higher power would envision a guardian for the entire human race is pretty perfect, but it puts a tremendous burden on us mothers. There’s no denying that the bond that exists between a mother and her child is truly one-of-a-kind, but how can one compete with God.

One day I noticed that my one-year-old son was sneezing a lot. I thought it’s just a normal cold, so I gave him some tonic and some medicine. And I thought that would be enough. A few hours later, in the middle of the night, I noticed that he was having trouble breathing. Terrified, we rushed him to the hospital. Upon reaching there, the on-call doctor told us that it was no ordinary cold. My son had pneumonia. It’s not as if I neglected my son or didn’t care for him enough. I did everything that I was supposed to do, still, this happened.

I just thank God that I decided to act on my gut feeling. And now I tell every mother that if you feel something is wrong, act upon it.

Every woman faces such things in life. We try our best to take care of our family but sometimes we fail.”

” — Kalyani Kiran allout allout allout allout allout

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Everyone Around Me Were Like, Only You Carry Him, Or Be Near Him… As If I Knew Everything.

“It shouldn’t need to be said, but motherhood is a mixed bag. There’s no denying that it brings a woman unparalleled joy, but it also is the source of some of her biggest worries and anxieties.

This incident happened when my son was only 45-days old. One night, while I was feeding my son, I noticed that he was choking. His eyes had become still, and his whole face was turning blue. My heart came into my mouth and I swung into action. I tried patting him on his back, and then I started swinging him in my arms, and suddenly, he started breathing normally. I thought that terrifying as this ordeal was, this was the end of it, but next morning it happened again. We took him to the doctor, who advised us to leave him be when it happened again. I was completely taken aback by his advice, and on top of it, after this incident, everyone around me started insisting that only I should hold the baby or be near him as if only I knew what was happening with him. But I was determined. I decided to be there for my kid, even though everyone shrugged that responsibility. I would distract him by talking to him when he started choking by calling out to him in a loud voice, which helped a great deal.

So, while I may not know everything about my son, I made sure that I never gave up on him.”

” — Lynia Sharda allout allout allout allout allout

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I Couldn’t Do Anything To Soothe Her…I Could Just Wait For The Night To Pass

“There is an interesting dichotomy that every mother has to deal with, at least in our cultural context. On the one hand, she has to know about every aspect of her child’s life and be up to date on each and every development, whether it’s behavioral or physical or emotional. On the other hand, if she spends too much time or attention to the child, she is often accused of spoiling the child. It seems that no matter what a mom does, she can’t escape those judgmental, prying eyes.

When my daughter was born, I was over the moon with happiness. Everything went smoothly the first two months after her birth, but suddenly one day she started crying without any reason. Then it almost became a routine which continued the following evenings. After watching this happen for three days, we decided to seek medical help. When we went to the doctor, he informed us that our baby had colic pain, and there was nothing we could do. It was a phase that she would grow out of, eventually. Though it wasn’t a life-threatening condition, it left me completely baffled because I didn’t know how to get her to stop crying. It was very difficult to deal with a child who would cry for hours at an end. I couldn’t do anything to soothe her, except wait for the night to pass.

Luckily, she is through that phase now, but having gone through that experience I can only say that at the end of the day, every mother is a human, who is trying her best.”

” — Vidhi Milind allout allout allout allout allout

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