If you haven’t been screamed at, hated, or blocked off from a child’s life, you haven’t really been a good mother! I learned that when I became a mother and vowed never to do the things my mom did with me. But then I did. And I began to behave like her as well.
After a point, all mothers begin to sound like each other. It begins with “Please don’t touch that.” and “Pick up your toys” and goes on to, “What are you wearing? You can’t go out of the house in that!” Later the tone becomes more anxious, “Who is that you’re friend-ing on facebook?” The preaching becoming more helpless with “How much money have you spent on that?” Finally when all else fails all mothers turn to the last resort with, “Fine, it’s your decision but just know I’m not happy with it” and the perennial hapless state, “Go ask your father. I don’t matter in this family at all!”
And for all those statements, your child will rebel with a ferocity that whips you as if you gave birth to a volcano with simmering molten lava waiting to explode at any given opportunity. You wonder what you did wrong in those nine months to bear this evil child in front of you. You might even spout out in venom, “I carried you for nine months, and look what you did to my body!” It won’t matter. Children will find ways not to listen, to shut you out, to lock their laptops, forget to respond to a late night sms and even scream back thinking that they know best. Even as adults we shout back at our mothers to stop correcting, stop pushing, and stop advising. Yet we do so ourselves with our children at every stage until they hate us and even threaten to stop talking to us.
We would love to sit with a glass of wine or a really good book if we ever got a chance to but we know that there is so much more to do with a child in the house. The thing that we gave birth to/adopted and raised will always be a child until she/he gets married. Then it becomes someone else’s responsibility. Till then the house must be cleaned, the food for the child must be made, the clothes must be bought, the fees paid, the birthday parties thrown, the light must be left on when they go out, the sms must be sent to be careful, the space must be given to not intrude and the endless night of worrying must be had to figure out if they will turn out alright and if you did enough. We never know if we did enough. We hope we raised our kid well enough to be a good person. To respect people and work hard. We pray that they succeed in all their endeavours and we never fail to mother them when we get a least bit of chance.
Mothers love being mothers most of the time. They dote on their children and would take a bullet for them. But sometimes, just sometimes they wish they could get some appreciation back in return for all the nappies they changed, the hours they stayed awake and the sacrifices they made to make sure that their children stayed safe and loved. That is why Mothers’ Day is so important. It is when people forget to appreciate their mothers on a daily basis they can do so with something loving and expensive on that one day.
Mothers should know that all that hate is a phase. We need to give our kids space to grow as individuals. Be less preachy. Even for infants, we must be tolerant and patient of the child and treat him as a person rather than a blank slate that needs to be filled with values and information to make him what we choose for him. He shall choose himself. We can only guide. And in the guidance must come many moments of silence to let him make his own mistakes and learn. They come back for advice when they need it. If they don’t we can only hope they will manage with the skills we provided.
I say to all mothers, take that time now to raise a glass to yourself and toast to being a great mom. You did what you needed to and were successful. You gave what you had and it shone. You loved like you believed so and it worked. Be proud of what you have done. Even if there are thousands of mothers being born every day, what you do is still unique and individual. Even if you are not appreciated, loved and wished by those you raised, you should know that there are mothers around the world who feel just the way you do and think of you on this special day. So from one mom to another Happy Mother’s Day!