So clichéd I know, Mothers day and I decide to blog on exactly this topic. But hey! Here goes..
Personally the past few months have been tumultuous to say the least. Emotionally, physically and psychologically all strings have been pulled to the maximum over the past six months.
I lost a parent abruptly, without warning and the after effects of the loss are still felt by all of us. Time heals no wounds, it merely teaches you to cope with life despite the ache.
However while looking at the glass as half full, I must acknowledge our sincere and deepest gratitude to all the powers for the fact that we still have my Mother with us. Graceful, intelligent, strong (you have no idea how strong), beautiful, witty, sophisticated, elegant, charming and the list of adjectives could go on endlessly while referring to my Mum. She has shown us what it means to be a true woman of courage and determination in more ways than one by leading her life with such dignified aplomb. I am honoured to have been born unto her.
Anyone who knows my Mum will understand as to why a short blog post can do no justice to the persona that is my Mum. She is incomparable in my eyes. Therefore, my post today is not going to be just about my Mum. I would rather like to pick your brains over your interpretation of this thing called ‘motherhood’.
I was fortunate enough to grow up watching one of the best do her thing and she has set the bar so high that I can only strive to be as good at motherhood as she has been.
Recently though watching one of my weekly sitcoms (ok so I admit it was Grey’s Anatomy), a sentence the protagonist uttered “Motherhood didn’t just fall into my lap…I chose it”. So true, for so many women I thought. They struggle and strive to achieve the status of motherhood. Perhaps it is also so untrue for so many women too? Sometimes, it just happens so that the woman is forced to decide if she wants to opt to make this role permanent when she finds herself unexpectedly at such crossroads. Would she have otherwise ever imagined herself having to take this path at that stage in her life? But when she does and decides to do so positively then I suppose here too, the motherhood role has ultimately been opted for by these women too, wouldn’t you say?
Who is a Mother? That is my first question. Anyone who cares for a child in his or her lifespan are they considered as parents? A Foster mum, A nanny, An adoptive mum, A teacher, A caretaker, are they all not just different mother figures in a child’s life? It does not have to be a biological connection does it?
Motherhood is this huge steep uphill learning curve. You go through an entire range of emotions as your child grows and develops his/her own personality. Ranging from weepy blubbering joy to blinding pride to sometimes white hot anger too!
Is there ever an opt out button from this tumultuous emotionally charged role? Can one unsubscribe ever? Would you want to unsubscribe from this role if at all possible is my second question? Having had the privilege twice over myself, I personally if asked during a rational moment will reply within a heart beat a big resounding NO to this. I would never swap my role as a mother for anything else in the world. I say rational since there are days when I feel my heart will burst with love for the little munchkins and then there are days when I wish I could keep driving on past home never to stop!
Do all Mums share similar experiences? Sheryl Sandberg in her most recent post touched upon the sacrifices made daily by a mother and more importantly the greater struggles and sacrifices being made by single mums all over the world. Surely they have several such days when they wished they were footloose and fancy free. No shame in admitting to those emotions, the perception is usually that one should only admit to euphoric feelings of joy at being a mother. But then it is perfectly natural to have days when the euphoria is slightly less exhilarating than expected. No love lost, as these are but merely fleeting hypothetical desires. Since the minute you see those little faces all is usually forgiven and forgotten.
When is one to be accused of overmothering (if there exists such a word) is my third query. Amy Chua Tiger Mom types, is that over mothering? Or where are you now, where will you be going to, who with, when, why, what…… is this overmothering? I wouldn’t mind being the reason my kids are super successful and for that if I need to nag them for the next decade or so …then so be it! I would like my kids to be safe and for that if I need to semi stalk them …. then so be it! I keep reading and hearing of let the children make their own mistakes and find their path etc. Is this the antithesis of overmothering? Letting your children find their own way or not completing their education is complete sacrilege where I come from. So borderline overmothering is the way to go for me then. I promise to show restrain with this though.
Every book and every related article will talk endlessly on the various aspects of motherhood and challenges faced, ways to rise to the occasion, ways to prepare for motherhood and so on and so forth. However what I failed to see or gain from any of these articles is the fact that motherhood actually strips you of all your personal identity. Nobody told me this! You are now somebody’s mother. Your taste in music, food, television, hobbies will all be attuned to those of your child. No longer will you care if ‘people are looking’, dancing to a nursery rhyme in public will be perfectly acceptable. You will ache for silence and alone time, but when you do achieve it, you will spend a majority of that time either worrying about them or missing them!
You are no longer the center of your universe. You have relinquished that post to your children. Discovering strengths you never knew you had. This is definitely an all consuming role, which once chosen will transform your life irrevocably forever.
This is a 24×7 job with payment in kind only.
Is this how everyone looks at motherhood or do you have a differing take on it. I would love to hear from you do share your thoughts.
With that I leave you with these words
“(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer.”
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper