08 May A Pressure Free Mother’s Day to You!
It’s Mother’s Day! All our little ones are getting ready with handmade cards and cakes and teeny tiny gifts accompanied with warm hugs and sloppy kisses.
This day takes me back in time when we, as kids, had started this celebration of Mother’s Day for our own Mothers. 15-20 years back we started with small celebrations like making tea for Mum, giving her a break from cooking a meal for us while we went to get food of our own choice, helping her around the house on this day (just like we did for her Birthday) etc.
Now when I am a mother of two, I realize, we were so excited about doing all this that we missed observing that she needed rest- not physically but mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Of course, all the aforesaid gestures gave her little pleasures and memories to cherish with her little ones, but still, she looked tired and worried. We told her many times and still tell her, leave it Mum, we will do it, we will get it done, you sit and relax for a while, do not worry, please rest, this chore can wait but she is always on toes. It is difficult to fathom how many things go on in her mind at one time.
The responsibility of getting everything done, within the time, in a near-perfect way, with or without help, every day of the week, every week of the month for 40-50 years of her life is very demanding. And if anything goes wrong a mother has no one to blame but herself because it is primarily her responsibility.
For ages we have been putting Mothers on this Pedestal, making her the epitome of sacrifice, understanding, unconditional love, care, healing power and more. So much that we forget she is also a human who can falter, who can have a bad mood, who can be sleepy, who can be emotionally overwhelmed sometimes, who can just not feel like doing everything every day. The pressure of this pedestal is so much and so deep-rooted in us as a society that even Mothers themselves can’t forgive themselves for small mistakes and errors.
We put them on a Pedestal and then exploit them by having ridiculous expectations.
On this note, let us dissect some famous ‘Maa’ phrases here:
1.Maa ke haath ka khana – This one indisputably wins the show. Every mom’s food has a distinct taste and flavour. The child grows up eating that specific flavour most of their childhood, so that becomes the Comfort food, which reminds them of their mother and the free-spirited childhood. No matter what they eat later in life, Mother’s food is Nostalgia (Rajma-Chawal and Aloo Parantha with Sweet Lassi for me..Mumma). Her Khichdi also has the same impact as her Biryani. So do not hype ‘Maa k haath ka khana’ with her culinary skills. If she cannot or does not cook, it will not affect her love for her baby.
2.Maa ke pairon tale Swarg– Loving and respecting Mom comes like breathing to a child. Being grateful for our Moms, for all they do/have done and feeling lucky for her presence in life is our second nature. But instead of only looking for Heaven under her feet (an idiom for respect), try to sit with her this Mother’s Day and talk- about her life, her wishes, her favourites- colour, song, movie, outfit, friend, lipstick, place to visit etc. Try to fulfil some of them in the coming days or weeks, the real heaven will be then and there. Be someone she can talk to, like a friend, instead of just an offspring who worships her.
I did not know my Mother’s favourite colour when my 3-year-old asked me. I urged her to call Nani and ask. Her Nani was happy to oblige, in fact, she was happier about the fact that someone asked her. This shouldn’t be how we know our mothers.
3.Maa sab janti hai (This one is also for the Mothers) – Maa janti hai because she has known you since you did not even know that you existed. Maa has given a big part of her life raising and nurturing you. Maa has been the one who comforted you all your life. Maa has that telepathy with you. So she knows you inside out.
But mothers! you can miss the connection due to distance. If it’s been a few years since you have not lived with your child due to their marriage, studies, work etc., then find out some time and talk. You are not the all-knowing Jyotish or Nostradamus that you would know everything. Do not throw this phrase to add weight to your words, do not take the pressure of ‘Maa sab janti hai’, and rather make an effort to connect with your child.
Mothers are mothers because of that special connection with the child that begins long before the child even enters this materialistic world. We do not need to prove our bonding with our little ones by being there all the time, every time, all our life.
If you can cook- that is great, if you cannot it is ok; if you miss a PTM for an important meeting, it’s ok; if you miss doing laundry one day, it’s ok; if you want to sleep in late one day, it’s ok; if the special dish turned out bad, it’s ok; if you forgot to order/buy vegetables one day, it’s ok; if you left your child under someone else’s supervision to meet your friends one day, it’s ok.
Mommies, keep up the good work but let go of the pressure. It’s ok to falter sometimes. Accept some slips and move on.
So to myself, to my Mother and Mother-in-law, to all my friends and acquaintances, to every mother out there –
A VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!