Now that the fervor of mother’s day has died and all the posts written, and photographs uploaded, and commented upon, I think I can gather some courage and write my bit on mothers and the pedestals they are placed on. Actually why do I use the word ‘they’? Don’t I also belong to that same herd? Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mom. And while there have been moments when I would have gladly disowned my offspring, most of the time its been an interesting and rewarding journey.
What brings a furrow on my brow and a wry grin to my face is that high pedestal which moms are placed on. It can get a bit over whelming at that height. And if you are an Indian mom to top that, then it can be dizzily over whelming.
When a baby is born, thankfully they come equipped with a sound system. A wail here and a wail there is sufficient to alert the new parents that there is a requirement somewhere. An empty tummy or an emptied tummy are the two narrow options that one has to chose from. Then as Baby grows, one wishes there were some more specific signals that he gave out. He wails and wails. And Mommy is supposed to figure out if it means an aching something, or hunger, or a wet diaper or some new cause. Or maybe Baby just wants to check his vocal range. The reaction to such a wailing or whimpering is usually a synchronized look of all present towards Mommy. Mommy is supposed to know , you see! As my son used to say when he was some 3 years old. He loved me a little more than he loved anyone else because I have ‘borned’ him. I love that word. Borned. I am expected to know my children inside out as I have borned them.
And as the years progress, there have been days when I have wished that each individual was born with a manual in his / her hand. A manual which says what makes that individual tick. My two children are oh! so different from each other in temperament, habits and tastes. But again, its more a question of observation and attention which makes me tune in to their individual likes and dislikes, as well as knowing which button to press to get out their best, more than just the fact that I am their biological mother. There are those days when I feel like announcing that I am not their mind reader.
As they grow older its getting more and more difficult for me to figure out what goes on in their minds. When I hear parents being criticized when they cannot prevent a child’s actions, I often feel like asking that if a person doesn’t often know their own mind, how can we be expected to know the mind of another individual so minutely, no matter how closely linked we are. I mean, I take at least a couple of minutes just to figure out which flavor of ice cream I feel like having on a particular day. And here I am talking about my mind which is taking those two minutes to figure out something as mundane. How can I or anyone else be so presumptuous to think that a Mom will know everything that goes on in their offspring’s mind?
Mommyhood is a beautiful experience. But along with that that great responsibility comes the assumption that we have some supernatural power. For me this journey has been about enjoying my kids, not about collecting brownie points for reading their minds. Actually, I don’t even pretend to know what’s in their minds!