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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Meaningful Parenting- But why FUSS over motherhood?

My mother never thumped her chest for all hat she did. I don't want chest thumping either. 


My bad, I don't get this.

Platonic, joyous, blessed and much more. When it comes to motherhood, the more the adjectives the better. Unconditionally loving, unconditionally caring till her last breath and even after I guess, the more such attributes for a MOTHER, the better.

Mother’s Day to everyday celebrating motherhood, the world is lapping up every opportunity to say - MOMS ARE THE BEST.

Well, they are. So?

What's the glorification about? Our moms (baby boomers or early generation X) had 2-3 children, some even 4 for some blessed ones. They conceived, delivered, breastfed, cooked, cared, washed, cleaned, organized, cooked again, cleaned again and go to sleep tired and exhausted only to wake up at 5 am or 6 am again and start the grind. They too had dreams, few were career woman’s and many were Stay at home but never brooding, complaining or depressing, exalting, aggrandizing and thumping over their SAHM (stay at home mom) status or WM(working mom) status really. They were patient with us and our fathers J, accepting and content. This was, by and large, the landscape.

Did she glorify herself or did we put her on a pedestal just to show that she is next to God or God herself? NO.

We are a lot more complicated.


We write on ‘guilt of a normal delivery’ to ‘beauty of a C- section’ and vice versa. We write further on self-actualization in breastfeeding and liberation in formula feeding and vice versa. We write some more on the importance of staying back at home and the selfishness portrayed by working moms and vice versa. We are talking about every possible, minutest, particle like details of motherhood and making it BIG. Many times too big and burdensome. Why? Because we are not just literate, we are educated too and we have discovered our voice and platforms to make everyone hear. Nothing wrong in that. Truly. Just that it’s all adding up to the madness. The fuss is being blown out of proportion and its spirally into a pressure which our mothers didn’t feel. We feel the weight of it. We feel the need to show what handmade gifts we gave to the men on Father's day. Don't we?


I wonder what is in us - the millennials who fuss over every bit of motherhood and make it look, sound and portray so heavenly? I was having a conversation with few moms(courtesy my coaching sessions) and the most overarching emotion was  - 'I am a mom and I don’t need anything else', 'Motherhood is dramatically beautiful and what more can one ask for' and it went on and on along the same lines in the same tone, every word uttered with pride and a sense of sacrifice. They sounded as if they have reached some eternally blissful space of life from where they can attain some nirvana. Phewww. And the world fusses so much around them that it quite nearly magnifies the human being to a superpower. Well, she is a superpower or maybe not.

The concern is that with all these labels comes the BURDEN of being this supremely perfect mom and getting an A+ rating. No, you don't think so?

Let's check this out?

Have you sat endlessly trying to do art and craft with your child even though you would have wanted to snooze or watch TV?

Are you on WhatsApp group of moms(your child's school) and get anxious over every bit of information that pings in and you rush to get it done?

Have you often found yourself ruminating over whether you are doing your best and if that best is actually the best compared to other bests?

Did you get that mother-child same to same dress for that mother’s day function at the school?

Innumerable examples in everyday life which were nonexistent when our moms were raising us. Do I say not to wear the matching dress for the school function? Wear if you like, we just need to stop feeling apologetic if we did not follow the trend.

I became a mom out of my own choice and interest and I am raising my child for my own self. There is no sacrifice whatsoever. If I give up my career to take care of the child, I am doing no big sacrifice. I am just prioritizing my different ME’s and their needs. The mother in me wants to be taken care of first then the career woman in me. It's that simple. I am no big deal. I do not need this constant attention or affirmation about my exalted status of being a mom. Neither do I want people around me to fuss over everything I do. I don’t want to make a STATEMENT for every regular act of mine. You don't make it too. The tag, the label and the responsibilities that come with it are abundantly beautiful and sadly depleting at the same time. It’s not a perfect and a happy ride for me. And it's okay because life is like that. My mom went about her life unassumingly, without any fuss over her being a MOM. I want to live placid too without the burden of being the best mom, who wakes up at 5 am, cooks, cleans, gets her kids ready, recites her prayers, drops her kids to school , goes to work, comes back, take the kids to Kumon, then to art class,  make the kids do their homework, cook again , clean again, organize again, plan for the next day, bathe the kids, make them pray and tuck them to sleep and go back to the kitchen againnnn to wrap things until the clock strikes 12 pm.

I am doing this. And my mom also did a pretty neat job. The difference is - I feel being pushed many times, I feel the burden of the label and I feel the judgments will kill me if I didn’t live up to the label. My mom I guess was much liberated.

A week back I was talking to a 70-year-old woman (mom of a close friend) who has come to help her daughter-in-law for her second delivery. She looked, talked, behaved comfortable and content. A simple lady from a small town in Uttar Pradesh intrigued me and I asked her  the eternal question- ‘Aap khush hain?’ (Are you happy?)

She looks at me, gives a beautiful smile and says- ‘मैं खुश क्यों नहीं होंगी ?ईश्वर ने मुझे अच्छा पति दिया, अच्छे बच्चे दिए , सबने अच्छी पढाई की और सब आज अपनी ज़िन्दगी जी रहे हैं। अंकल आज भी जब निकलते हैं तो लोह उनकी पर्सनालिटी देखते रह जाते हैं. हमें और क्या चाहिए?ईश्वर ने सब कुछ दिया.बच्चों के लिए ही तो माँ बाप जीते हैं.' ( Why shouldn't I be happy? God gave me a wonderful husband and lovely children. All of them studied well and are happily settled in their life. Even today when my husband goes out, people look at him and his personality in awe. God gave m everything. We live for our children.)

She doesn’t know what mother's day is nor does she knows how heavenly she is because she delivered 4 children,  breastfed them nonstop till they were 3, cooked and cleaned for them and pretty much lived for them. She slipped in her duties many times but it wasn't a death sentence for her. She did not fuss over meaningful parenting, mindful parenting, positive parenting, gentle parenting, nutrition, and health, art, and craft, swimming, and piano learning toys, educational toys, problem-solving toys, analytical toys, motor skill developing toys and the like. She just cared and did what was possible with her limited resources and her understanding. Guess she didn't think as much as we do. We have awareness, income, and understanding like never before but we are shackled because we don't know where to draw the line. By today's standards, she might be lacking ambition and dynamism. But at 70 she is truly happy without fussing over her MOTHERHOOD really.

To those who do not relate to this fussing- Congratulations. You are flying free. 


Thank you for dropping by. Do not forget to like on FB and share. Drop in your feedback if any.For more such articles on Meaningful Parenting, Mindful Eating, Well-being and Motivation Cuppa,  please visit Four Clover Life at  http://www.fourcloverlife.com/.  


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