But why FUSS over motherhood?

My mother never thumped her chest for all that 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 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 every day 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 fall asleep 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 women, and many were Staying 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 detail 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 with that. Truly. Just that it’s all adding up to the madness. The fuss is blown out of proportion and spiraling into a pressure 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 millennial's who fuss over every bit of motherhood and make it look, sound, and portray so heavenly? Last week, I was having a conversation with few moms. Guess the overarching emotion- 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 nearly magnifies the human being to a superhuman being. Well, undoubtedly, she is a superpower or maybe not.

The concern is these labels come with the BURDEN of being a 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 a 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?

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 making 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 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 again 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 title. 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 with 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 existential question- ‘Aap khush hain?’ (Are you happy with life?)

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 four children,  breastfed them nonstop till they were three, 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, health, art, craft, swimming, piano learning toys, educational toys, problem-solving toys, analytical toys, motor skill development 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 knowledge 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.

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


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