“Mumma, I can’t find my socks”, “Mom, I am hungry”, “Mum, I am busy, let me call you back”, “Mom, what’s with your constant nagging? Chill”
Haven’t we all heard these rants so many times that they seem like a part of our lives now? The numerous glorious Mother’s Day messages popping on my Facebook feed got me thinking – is my identity limited only to being a mother? An option people can glorify or take for granted at their will? Do they even see me as an individual with aspirations, dreams and preferences of my own? When did I turn into this celebrated figure, a goddess of sorts who has no voice of her own? This Mother’s Day, I demand attention of all the children who have fixed their mothers into a gold plated frame of perfectionism. This is not an outburst; this is the person I am.
I am more than a mother. These are the various facets of my being you never paid heed to. I love my kids with all my heart, but my love for self is an inseparable part of my existence too. Let me keep the garb of motherhood away for a while and get into my comfortable jammies before I begin.
1: – I made a choice between career and childcare:
And I did it gladly because it was you. There have been times when I wanted to get back to work and meet new people. I wanted to feel worthwhile. But then I saw the ‘don’t leave me alone mom’ look in your eyes and my heart melted. I agree it’s my choice, but I want you to respect it. The job that I did as a new mom makes me an unacknowledged ‘Best Employee Of The Lifetime’.
2: – Don’t you judge my body!
Though I struggle to fit in my black dress, the thought of getting on a dance floor still excites me. I want to hear that I am gorgeous. My body has a history and I am proud of it. I have battled fiercely with hormones, childbirth, post-partum depression, weight gain and stress. Agreed, I can always go to the gym or do some yoga. And believe me I am trying. But my body has stopped listening to my heart. It needs time, so do I.
3: – I have mood swings too:
Remember how I scared the ugly monster under your bed when you were little? Well, I have dealt with many more in real. So, stop patronizing me and know that I have mood swings too. I have often stifled my hormone monsters just so that I can keep up with my loving mommy status.
4: – I have been a crazy teenager once:
Yes, I have experienced infatuation, adrenaline rush, attention deficit and romantic frenzies. I still do. There are days I want to tank myself up with vodka shots and forgot there are dishes to be done and dirty laundry piled up.
5: – You ‘know it all’ because of ME:
I haven’t forgotten the early years when I taught you to spell your name. And the term you often throw at me ‘Mom, you won’t get it’ is a combination of words I taught you. Be mindful of how you frame your sentences towards the person who trained you to use them. A gentle reminder of how much you love me would be nice once in a while.
6: – I need attention and acknowledgement:
Your dad gets a promotion, you score good grades and we are happy as Larry, the dog, learns a trick and we pat him with affection. When was the last time you told me that I matter? That what I do isn’t easy? When was the last time you hugged me and said Thank you for everything? Oh you did once, on your Facebook post, when I was cleaning your messy room. Let’s try doing it in person someday. Just saying!
The list is long. And I don’t want it to turn into a tirade.
This Mother’s Day, instead of buying me gifts and flowers, come talk to me in person about my life. Ask me what bothers me, what thrills me. Tell me how beautiful I look and how my greying hair suits me just fine. Be my friend, my companion. And once you do that, you will know, I am more (much much more) than just a mom.
Happy ‘Know Your Mother’s’ Day.