I wrote this piece here. Cross posting it here. Also, head on over there are read more love for mums.
I try not to make too much of a deal for mother’s day, although last year I got my mum a pretty silver ring. Like I said, I try not to. After all, how is it fair to put your children in a position to do something for you, many times with them not wanting to because they don’t believe in Hallmark Holidays? Because, hey, they didn’t ask to be born, or nappy changed, or fed, or vaccinated or rocked to sleep. You were the self-indulgent, clueless cretin who decided a baby would totally complete you.
But no point flogging a dead horse, is there, even if it’s a mummy horse? Jokes apart, every single day, I make tons of decisions about my kids. I try not to make any at all, of course, but the fact that I’d mildly appreciate if they didn’t grow up to be serial killers or Chetan Bhagats demands that I make some key decisions every day. I need to decide whether to tell them the truth all the time, I need to decide how to be on top of the game without letting them know I am quickly running out of skills and patience to beat them at it. I also need to figure out how not to give them a little smack — sometimes more than — once in a while. Apart from the other dozens of regular decisions such as what to feed them, how i can trick them into sleeping longer, what to do with them come evening time and it’s too hot.
And every day I wake up wanting to ask my mother if she’d be too uncomfortable if I made a shrine to her and garlanded the thing five times a day. And hire a priest to do Vedic rituals four times a day in her honour. And drown the shrine in gold and gems a la Tirupati. I know, with kids below the age of three I have no right to feel like this already but I do, so all you parents of teenagers, stop nodding your head smugly and saying, “Wait till they get older”. Uh anh, I am not waiting. I can’t. There’s no time, see? Because between trying to raise them and thanking my mother to the nines of being as strong as she was in raising me to be my own person, I am losing hair, appetite and general focus that might lead me to sell the kids to a circus thinking the money they give me with their tricky, gypsy hands is more important than hearing the ear-splitting screeches of my screaming banshees.
From having taught me to make my own decisions (which I am sure she regrets) to introducing me to the arts — music, writing, reading, dance, colour, dressing up — my mum deserves tremendous credit. I’ve seen where she could have done better but I also know she did the best she could. In my becoming a mother, I have blindly imbibed some things that I want to pass on to my kids such as music and light and independence. And yet, there are things I would like to not do with my kids that she did with me. That said, the first outweighs the second, of course. And therefore, I’ll wish I am half the mother to my kids that my mother was to me.
Happy mother’s day.