Saturday, May 09, 2009

Unconditional Love and motherhood.

I felt like writing something about motherhood on Mother's day when I chanced upon Shoba's piece on unconditional love and decided to combine the two. Motherhood is defined as love personified and to a good extent it is unconditional. But it is certainly not so in the true sense of the term. I, for one feel it should not be so for the simple reason that unconditional love for one's children makes one overlook their faults and unfortunately to the extent of endorsing them. Let me give you an example.

I had mentioned about Mr. S in this post of mine. Unfortunately he and his wife were blind to their child's faults and today the couple have no peace of mind thanks to the son. It breaks my heart to see him fold hands in front of his scooter, praying perhaps for the safety of his son. Yes, the son met with a major accident due to drunken driving and the middle class family had to shell out their life time savings to save him. Blindly supporting one's ward will not help and unfortunately it is the mother who chooses to do so and often ends up holding vital information even from the father until things spin out of control. Motherhood is also a responsibility and there is no harm laying down conditions if only they would serve to disciplune your child.

P was widowed at the age of 36 and the onus of raising four sons fell on her. Her husband, when alive was a prudent spender but upon his untimely death had left her a tidy sum of money in addition to gold and several acres of land. She decided that her sons would have the very best and anyone who warned her about her overspending became her enemy. The family literally ate the money away and within 10 years there was nothing left. Not to be put off she encouraged the sons to gamble and speculate and finally the boys became paupers with huge sums as loans to their credit. Their wives lost all the jewelry they got as dowry from their parents and were open in their criticism of the mother whom they held responsible. While I agree that one's love for his/her children should want them to have the very best it should be conditional to their means. If everyone who gambled and speculated made lots of money all our bookies would have closed shop long back.

K's mother loved her a lot. She never let her do even a minor chore in the house. When the daughter got married her love for the daughter was such that she'd visit the daughter almost every month and be fiercely protective of her to the extent of interfering in the couple's day to day affairs and finally it was not the son in law but the daughter who showed her the door. She was devastated but had only herself to blame for the situation.

This mother's day I would appeal to all mothers to set terms and conditions if you want your child to mature into responsible adults. You may spare the rod by all means,for nothing has ever been achieved by terrorizing people. There are umpteen other ways to show that you care a lot for them but you also have certain expectations from them and being responsible human beings tops the list. Remember, if things go wrong you are the one who will be blamed.

I had the pleasure of going through a number of posts on the tag that connected mothers from all over the world. Each one was unique and special. Many wrote about how happy they were to hold their baby for the first time and how they watched him/her grow and so many other things. Motherhood is all about letting go.

Your child at the age of one wants to be let down to play with others of his age. You gladly oblige.

Your child runs off to school waving to his friends. You are glad that he has found a play group.

Your children stop talking the minute you enter the room. They have secrets that they do not wish to share with you. It hurts but you accept the situation all the same.

Your adult daughter/son has found a partner or may be you have found one for them. Either way they are ready to enter the next important phase of their lives. It becomes imperative to become invisible unless the situation demands that you interfere. And the reason for your interferance better be valid. The relationship cannot evolve with you breathing down their necks.

So at the end of it mother hood is about being conditional when your children are growing and unconditional when they settle down in life. One just has to decide where to draw the line.

Happy Mother's day to all of you moms and supermoms!

24 comments:

Sraboney said...

What you say is true - unconditional love may be detrimental...I too can't understand how parents choose to overlook their children's faults...I hope I don't become one of these parents...

ugich konitari said...

"....So at the end of it mother hood is about being conditional when your children are growing and unconditional when they settle down in life. One just has to decide where to draw the line...."

HHG, so well said.

And you know, all the stuff about keeping your feet on the ground while being linded by your love for the children, that you mention with examples, is so true. One sees so many people around like those.

Smitha said...

You have raised such a valid point.. Yes, as parents we might want the best for the child - but we also need to be aware of what is truly beneficial to the child.. Unconditional love should not mean closing one's eyes to one's child's faults.. So many parents do this without realizing that they might actually be doing more harm than good!

Sonia said...

Awesome post !!! I am blessed to have a Mom (she adopted me) who is exactly as you say, silent pillar of support but never interfering, never limiting me, always let me make my decisions and taught me to stand by what I choose. I will remember what you have said and my Mom's example to be a good mother to my daughter too

shoba said...

Very Well written and a heart-felt post!
A Happy Mothers Day to you!
You have really expanded my post with your examples from life and made it more practical. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Sumana said...

As usual, no words to describe this post of yours. First of all wish you a very happy mother's day. May the few words of advice that you have given be well etched in my mind while i am doing my duties as a mom.

Tys on Ice said...

:)...loving is about letting go, isnt it...in the case of motherhood, its more so...after all, children are for you to raise, not own...


i hope all mothers read this post...its beautifully true

Renu said...

Awesome post!!,feel the same here, I always say..love is not giving unconditionally...it is giving judiciously and withholdind judiciously.

Any type of love must enhance whether it is personality, prospect or anything, and one which mars is not love.

I have seen many mothers who pamper their daughters and wouldnt let them do anything, instead will do themselves, but they are not making their daughter's life comfortable and happy. sirf Karmath log hi jeevan me sukhi hote hain.aur sukh dete hain.

Joy said...

Very true. :) :)

Hip Grandma said...

sraboney:It was King Dhritharashtra's blind love for his son Duryodhan that led to the Mahabharat war. We have so many such examples of unconditional love leading to one's doom.

suranga;are not parents particularly mothers guilty of spoiling their children and causing their downfall?I know of the mother of a bright student who felt it was absolutely essential that the girl topped her batch. She would have got a first division anyway.But her mother's misplaced ambition goaded her into carrying chits and she was caught in the final paper of her M.Sc exams and was expelled.She never completed the course and it was so humiliating since she was just married and the husband came to know of it. Luckily he did not make an issue of it.

smitha:one's love for his/her child should be such that the child understands that parents would not be happy if they did something wrong or unacceptable and one cannot always have his/her way in everything.Children will understand provided parents put it across in the proper way.

sonia:It is wonderful to have such a caring mother adopted or otherwise.i am sure you would be so for your daughter too.

shoba:I was hesitant thinking that such a post may act as a dampner. but someone had to point out that motherhood is not always a bed of roses.Thank you for your wishes and wish you the same.

sumana:i really don't mean to advise from a pedastal. i am also equally vulnerable and need to remind myself time and again.Happy mother's day to you too.

Tys on ice: Children cannot be owned and those who try to are in for disappointment.Some learn it the hard way.But life continues to tutor us.

Renu:You are so right.Love should enhance and not impede. Love for one's daughter cannot and must not lead to criticism of one's DIL/son in law.If a motherly love can embrace their spouses as well the world would be a better place.

joy:I say all this based on personal experience and god knows I've had plenty of them.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

You are so insightful in this post. Mothers (and fathers) need to be aware and alert when the chidren are growing up, and have to learn to let go when they are ready to fly the nest. So true. I hope I am able to do that, because, sometimes despite our best intentions, we tend to over-indulge when they are young and over-interfere when they are not.

Priyanka said...

A beautiful post, LOVED IT! You are so right in everything that you have said.
Happy Mother's Day to you !

Usha said...

That is a beautiful post Padma. Loved every word of it.

Hip Grandma said...

sucharita: 'we tend to over-indulge when they are young and over-interfere when they are not'.
Rightly said.It is difficult to keep to one's self when children face problems whatever their age.But in their interest we need to let them grow.

priyanka:I've said it before and I say it again.We were better off with less money and means. It is difficult to be firm when one has both.

Usha:We were better off.With more disractions and better affordability it is difficult for young mothers to deal with the brilliant minds they are raising.

I-swear-I-did-not-write-this said...

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. The world as it is today cannot be transformed by either diplomats or politicians or mavericks - but by the simple power of a mother's upbringing of her child. It is she who shapes the future of a child and whether the child grows up to be Mahatma Gandhi or Osama Bin Laden - her contribution cannot be under-rated. Maybe, no Mother sincerely wants her child to go astray, but sparing the rod does lead to spoiling the child..more often than not

Hip Grandma said...

I-swear-I-did-not-write-this:That was a long name.I'll call you ISID hereafter.Welcome here.You are right.If mothers take credit for raising societally useful children they also should take discredit wherever applicable.She is a great influence on the children.

Bramha said...

I totally and absolutely agree. Muaaaaah !
When I began to read your post, I thought you were going to rave about how unconditional the love is..and I am glad you dint.
I simply dont believe that unconditional love exists. Mystified and confused by the concept of uncoditional love. :-)

Hip Grandma said...

Brahma:It is not fair or natural to have unconditional love.Glorifying the role of a mother actually burdens her into submission and that I feel should change.a mother should have a personality and prefeences and there is nothing wrong in it as long as it does not stifle the growth of those around her.

The Pack said...

hello ma'm! Although this is my first comment on your blog, I have been following it for quite sometime now...and have cherished each one of them...i just have tagged you far and award...It will be an honour if you accept it!

Thanks!

Hip Grandma said...

the pack:thanks for tagging me.i'll take it up soon.

Monika said...

u are tagged

http://monikamanchanda15.blogspot.com/2009/05/oh-horrors-day14-post-16.html

Hip Grandma said...

Monika:will do your tag soon.

Dotm said...

I think the parent who thinks their child is never in the wrong does that child more damage than good. I had a neighbor like that, she could be right there watching her son do something and then blame it on another neighbors child. Lucky that we all knew better so the innocent child never got into trouble due to those lies.
I agree that once the child is grown, it is time to step back and give advice only when asked. We need to just do our best raising them and then hope they listened enough to make a happy life for them self.

Mampi said...

well said - need of the hour is surely letting go. kids hve their own world and they need to fly. conditions only clip their wings.