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!