This Mother's Day, let’s stop celebrating ‘sacrifices’ and ‘unconditional’ love
Promise yourself to be a mother (if indeed you plan to be a mother) who doesn’t negate herself.
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Come Mother's Day, and we see people flood social media platforms with posts and tweets about what their mothers mean to them given their umpteen ‘sacrifices’ and ‘unconditional’ love. Over the years, we have reduced motherhood to sacrifices and love that involves a negation of self — calling it ‘unconditional’.
Would a mother's love still matter if it isn't unconditional? (Source: Reuters)
We have made women judge their own selves over how good or bad a mother they are — constantly, perennially. This made them save the best course of the meal for the men — and then the children. This made them sacrifice flourishing professional careers because the cost of staying away from their children meant added guilt trips. This made them worry and fret all the time. This made them stay up all nights.
The cost of being a mother for scores of women has meant giving up on life, giving up on hobbies, on small happinesses and little joys.
While we appreciate men on Father's Day for being 'providers', we count our mothers’ 'sacrifices' on Mother's Day.
I know countless women who spend their days in office balancing work with the worries of their child back home with a nanny. Many work because the cost of life has gone up and their husband’s salary is not enough to run the house and ensure a bright future for their child. And yet, the greater part of the child’s responsibilities lie with the mother.
It is this we thank our mothers for on Mother's Day.
Many women spend office hours worrying about their kids even as they face work pressure. (Source: Reuters/Photo for representation only)
I wish my mother had spent greater time doing things she loved, instead of worrying about my next meal. I wish she had spent more resources on herself instead of worrying about my needs. I wish she had spent time figuring out what she loves, instead of only figuring out career opportunities for me.
I wish she had not denied herself the right to live her own life, fulfilled and happy, before worrying about me.
The moment I say this, you would wonder how I expect kids to be brought up fine with their mothers taking care of themselves. That happens when we become more demanding of men to participate in the process of bringing up children.
We couldn’t do that as kids. We sure can do that as adults.
Promise yourself to be a mother (if indeed, you plan to be a mother) who doesn’t negate herself.
Unlearn the nonsense you have been taught about motherhood being the ultimate truth about your being. You may be a mother — but beyond that, you are a human being. Don’t fall for the traps that exalt you to the level of God. This is only meant to deny you your rights as a woman.
Be more demanding of the men with whom you bring up kids as wives or partners. And remember, it is fine if you lack the motherly instinct — if you do not want to be a mother at all. Kick that guilt away.
Step away from the guilt: It's time for women to prioritise themselves. (Source: Reuters)
Mother's Day is a marketing gimmick. Enjoy it if you want to, if not, soak yourself in the pleasures of life. Bask in the glory of your being. It is your biggest treasure.
Tell your daughters this! Also, tell your sons this!
This Mother's Day, let’s promise to love our mothers for who they are — and not for what they did for us.
That’s called 'unconditional love'.