Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Surviving Mother's Day

Another Mother's Day came and went. There was no breakfast in bed. No 'Happy Mother's Day, mom!' shriek in unison. No cards. No gifts. No flowers. Not even a damn 'Happy Mother's Day' sms from Airtel. Instead,the habitual chaos prevailed. The usual grumbling before every meal, "Why can't we have anything different, ever?" One daughter had to be forced to do her home work. The other had to be literally pushed into the bathroom to take a shower. The hubby had to be gently reminded that it was NOT Mother Teresa's birthday the world was celebrating. The menu had to be planned, the laundry had to be done, the clothes had to be folded. Well, life is unfair to start with. And then you become a mother.

I have two daughters, and let me tell you, every time I see my friends with sons, I feel envious. No, it has nothing to do with my archaic Indian mentality. Just that mothering sons seems to be so easy. They eat without counting calories. They have short hair that need no combing. They do not spend hours on the phone talking. They do not have to be told to go down and play instead of watching TV. They never look at  gangly, gawky 16 year old boys and burst into giggles and most important, they never talk about waxing their legs or plucking their eyebrows. The mothers only have to cook enough food to feed an army and the boys seem rather happy. The sons also seem to dote on their mothers. My elder daughter on the other hand thinks I'm her public enemy number one. In a few years,the younger one I am sure will start feeling the same. Though I would never exchange my daughters for sons, I really could do with some doting.

My mother perhaps would not have agreed with me on this one. The moment my brother turned 16, she turned into a deranged woman. She regularly checked his bag to find out if  there was a love letter hidden somewhere. She sniffed for cigarette smoke every time he entered the house. She kept a check of how he was spending his pocket money and constantly worried about him getting into bad company. From a perfectly normal happy woman, she turned int a spy with an obsessive compulsive disorder. This went on till he finally married at the ripe old age of 33. Honestly, I do not know how my brother survived those maddening years.

I think this motherhood thing does not come easy to me. I wish along with the babies, God had also sent me an instruction manual to handle them. I would not have stumbled so many times on the way then. This Mother's Day, when I saw some lovely e-mails that my friends sent me, I started thinking, what was the fuss all about? Wasn't it like any other day? We cooked, we fed, we cleaned, we took care, we loved fiercely and we tumbled into beds that night too tired to even straighten out the bed sheets. That has been my routine for the last 14 years. That day was no different. And I know I was not the only one who felt like this. A lot of mothers all over the globe dealt with tears and sicknesses, tempers and tantrums, scraped knees and heart breaks on Mother's Day. And they all survived.

So why just celebrate it on a second Sunday of May each year? Why not every day? After all every day we are mothers, and every day we survive.

Some days with difficulty and the others with some cuss words...


ZB said...

Mother's day? When? yesterday? Sorry, my IQ is bit low these days, so is my GK. Belated Mother's day wishes.

And what day is today? neighbor's sister's daughter's husband's day?never mind!bad joke, i know.But do we need a day to cut cake in the name of mother? I will never understand it, i miss my mother, HAVING LOST HER WHEN VERY LITTLE.. Please forgive my ignorance. TC lovely post.:)

Nupur said...

2nnd :)

Destiny's child... said...

Absolutely agree with you on this one. Why just one day?

A very interesting post....:)

Nupur said...

Logical post Aparna !! I also think on the same lines 'why just one day?' but I've no logical reasons like you have :) I feel this for all the days that we "now-a-days" celebrate..father's day,mother's day,valentine's day..all in all..don't we love our fathers and mothers the day to shower them with love? Or even tell them that we love you?

You've a knack of writing all that comes to our readers mind..trust me !

Lazy Pineapple said...

I disagree...If every day was Mothers day..then wonderful Mothers throughout the globe would not even get that much loving...I feel that thank god at least one day...when Mothers can be pampered...even if it is under some label.

I have seen my mother toil each day to bring us up...I wish we had the media hype of Mothers day when I was growing up...least I could have done was to make one day special for her...when she could relax and get pampered...
We would not write a tribute to her and remember how special she is if we did not have Mothers day...

Anonymous said...

Whhhhaaattt'sss wrong with you? 95% of sons become a menace once they turn 14! Real-life experience, madam! They never want to study, only want to play, get into a million fights, take to every kind of addiction available and have gigantic ego issues etc. etc. Daughters on the other hand become best friends once they turn around 24. You are blessed. If I could have one child, I'd want a girl. If I could have 2, I'd probably want both to be girls too!

Swaram said...

Yes ofcourse .. everyday is Mother's day :)

Anuradha Shankar said...

good one, Aparna...... yes, i too wonder about why the hype about mothers just one day of the year when we toil round the clock for our kids....

as to boys over girls, i have a boy, and well, all i would say is i wish i didnt have to shout to make myself heard, have not a minute of peace when he is around,and finally, at least girls will understand what their moms went through when they become moms themselves..... it will never happen with boys!

BK Chowla, said...

Perhaps, it is important have a special day for the mother to feel special.
Mother is special.

G S Pillai said...

you should really start thinking about writing, outside of blogging.

Smita said...

hmmmm what you have written makes so much sense!!! We love to glorify everything or rather glamorise everything but miss the reality!!!

Loved ur post because it wasn't the usual mushy ,ushy thing that we are getting to read :)

Aparna said...

Dear Aparna,

I do believe that everyday is mother's day...And given a chance I love to cook, clean and take care of my mother...However, the chances are little when your mother loves doing that for you or you are mostly away from home. Do not worry about your girls, before you know it they will start doting you and following everything you did...like I do with my mum now :) ;) .

Happy Mother's Day(since it is everyday...no late wishes!).


Ms.Chitchat said...

Agree with u 100%, they are there for us 365 days,so why choose a particular day to glorify them:):) But, unsung moms would be too happy to receive a 'thank you' card or a bouquet from their children at least on that particular day. Loved ur space and glad to follow u :):)


Vrinda said...


I've been following your blog since 2 months. I like your posts. I like the way you think, and the posts are so meaningful and clear.

Coming to your Mother's day post, I liked it so much.But I think we should have Mother's day, so that they can enjoy all the attention,gifts etc. When I wished my Mother she was so happy and I could feel that she is enjoying the attention.

NR said...

I definitely agree that everyday is Mothers Day..its all the western culture!!
Its nice to b back to blogging world once again and simply missed a lot of your post so need to catch them soon !!! :)

UmaS said...

Parenting is tough, whether you have daughters or sons. The problems are many and different, but they are there. Though, things would have been different if God had been kind enuf to send a manual along with - LOL, didnt think of this idea at all.

Yes, its absolutely not fair to celebrate it only on one fine day. Actually, it was like every other day !!!

Sandhya said...

You play with words very nicely, Aparna! I am always happy to read your posts.

Your daughters definitely will adore you, when they grow up.

I have experience with my 2 sons...what you said is right...I was going on cooking cooking AND cooking!

Enjoyed reading this post!

Blunt Edges said...

a sweet read that :)
belated happy mother's day :D

Aparna said...

@ ZB, Mother's Day came and went,and Father's Day will come too, just you wait. But as you rightly said,we do not need any ceremony to celebrate our parents.

@ Nu, my mother knows that I love her deeply, though as a child we never celebrated Mother's Day. On her birthday we used to give her gifts and later we started taking her out for lunch/dinner. She used to be ecstatic.

@ Destiny's child,thanks a lot.

@ Lazy Pineapple, we did not celebrate Mother's Day while growing up true, but do you think our mothers did not know they were special in our lives? My brother and I celebrated my parents' anniversary and their birthdays and they felt very happy.

@ Unsungpsalm,point taken, daughters are rather sweet and boys are nothing but trouble! Hope one day, you will have a daughter of your own.All the best.

@ Swaram, yes it is :)

@ Anu, boys or girls, I hope all our children understand the challenges we mothers face every single day.

@ BK Chowla, yes, mothers are truly special.

@ Bluebird, thanks, coming from you, it's a huge compliment.

@ Smita, thanks a lot...I am rather incapable of mush I think!

Aparna said...

@ APARNA, thanks, thats rather sweet.I hope my daughters become my best friends too! And thanks for your wishes.

@ Ms Chitchat, welcome to my space. Thank you very much for your appreciation.

@ Vrinda, thank you very much for your encouraging words. And don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the celebration. It was mainly written in jest.

@ Nazish Rahman, welcome back. Hope you will be permanently around in the blogging world from now on.

@ UmaS, god really needed to give us that instruction manual! Our problems would have been halved.

@ Sandhya, my mother used to do the same thing for my brother, so I know about the amount of cooking required for boys! Thanks for your encouraging words.

@ Blunt edges, thanks!

walk2write said...

One of these days, your daughters will become human again, and you will be thankful for them. Sons usually have a way of turning out well-adjusted too, in spite of all that flying-without-lessons parental misjudgment. You're lucky that you have teenagers now when there is such a thing as blogging. I honestly don't know how I survived with some of my sanity still intact.

The Panorama said...

Lovely post, Aparna.Though boys are not angels believe me!! My ten year old tells me I talk to much and when I start on a lecture I never come to the point( he wants his lecture in one line!). The endless nagging...can u clean up after yourself and he yells back" can you stop nagging!!"
Boys are messy, and want to sit by their computer games all day. One day I asked him to start cleaning in teh house. Pat cam the reply" so that you can sit on teh sofa andf watch TV, thats a womans job!!"

If I ask him how was his day I get a short" fine".

So I have my share of mother woes too:) I wish I had a daughter too sometimes !!

But we wouldn't have it any other way, would we?

sujata sengupta said...

You got that right babe..some days are bad and the rest are worse.But we survive!! Would not know if managing a boy is easy..I dont think it is.. the other day I was gloating over how my boy is suddenly become this good kid, who studies regularly, and then yesterday i see a note from his class teacher saying hes beating up other boys!!

The Holy Lama said...

A small note:
Boys too need to be pushed to the playground
And their friend's mom always cooks better
Two inches of hair and still five minutes to comb
And they always comment on your driving skills

Life of a mother is difficult irrespective of the kids she has:(

Roshni said...

Are you nuts, wanting a boy!!??? Do you know how much hair I have lost? Not to mention how much teeth enamel from gritting my teeth?! And, I definitely have to go for spinal surgery sometime soon because of some people who think they are feather-weight and launch themselves on me just on a whim!!
Well, the grass is always greener on the other side! I almost always look at my friend's girls and sigh!!!

SavvY said...

I agree with ya Aparna... indeed every day's a mothers day... Because without mothers, life is a tough job for me..

Lazyani said...

Agreed Aparna, everyday is a Mothers Day. Why single out a day and spoil the others

RGB said...

It was my daughter who was counting down to mother's day at least a week in advance, this time around. And every other day, she would remind me that the following Sunday was Mother's Day and give me a sweet smile that's worth a million dollars!

And with every passing year, we have more days (more reasons) to celebrate - mother's day, father's day, this day, that day and what not! I guess it's ok. At least, gives us a chance to think about it:)


Ritu said...

If you are a single Mom to sons, its the sons who turn into protective Neanderthals, dont let you wear dresses or even lipstick and spy on you. So be glad you have daughters. Mine took me out for dinner and expected me to foot the bill. Sigh! Boys do have a recessive gene :((((

Tomz said...

Wishing you belated Happy Birthday (sorry nt belated), since it is everyday..

About the way how your mother spied your 16 year old brother..
Nowadays, the boys would have started exchanging love letter a few more years before..

Swatantra said...

Very true!! I have the same feeling that everyday is a mothers day!!

Kavi said...

Mothers day and such other days are things that Archies and Hallmark made popular. Thats my pet theory !

for every body else, both sons and daughter, mothers make each day !

Onkar said...

Well written piece, as usual. Mother's day at least helped you vent your feelings !

Anonymous said...

You know sometimes I wonder! While growing up, we never understood our mothers. and they never found it important to try and explain either. Here every other statement of mine to my kids is "Just wait and see, I am sure you will respect me for this one day!!!" Sheesh..Am I crazy to try and make them understand me?
I have one of each...boy and girl..I look at recently married couples and say..please wait for at least 10 years before you start a family. You need that maturity!! When will I grow up!!! :(

Neena Sharma said...

Whoever said mothering sons was easier than mothering daughters? I'd any day raise 12 girls than one boy.
As for Mother's Day, I think it's a typical Western thing — be nice to your Mum once a year, never mind if you never even make a call for the rest of the year.

Aparna said...

@ Walk2write, I hope the daughters turn back to humans again. Right now they appear to be aliens. And yes, blogging helps, so does reading other people's blogs.

@ Panorama, boys are not angels? Oh man, I am sooo disillusioned!

@ Sujata, your son is a saint, why does the teacher complain so much?

@ Holy Lama, and here I thought only girls hated mom's cooking!

@ Roshni, you guys are almost making me happy that I did not have a boy!

@ savvY, three cheers for mothers!

@ Lazyani, very true.

@ RGB, lucky you. Hope you enjoyed your day.

@ Ritu, recessive genes? Hahaha, that was funny!

@ Tomz, I know guys have smartened up. You can't employ crude ways of spying any more.

@ Swatantra, yes, every day is mom's day.

@ Kavi, sheer commerce. But I know a lot of mothers love the idea of celebrating Mother's Day. To me it does not mean a thing.

@ Thanks Onkar!

@ Jyothi, some mothers I know have the maturity of their kids. I wonder how they manage to bring up the children. but becoming parents at a later stage also is equally difficult as one does not have the energy to run after them.

@ Neena, I share your sentiments 100%. Thanks for writing in.

Anonymous said...

First I wanted to say thank you for commenting :)
Then I wanted to say that I kind of agree with what you're saying. Cos I mean I'm 14 and not a mother yet (thank God!!) but although drive my Mum insane we have some good times. Trust me when I say you would not want two sons. I have two male cousins and they are wild!! Although I am very biased daughters rock !!

Anonymous said...

I disagree totally with the part about your daughters. Me thinks they are the sweetest and more intelligent than kids of their age.

Mother's Day?? I looked up the date and was aghast to know that on that particular day, I tagged along with the husband to an electronics shop and then went to a men's store and got him a new wardrobe. Cooked 3 times as usual. The boy made me madder. errr...so how come I didn't get any special treatment?

MS said...

Awwww!!! I'm wishing you a very very Happy Mother's day! When people take you for granted, it means that you are much more a part of themselves.. Pampering is for outsiders :) Though I hope you get pampered a lottttt in the future! :)