Mom's the Word

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On the occasion of Mother’s Day, Nisha JamVwal explores the beauty and complexities of motherchild relationships

My flatmate in California woke up energetically one morning, declaring to us all, “Today is Mother’s Day and I’m going shopping for my mother.” She did buy a present, an expensive one… and she charged it to her mother’s credit card. The one day she did remember her mother, aside of a regular barrage of demands and problems, was to buy her mother a present ‘on Mother’s Day’, she charged it to her. I do hope we in India, in our fast growing materialistic age and shattering value systems, don’t forget the value and importance of the one selfless beautiful relationship in our lives. And with Mother’s Day this month, I was hoping we could go down Mom’s theword On the occasion of Mother’s Day, Nisha JamVwal explores the beauty and complexities of motherchild relationships memory’s path and remember all the wonderful moments that we’ve shared with that one selfless soul that gives cynosure to our existence.
How many statues and paintings eulogise this special relationship? Yes, I know she can be tiresome at times, and can even nag and pursue us with her list of to-dos, but when you’re objective and thinking with a cool head, you do know it’s for the best (well, mostly!).
What is a mother’s perspective to bringing up her children? “Bringing up children in today’s world is challenging. Full stop! Period!” says actor Soni Razdaan with her typical jest intertwined with serious undertone about her kids Shaheen and the new kid on the Bollywood block Alia Bhatt.

A TUMULTUOUS RELATIONSHIP
A mother-and-child relationship to me has always been intriguing, mainly because of the complexities of my own relationship with a ‘tiger mom’. I do believe she’ll agree with Soni wholeheartedly.
Everything my mother said might have been true: I should not have freaked every time my boyfriend had looked, spoken, breathed at another girl. Yes, I definitely looked better with black eyeliner. And true, journalism and writing was my forte. But she could have probably considered saying it more bonhomously so that her words didn’t make me buck and want to do the exact opposite.
From the other side of the fence today, I see my friends struggling with their daughters, challenging and having spats with their mums. And their kids are thus unable to deal with the barrage of ‘feedback’ meted out to them.

GROWING UP WITH CHILDREN
Lilette Dubey shares her perspective about bringing up Neha and Ira, “I want to be there to always hold their hands, but I know that I have to let go and allow them to work it out themselves. After all, they are individuals in their own right and I won’t always be there. To keep
communication channels unclogged, it is also important to hear feedback you don’t like to hear, from your child, and not undermine their opinion. It’s part of the journey. The flow cannot be one way – however young your kid, you have to keep the respect of your child. You cannot humiliate a child just because the child is your own.”
The bottom line being, that it’s not only the child who has to do the growing up, it’s the parent too!

FRIENDS, NOT CARETAKERS
Having said that, kids do need boundaries and it becomes a tight ropewalk for a parent to achieve it without coming on too strong. Which is why it is important for us to learn as we grow up with some introspection. If we don’t work at creating the foundation for a strong future, we won’t reap rewards and may suffer the consequences. So to keep a happy relationship, it is very important to learn to be responsible for ourselves. We won’t always have mom to fall back on, to do our projects or grill us before exams. Or to cajole us to better ourselves, to step up the game. We have to make the realisation if we wish our mother to be more of a friend and less of a caretaker. To have a fabulous relationship, it is indeed important to learn to let go on both sides and be independent and come together as friends and confidants. To be able to go to coffee and not keep advising each other.
A little distance and mutual respect goes a long way in any relationship. It is then that we can truly appreciate and celebrate each other and the institution of a mother. The trick for the mother is to be there and not be there both at the same time. Don’t ask me how one does that. Life is about always learning, isn’t it?
Of course, our mothers will be there for us but it is important to become responsible for ourselves. I can say that probably the hardest thing a mother has to do is to let go. I know that my mother found it difficult and still tells me how to run my life often, and I probably enjoy the fact that she feels that connection. We love having our matriarch to lean on, especially on those not-so-wonderful days. That brings me back to Mother’s Day, and my take on that, personally, is that let’s make every day special with our mums, because we don’t seem to remember that she won’t be around forever – time is ticking and a day will come that she will leave us forever.

A mother-and-child relationship to me has always been intriguing, mainly because of the complexities of my own relationship with a tiger mom

 

Volume 2 Issue 11

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