Mother’s Day: Myths About Motherhood

By Radhika Ravi Rajan

“Biology is the least of what makes a mother…”
— Oprah Winfrey

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday of May each year. Why not celebrate Mother’s Day this year in a different way? By removing the world “guilt” from the dictionary of every mother you know and love: your wife, your mother, your sister, your colleague, your Boss, and your friend? You can do it by busting the great Motherhood myth and adore each Mother as unique…

Myth No. 1: Mothers shower love always

The expectation that a mother has to always be “nice” to her children, though highly aspirational, is one of the toughest roles all mothers are expected to play! While all mothers do love their children, when they live with them and look after them 24×7, it’s natural for them to show their annoyance, especially when the kids are naughty…

Myth No. 2: Mothers create balance

The second myth is that a good mom knows how to balance it all! That she perfectly balances her various roles – as nurse, daycare, nightcare, teacher, linguist, homework-doer, disciplinarian, whathaveyou, with perfect ease! Yes, and Mothers have special inbuilt weighing machines!

Myth No. 3: A mother is always with her kids

The third biggest myth is that a “good” mom spends most of her time with her kids. But the fact is, and more so when mothers today are working moms, that it’s the quality of time that mothers give their children, not so much the quantity, that defines a mother. In any case, even working mothers are always trying to find a way to spend more time with their kids…

Myth No. 4: It’s the best job in the world

Everyone thinks the best way to encourage mothers is to rate their job as the best job in the world. But mothers know only too well that if Motherhood were advertised in the job columns, it would, in writer Kathy Lette’s words, read: Hours – constant; Food and Entertainment: supplied by yourself; Sick leave: none; Multitasking: a must.

Myth No. 5: It’s the ultimate fulfilment

While motherhood is, indeed, one of the most fulfilling roles that mothers play, when we describe it as the ultimate fulfilment, we’re sort of not allowing other facets of ourselves to develop. Then, it resembles a conspiracy of sorts not to let women make other aspects of their life, like wifehood, careerhood, just as fulfilling…

Myth No. 6: Mothers get support from family

There’s another myth floating around, that mothers get support from family in raising their kids. While it’s true in many lucky cases, for majority of mothers, they’re on their own for most of the tasks related to parenting, whether it’s related to pacifying a baby or changing nappies.

Myth No. 7: It brings couples closer

Yet another myth is that Motherhood brings couples closer because of all that bonding. Unfortunately, this is hardly true. parenting takes such a toll on marital life that couples actually forget what they had before the little bundle of joy arrived. So, in fact, mothers too need a lot of petting and kissing to put them back on track…

Myth No. 8: Mothers learn to learn from their mothers

Gosh! This one takes the cake! The moment you become a mother, your mother (or worse, your mother-in-law) thinks you have plenty to learn from them because you know nothing! As if they got training from the School of Motherhood. While tips are welcome, let’s ourselves discover the nuances of motherhood.

Myth No. 9: Mothers adore their newborns

Of course, mothers adore their newborns, but there are times when your tired body and mind prevent you from bonding with your precious newborn (as you ideally should because the new arrival really needs it!) So, contrary to popular belief, mothers end up feeling terribly guilty that they did not adore their newborns. Please spare them that!

Happy Mother’s Day!

So, bust all that hype about motherhood and appreciate it for what it really is: A job of a lifetime…thus, show your gratitude to the one who not only gave birth to you but the one who raised you… because, as talkshow host Oprah Winfrey put it, “Biology is the least of what makes a mother…”

* * *

Mothers never die

And when good-byes meant only till tomorrow! And here I was looking into a good-bye forever and that too from my mum. That night, I also saw her becoming a child…

 — Sandeep Sharma

It is 10 years now since my mother passed away Death came as mukti or salvation to her since she had been suffering for long from cancer. Perhaps God could bear it no longer; hence He took her in His arms She chose to be with me the last day as I sat the whole night with her until the early hours of the morning when she departed While sitting beside her that fateful night and seeing her slowly disappear into oblivion, I mulled over my childhood. A time when ‘getting high’ meant on a swing; when drinking meant drinking fruit juice, when dad was the only hero, when love was mom’s hug, when dad’s shoulder was the highest place on earth, when our worst enemies were our siblings, when the only thing that could hurt were wounded knees, when the only things broken were toys, when friends used you for nothing other than for borrowing pencils.

And when good-byes meant only till tomorrow! And here I was looking into a good-bye forever and that too from my mum. That night, I also saw her becoming a child as she recollected her childhood talking, in a semi-conscious state, with her long gone mother: how her mother had brought her up and how she played in her lap. She spoke so sweetly and with her graceful smile that for once I started to believe that she was not going. The quietness of the night and my mother’s words somehow reassured me that nothing would happen.

The night went by and my sister came by to relieve me. I got up to go to the washroom and kept looking back at my mum. The angel was there with all her charm. I told my sister that I would be back soon. Hardly had I reached the washroom and my sister summoned me back with a shriek. I ran. The angel was disappearing slowly towards the heavens. I lifted her and placed her head in my lap. Before I realised what had happened, she was gone. I shouted, I howled, ‘Please come back, mama. Don’t leave me.’ How could she go away? Then came the words of the doctor who was trying to console me: ‘See, your mother waited till you went to the washroom to leave her body so you would not witness that moment.’

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 26 May 2023

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