Please let Mom down from the pedestal. 

A friend son posted ” My mom is my Goddess . I worship her like an angel ! She is the love of my life , a great friend , sister , daughter , fav chef , fab dancer all rolled in one !!! Suddenly random thoughts were doing the salsa in my brain! How did this mom manage to build a monument for herself ?I must request the Maker for a book of rules on parenting to be attached to the placenta ! How I wish I had made a quick run through “10 ways of juggling motherhood” before my brood arrived!

The dust has settled. Every important date on the calendar comes with its own hype and hoopla ! Mothers Day. It arrived with a lot of fanfare and was gone without as much as a whimper . Moms were back to their regular routines even before they called it a day . Millions of people celebrate the second Sunday of May . Every social networking platform is flooded with dedications and messages that force  you to reach out for tissues ! So a valid viewpoint that some have is that if in fact the purpose is meant to be a celebration of motherheood then don’t you think that a …’One day in a year ‘ smacks of tokenism? Some cynics argue that the holiday was popularised by greeting card companies, confectioners and florists.

While dining at a tea room in Philadelphia Anna Jarvis ordered a salad . A beautiful colourful salad with a luxurious silky dressing was served in an exquisite hand painted Moroccan salad bowl with matching salad spoons. But the minute she was told ” Enjoy your salad ” ,she dumped it on the floor in disgust ! The reason? Jarvis hated that it was called ” Mothers Day Salad ” named after the celebration of Mothers Day that she had pioneered years earlier . She did not see it as an honour but as an affront to a tradition she held dear .To her, it was a cheap marketing gimmick to profit off an idea .

Mother’s Day usually celebrates all of the sweet and loving moms out there. The image our society projects is that mothers are the wholesome and self sacrificing kind !When these good mothers elevate themselves above the froth of human ambition, desires and needs they are rewarded with a sacred trust, the ability to mould little beings of infinite potential. Everyone is smiling in this scenario, because mothers are perfectly fulfilled and their children are destined for greatness!

And there are those invisible moms like me who continue to represent the full messy spectrum of humanity .. complete with their dreams & defeats ,ambitions& angst,fetishes & flaws, compassion & charisma and some !

And then there’s yet another breed of moms that aren’t all freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and warm milk. These warrior moms put their life on the back burner and do everything they possibly can to raise their kids and yet no one even notices .

I was sitting in a cafe when I saw a woman gesturing . I realised it was the same person ..I had clumsily bumped into at the local supermarket earlier in the day . I went up to the entrance thinking she wanted help with the door so I held it open and then with a quick look of gratitude she hurriedly wheeled in a young boy . The child excitedly flayed one disobedient arm trying to dust the snow flakes off his winter jacket .The staff made place for the special wheelchair . Once he was comfortable and his order placed his mother walked up to me to say thank you .

She said Dolan was born really late in her marriage . When she was in the 3 rd trimester they met with an unfortunate road accident . She lost her husband and almost lost her child . Blunt abdominal trauma resulted in the child being born with Hemiplegic cerebral palsy and permanent eye damage.

A close friend was just 32 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer . Her two little children were devastated. Now they are all grown up with families of their own and as they are raising their own children they recall with pride how their mother coped .This is what they told me ….”There was food on the table everyday , the cushions were in place , the dogs was groomed , our shoes were polished , uniforms washed & ironed , homework supervised and she even hobbled to the front door to kiss us goodbye all through her chemo cycles . She is the embodiment of resilience . And as we go about our lives now we know we are doing it right . Mommy did everything she could medically, holistically, mentally, spiritually and physically to stay here with us! ”

She was 13 when she was repeatedly abused by her 54 year old maternal uncle .Silence was her only option to deal with the fear of more violence. It wasn’t until it was too late that she realised something was wrong . She was queasy all the time and then it was confirmed . The baby was put up for adoption . The child grew up with her foster parents . A little before her wedding she got to hear of her story .The search for her biological mother was a long and arduous one . Ably assisted by her husband she runs a vocational training centre for women and a Pre -school. When I met this petite young woman I realised how much courage and conviction it must have taken to survive the stigma , accept, forgive and move on in life . As we were watching her adorable 5 year old twin daughters play she holds my hand and says ‘Aru the life of a girl child born out of rape is no life at all ‘ How does one react ? I wished we lived in a fairer world .

The much awaited dinner party was almost over and as dessert and coffee were being served one of the guests got a call from home . The hostess offered to help with reversing their car . While the others were on the patio saying their goodbyes , no one noticed that the toddler had followed his mother. As she was backing up she had no clue that she will soon be living out a mothers worst nightmare .

The doctor said it was an internal head injury. The pain was excruciating. She knew her life would never get back to the way it was .Loss is like a wind, it either carries you to a new destination or it traps you in an ocean of stagnation. You must quickly learn how to navigate and sail away . It was hard initially to deal with grief, denial , shock and guilt all at the same time .

Caring for their surviving child was a challenge after the tragedy . It was only years later that the family felt complete ! They welcomed another baby into their lives, a lively 2 year old who had lost his parents to a genocide . It was heart wrenching to hear her story of being mommy all over again .

Another and another … and yet another …my list of warrior moms can go on . Dear friends .. I invite you to share your story , someone  you know personally or may know of . And I am not going wait another year to tell you how much I appreciate you and how proud I am of what you are building !  Some moms know that their children cannot physically acknowledge their efforts .. but deep in their hearts they know these words hold true …

No pretty wrapped gifts to give away

No dedications , no messages

In fact its just another ordinary day

No calls are made ,

No floral bouquets,

No parties within the month of May,

But what it is, is something true

Made up of these four words that I want to say to you,

Mommy I love you 😘 ”

(With due apologies to Stevie Wonder)
all the imperfect  yet committed moms ! Cheers ! May our tribe increase !

Gratitude :

Thank you Danielle Teller for allowing me to borrow your title . You are the best !

Disclaimer :

*Many identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals .

*Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental .

*No ones feelings were hurt or sensibilities harmed during the construction of this post !!

FYI: Google search engine at your service please . What would our life be without it?

*From breakfast to dinner – guide to plan a perfect day for your mother .

*Mothers day messages – what to write on a Mothers day card .

*End the struggle to find a perfect Mothers day gift- MyHighlightPlains

*Plan a perfect Mothers day -8 indulgent steps. Home Journal

*Mother Day2017/ gifts for mom:

*13 last minute ( but still amazing)Mothers day gift idea ( Martha Stuart )

*15 Mothers day activity ideas ( what to do on Mothers day)- Country living magazine .

*10 ideas for Dads to plan a perfect Mothers Day -Today’s Parent

5 thoughts on “Please let Mom down from the pedestal. 

  1. I am another person who feels like it means nothing to dedicate one day out of the whole year for the mothers. This year, just like every other year, there were blog posts after blog posts describing the greatness of the the bloggers’ mothers along with the photographs. After a point, whole of this gets quite overwhelming and one just wants to run away from all the hoopla. Same is the case with the gifting industry. I am not sure if I am messy but I am definitely an imperfect mother and I am going to be kind to myself when I commit folly because I am still better off in comparison to the warrior moms.


  2. Arundathi’di, countless times, we might have often spoken and discussed the need for having a dedicated day for our Mothers, but your post has summed it up very eloquently and beautifully. It was enlightening, and thought-provoking to hear about those instances you mentioned. Not just the marketing and the merchandising that has now come to be a part of the Mothers Day celebration, I also hate it when people think one day of saying thank you to their mothers is enough to last the whole year! Thank you for highlighting the case of the imperfect mom too! I’ve always struggled with myself as a mother, as much as being everything else that I’ve ever been, and knowing that there are many more like myself, who are far from perfect in what they do for their child. It made me realise I’m not alone. Hats off to those warrior moms who are putting in their everyhting, physically, mentally and emotionally year after year to see their kids lead happy, healthy lives. How ignorant we are of these moms who might be living right next door. How often do we spare a thought for them, I wonder! So many of us battle through situations and conditions that are only known to the innermost circle of friends and families…the silent crusaders called moms! Loved this piece of writing. I’m sharing your post, Aru’di.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautifully put Esha . So enjoyed your take on it . I have had the honour of watching you being a mom to A and I know that he is ever grateful ! And a token of gratitude one day in a year will not suffice but if one looks at it objectively .. its only in keeping with the spirit of the celebration .
      So true ! We have so many warrior moms amongst us who will never get the validation they so desperately need . My housekeeper Sue . She lost her husband to suicide when she was 3 months pregnant . She is bringing up her daughter all alone . She has been with me for the past 20 years . Not a single day have I heard her complain of her hardships . Lessons to be learnt !
      Ever since my brood moved to the US .. Mothers Day has been on their celebration calendar. This time I was in India so flowers arrive with a lovely note . Intrigued because it was not my birthday or Anniversary Sue asks why ? I said the flowers were for her too for what she is doing ! I really wish we lived in a fairer world !
      Please do share . Loads of love !


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