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On Mother’s Day, A Letter To All Mothers Who Place Themselves Last

Posted: May 10, 2015

On Mother’s Day, while its great to get the love and wishes of your family, its time to think: As a mother, are you neglecting yourself for the sake of your family?

First of all, a Happy Mother’s day to all the mothers reading this. It must have made you happy when your children wished you today (even though your day today has probably been almost the same as all other days!)

You woke up early, cooked up the meals, got yourself and the kids ready, got the house cleaned, did the laundry, packed meals for them and the husband – in short, everything that you do regularly and that has become a part of your daily routine for years now. So what makes this day any different? Being greeted by your children? Getting hugs and gifts from them? Sure, that really is awesome. But don’t you think there should be more? No? I think this is exactly what’s wrong!

Mothers never seem to feel that we deserve something more for ourselves. We can spend the whole day working at office and then at home but find it tough sparing time for ourselves. Personally, I feel that mothers are too little demanding for their own good. You are happy seeing your kids achieving their life goals. Their pains and problems give you heartache. You keep everything else above yourself. Yes, I know you love your children and family a lot but does it mean you have to neglect yourself in order to do that?

How often do you spend time with yourself doing things that you love without any trace of guilt in your heart? How often you go for movies with your college friends?  In fact, are you even in touch with them? Do you still think of your goals and dreams? Let me guess! You don’t have time for that now? I saw it coming!

Why can’t we take half a Sunday off from housework every weekend? Why does it have to be our job always to do the cooking, cleaning and other household things? Why don’t you ask others to help you and divide the responsibilities? Why do you have to do it all by yourself? Why do we have to keep it perfect all the time? I know some of you have domestic help/maids but the ultimate responsibility to run the show smoothly lies on you. Maybe it makes some of you happy doing all this by yourself but this way, you are inculcating this belief in your kids that this is what a mother does and this is what defines her – which I personally believe should be a choice, not a compulsory duty.

Mothers too are human and get tired and pissed off at times. You will keep that anger and frustration inside and seldom be vocal about things that upset you. Why don’t you make it obvious to people around you? Why do you have to work when you are feeling unwell? You are really being very unfair and hard on yourself.

A quote by Milton Berle quite precisely sums up my thoughts about this: ‘’If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?’’

It seems that evolution didn’t really work in favour of mothers, as though it too knew that this special species will manage somehow! From now on, get a few pairs of extra hands from people around you to get things done. All the kids and other family members in the house should realize the value and efforts you put in. They should too share the duties and responsibilities and workload so that you can spare some time for yourself too. Everybody deserves some time off.

These days, when women are working in almost every field with men, it gets tough shouldering all the responsibilities alone. Only when your children see all other family members working together at home will they be prepared to do it all themselves without entertaining the belief that ‘this is a woman’s/mothers job and this is not’. Trust me, you will be doing your daughters and future mothers a big favour.

There are women who can do it but there are those too who find it tough and exhausting. Women working so hard balancing everything might or might not get the credit for doing all of it but the ones who fail in achieving this state of perfection usually do get their unfair share of criticism. If not for yourself, then just for them, spare yourself. Also, let others know that motherhood is a full time 24*7 job which requires a lot of hard work, patience and skills. Let them try their hands at housework at least. Trust me, they will appreciate your efforts a lot more than before. Don’t just let them take you for granted. Start delegating your work and share the load. It takes time to bring such social changes and starting small will surely go a long way.

Nobody knows motherhood better than a mother. It’s obvious that we all do our best for our children and family. It’s high time you chose to do the best for yourself too. Motherhood, of course, is a big responsibility and changes a lot in you but you need to love yourself too. Take care of your own health and well being. When you are happy and satisfied with yourself, you can always do more for the people you love. Besides being a mother, you are an individual too, with her own dreams and aspirations. Don’t let them die inside you.

Lots of love and gratitude.

Mom lettering via Shutterstock

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  1. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL GREAT MOTHERS IN THE PAST.PRESENT AND FUTURE…Thanks Amandeep for writing in a very pleasant way how every day can be a mothers’ day, if alone we know how to deal with the tasks in our hands.

    I would like to shed some light on the need for change in the attitude of many women themselves who are adults. Having heard many women who are married, say in different tones, that they have to take care of their parents-in-law and rushing back home, and also saying that they went to their in-laws’ place, because children had some holidays. Fine..let them go….but why is it that they take great pride and sense of entitlement when they talk about in-laws and NOTHING is spoken about their own ageing parents. Is it that society does not expect them to do so and they conveniently left it? Or is it that they have already been taking care of both, but felt that the society does not appreciate them for taking care of their parents, and hence did not mention the same?

    Anyway, for the benefit of all, let me share some info. There is something called the ———– ‘Maintenance of Parents and senior citizens Act,2007′, which says that the senior citizens are to be taken care of by –

    * Children- Include son, daughter, grandson, grand daughter but does not include a minor
    * Maintenance includes provision for food, clothing, residence, medical attendance and treatment
    * Parent- means father or mother whether biological, adoptive or step father or step mother, whether or not father or mother is a
    senior citizen
    * Senior citizen- means an Indian who attained the age of 60 years or above
    * Relative- means any legal heir of childless senior citizen who is not a minor and is in possession of or would inherit his property
    after his death
    * Welfare- means provision for food, healthcare, recreation centers and other amenities necessary for senior citizens

    Please read the full details of the Act by going through it, and find more details if need be, as this is just an introductory definition given under the same.

    Our movies and media have been highlighting the importance of one section of mothers , that is the BOYS’ mothers as if they have done ultimate martyrdom in feeding,educating, taking care in ill-health and finally giving him up the son for the WOMAN who is going to come in his life, or that woman has villainously thrown her out…blahblah. So, is it that the GIRLS’ mothers did not do the above martyrdom and further gives her daughter to the son-in-law, only to rest assured that now her daughters duty is to take care of another woman, the same age as this mother, but not entitled to receive the same attention (as she is the girl’s mother) !! Please be aware of such messages being reinforced time and again in movies and tv shows, so that you can understand how important ALL MOTHERS (or parents) are and no entitlement is given based on the gender they give birth to.

    This realisation will go a long way in having joint families, wherein both the husband’s and the wife’s parents are under the same roof and our children will also learn to care for ALL……

    Thanks…chill out…enjoy the good cup of coffee…..because YOU DESERVE IT.

    • Amandeep Kaur -

      I completely agree with that Chintu. When and daughters and sons are being brought up equally, they should share the responsibilities equally too. Specially of their ageing parents.

  2. Just saw this video in youtube…..must watch for not only mothers but for all humans….deeply touching and eye opening true story…

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