Anupama writes a letter to her 18-year old daughter. Read what she has to say.
My mother was always there for us, a strong woman who juggled many roles in her life, and who is still there when we need her.
There is no denying that being a mother is the turning point in every mother’s life. It is a truly life changing experience. The reason for that is that you are now responsible for another person who is simply not capable of caring for themselves in their early years.
They say parenting has evolved, has changed in the last few decades. I think parenting style may have changed but the essence of a mother daughter relationship remains the same.
My mother was a home minister. Not a housewife, not a home maker but truly a home minister. My dad was busy earning for us and mom filled in all other roles except for breadwinner. She was the caretaker, nurse, cook, procurer and the accountant of the family. She immersed herself in her children and home to such a great extent that her own identity faded and came to be very strongly attached to us.
Needless to say, when I married and moved to my husband’s home and my brother left to pursue higher education (almost at the same time), the empty nest syndrome hit her so hard that she fell ill. Physically ill.
There are many things I have learnt from my mother throughout my life and here are some of them.
It could be the middle of the night or the time for her afternoon nap. She could be in the adjoining room or hundreds of kilometres away, a mother is always on duty. I do not think my mom’s maternal antennae ever shut down! In her head even now, she is constantly thinking about what she needs to do for us. I tell her to relax, but she just won’t listen. She is still on duty.
Now this one has puzzled me! I thought it was only my mother who knew Legilimency (even before JK Rowling gave us a term for it) but chats with my friends revealed that most mothers have this super power. The fact that I was probably missed out when this was being handed notwithstanding, a mother just knows the pulse of the child. I don’t know what set her off but many many instances in my childhood have convinced me that mums do not need to have a conversation with the kids to know what is going on in their heads.
Mother daughter bonds are special indeed. The first influence on your style – be it hair, clothes, makeup or accessories is your mother. It is through her that we learn about everything a girl needs to know. A mother’s thoughts and upbringing is the mould that shapes the daughter’s personality and how she will deal with things all her life.
I think I have first been my mother’s shadow and then become my own person. Some of my beliefs have changed as I have grown older but a lot of my core values about honesty, about caring, about being true to yourself still come from her early influences.
They say that a job of a homemaker is a thankless one. My mum often said this and when I was slightly older, I understood why.
As in any operations job, as long as everything is running smoothly, you are just doing your job – there is no glory. The moment you falter, there are brickbats. Being a mother is something like that. As children, we need to remember that we must be grateful for everything that our mothers did for us and everything they taught us – even when we disagreed with them, it was a lesson in what not to do. This gratitude needs to find an outlet, at least occasionally.
Thank you, mom!
Published here earlier.
Image source: Ankita Bhatia Dhawan
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