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An imperfect mum, who nevertheless loves her daughter to bits, shares a glimpse into that unique, multi-pronged bond that a mother and daughter share.
Mothers are often painted as saintly martyrs who are oozing with selfless love. And, it is so tough to break away from that unrealistic stereotypical ‘Mother in the box’ syndrome. We, mothers cannot be put in a box that paints us all pretty and sweet, round the clock. That’s simply not us. Certainly not me!
While I do love you, my child, unconditionally, there are times when I want to tear my hair out of frustration, throw my hands up in the air out of defeat, genuinely wonder if my overgrown baby will ever shed her baby ways and learn to listen without arguing. No ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. Only ‘Ji! Mummyji!’ Wishful thinking, eh?
I am certainly no mother with a saintly halo around me. All I know is that while I love you immensely, my feelings are not always immaculate white. There are shades of intense black, fiery reds, the blues, cloudy greys, cheery yellows, rosy pinks, serene greens and more.
I am not always loving, kind and patient to you even though I intend to, and try my best to be. You know, it is a tall task filling in the divine shoes of this ‘godly perception’ of mothers, who will take any arrow shot at them by her little monsters, without as much as a murmur. I lose my temper and calm, and get irritated with your antics. There are several frustrating moments as a mother, some of which I regret today.
You are the sister that I never had, who loves fiddling with my clothes and jewellery, and whines about how I have all the better stuff in my wardrobe than her. Yes, we duel over our wardrobes. Thanks! but no thanks, for ransacking all my baubles right from my favourite pair of studs to the pricey danglers, my make-up box for creating the most ghoulish makeovers with me as the guinea pig, each and every piece of clothing tried on and flung upon the floor.
You are my grandmother rolled into my mother-in-law, who loves nitpicking and preaching my own sermons back to me when I fail to practise what I preach. Hello, I’m only human, child!
You are my most difficult student who loves challenging my knowledge and expertise, with your never ending questions.
While I certainly have to give you credit for trying your best, shouldering more responsibilities and fulfilling them, there are some instructions that still fall on deaf ears and needs constant reminders.
“Can you lower the sound of the TV, please?”
“Can you eat without playing with your food?”
“Can you read where there is proper light?”
“Can you stop tearing up for the littlest of things?”
“You’re not a 2 year old anymore, you know!’”
Yes, I need to develop more patience and a thick skin. But, I’m human too, and not the divine incarnation of God on Earth as popular folklore tells. I wish I had never said some of those words to you in anger. I wish you would understand that my intentions for you are always good, even though my words might seem to suggest otherwise. I wish you would grow up emotionally, and someday, I can take a breather from playing the perfect role-model for you.
There are times when I’m dead tired, zapped of all energy, and the last person I want to see is my child. Yes, I said it! Sometimes, I need a break from all my motherly duties and playtime as much as I love doing them on most other days round the clock for you, my child. But, I need my space too at times just as you needs yours. A break from her Mummy at times! I do hope you understand!
Let me admit it! I’m flawed just as you are… probably more than you are. But, somehow, I am the mother who’s showing you the light towards that narrow path of goodness and righteousness. As we’ve both discovered in our relationship as mother and daughter, the good can be perfectly imperfect. And, that’s what makes us relate to one another, connect, bond and love each other unconditionally, despite our obvious differences and occasional clashes.
Maybe God brought us both together for a reason to teach and learn from one another. As you continue testing all the possible limits of my patience, I learn to listen to you for even those things that you don’t say. I learn to read between the lines, the ears and the deepest cores of your heart. When you find me impossibly stern as a mother, you learn that love can be tough and not gentle all the time. You see in time that my wisdom comes from my own misgivings and failures in the past, and it is my loving protectiveness that shields you from treading down the same tempestuous road I travelled a long time ago.
I’m sure to hear the words “I hate you, Mom” especially during the adolescence years but I know the feeling too well, my child. Because, I’ve been down that path, and I know that the hatred is stemming from a strongly rooted place of love. I am prepared to face it all – both the love and the hatred in equal measure. After all, aren’t they two sides of the same coin?
Go ahead, my girl, with a few ground rules to bear in mind.
My belly is just as much your kissing pillow as it is your punching bag. (Just don’t tickle me too much with those endless kisses or mindless blows.)
You are free to raid my wardrobe and try anything that your heart desires as long you clear the mess. (Devil grins)
Everything that I own is yours of course, but not when I am trying to exercise in peace on my yoga mat. You can emulate me and use my mat after I am done. (No compromises there, sorry!)
More stringent ground rules to be followed but we’ll take that offline. Psst!
Your imperfect Mum.
Image source: shutterstock
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Tina Sequeira is an award-winning writer and marketer. Winner of the Rashtriya Gaurav Award in association with the Government of Telangana, Orange Flower Award by Women’s Web, India's leading website for women, read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
You do not have to be perfect. There’s no perfect daughter, perfect employee, perfect wife, or perfect mother. These are just labels created by society, for their convenience.
So here you are, just out of engineering college, having no clue why you pursued Electronics Engineering. Yes, I know, like many others your age, you too were persuaded by your parents to opt for engineering because it supposedly gets you a lucrative job.
Believe me, however strange this might sound, you’ll soon come to realize that a high paying job need not always make you happy. And there are a myriad courses and career options out there, you should definitely consider something that’ll make you look forward to go to work every day.