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An Open Letter To Children Who Won’t Take The Trouble To Understand Their Mothers

Posted: February 9, 2021

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You may consider me responsible for every bit of your life, but once you’re an adult, I’m not, says this mother, who is determined to live her life her way. 

A mother is glorified for her sacrifices and unconditional love for her children. In doing so, she often kills her dreams and desires that remain unacknowledged.

But, it’s never too late for a woman to take a stand for herself, even if it’s at the expense of questioning her kids on their life choices and entitlement.

Most mothers were earlier women with their own dreams

Dear children,

Mothers weren’t born the way you see them…

A mother is born only after a child is born. Till then she’s a woman. So just in case you forget, there’s a woman shackled within a mother waiting to break free every time she chokes.

A gentle reminder, your mom was a 1st class science graduate.

Her knowledge of acids and alkalis got convoluted with toilet cleaners, lime scale removers, detergents, and fermentation for idlis, appams and curds. She is someone whose organising skills meant maximizing space in refrigerators, closets and kitchen cabinets, and economics stuck around budgeting onions and potatoes. There’s more to her, dear family, only if you cared to know.

I was hurt when you compared me to Nisha, the corporate working woman next door.

You forget, I left my job when you were little kids pleading for me to be a homemaker like Sandhya auntie. I quit without a second thought because I felt you needed me. Today if you envy Nisha’s 45″ TV and double door refrigerator, or Shaina auntie’s swanky villa in the valleys, while wishing I hadn’t quit, it speaks of how your needs have changed. So have your priorities, but sadly I can’t go back in time anymore.

With freedom comes responsibility

Why should your ambitions after a certain age mean a burden on us?

Nikki, I admire your ambition and focus, you always aimed high. It’s wonderful that you want to pursue studies abroad. But, why do you insist that we take an educational loan for you when you can do it yourself? Son, you always believed in the spirit of independence, liberty and freedom. And, freedom comes with the responsibility of owning up your choices in life.

Dreams your dreams and make them reality on your own steam…

Riya, you are married and settled. Why do you want us to help you with your dream house by selling our only property in Kerala? You forget it was my dream house too. Once upon a time, I pooled my savings and jewellery to make my dream come true without help. So why are you dragging us into financial troubles at our age in life?

Stop judging me for my choices

Hold your father to his responsibilities too; these are not all mine to carry.

Today, your father confided his future plans to quit his job to lead a life of leisure. He is free to pursue his passion in mountaineering. He’ll be off to the hills for a good 6 months of the year. Meanwhile, I’m left holding the steering which isn’t a pretty easy task, if you guys care to know.

Ironically, when your father decided to pursue his dream, shortchanging his priorities, you don’t hold him responsible like you do to me.

My parents are my responsibility too.

I get angry when you don’t want me to take my old mother in because of your so called privacy and space constraints in a 2BHK apartment. When I grew up in a joint family with no privacy or space to boast of, it made me realize you need space in your heart not the ones measured by square feet. So stop being selfish because I don’t intend to abandon my mother in her old age.

You ask me why Mahesh mama can’t keep her considering he was her favorite. I don’t hold grudges against my mother at 75 or brother who can’t help because of his issues. I don’t believe in not doing my duty because someone else refused to do theirs.

My life is not in your service; though I’m happy to help if asked with consideration of my time.

I hold no grudges against you for not having time for me because you have your reasons for it. Yet, I feel sad when you remember me only to babysit kids without wanting me to be a part of your lives. I’m happy when you take vacations, go for dinner dates, drive or movies but, please inform me in advance, because I too have my life to lead. It’s not as if I have nothing else to do because I’m older.

My spending on ‘charity’ is not any of your business; I spend my money.

You find my charity work a stupid idea because there are “people with money who’re doing a better job” and you have better uses for my money. I just want to say that it’s not about who can afford charity and who cannot, but about ‘wanting’ to do it. I want to because I care. I don’t judge your spendings; please stop minding mine.

Just because I’m getting older, I don’t need your approval for living my life.

I don’t want to be told how I should spend my money for what purpose, whom to meet, or how spend my free time. If I like spiritualism, satsang and prayer meetings let me be. If I want to do anything else, I will do that. It’s my life! I’m growing old, not senile; know the difference.

On my own terms, I Rise!

Most importantly children I wanted to share something very close to my heart.

I’ve decided to take up the offer to teach at a local school for underprivileged children. I know you might not find it worthwhile enough, but I too have a dream, and I intend to live it this time!

Much love,

Priya
Mother of 2 grown ups
Wife of somebody who didn’t want her
A Rising Woman

Image source: shutterstock

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Writing is soulspeak will dare to dream own up my piece of sky..mom, wife,

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