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My son comes to be with his 'uncomfortable' questions! With my daughter, it seems like a mom's job is never done. At the risk of sounding cheesy, all one can do is be a loving mom & accept your kids for who they are.
Daughter’s Mom Vs Son’s Mom. Parenting, especially motherhood, is built on clichés. Deviations to those clichés are frowned upon enough to make one feel guilty.
In an environment binding us by norms, how is being a boy’s mom different from being that of a girl?
Yes, it did come as a surprise when my 2-year-old automatically developed a liking for cars and trains without it being imposed on him. Nonetheless, he would sport a pink or purple and wouldn’t care less. He had a Dora backpack which he would take everywhere because he loved watching Dora!
Mom (as in me) was his playmate as well as someone who he would look out for, for all his big and small needs. And as it goes, parents are the child’s first role models, and when looking up to someone, gender plays a role.
I don’t know what teenage years will look like, but at 8, the one thing he does come to me for is the ‘uncomfortable’ stuff. He tells me if there is a friend who has hurt him or a friend he doesn’t like anymore. When there are ‘nightmare’ nights, the next night he needs mom to snuggle. And then, of course, there is food!
Still these days with more and more science in his ‘knowledge of genes’, he has developed this belief that he will get it all from his dad; his height, his ‘fire playing’ skills, his monkey bar skills, etc. He looks forward to spending time with his dad. To reach where his dad is, is like a benchmark for him, at this age. And hence, as a result, ‘Mom time’ must be squeezed in. Maybe the first few years, there was so much ‘Mom time’ that I was probably glad to give some of it up.
So, are you saying moms of sons have it easy once the ‘wee years’ have passed by? As a mom of a 7-year-old girl, it does seem like a mom’s job is never done. Sure, as she grows older and gets more independent, some of my mom’s duties have eased up. But her emotional needs keep growing.
While dads are great for horseplay and general silliness, she will usually come to me for the ‘serious stuff’. Like if someone was mean to her at school (no one warned me the mean girl stuff starts so early), or wanting to know the answers to ‘life’s important questions, which also no one warned would start popping up so early. You can see how well-prepared I am at this whole mom thing.
Anyway, I feel that girls’ moms also have to deal with a whole lot more ‘drama’. Her fights with her friends are more dramatic. Her self-play is more dramatic. Getting her to brush her teeth every day is like a cinematic experience complete with tears, songs, and comedic moments, mostly on my part, but there it is.
Not to make dads feel obsolete: I see how getting her little drawings and jokes noticed by her dad simply makes my girl’s day like nothing else will. If he shows her a video clip of something funny or interesting, it’s like the coolest thing ever for her. I also think that dads will treat daughters infinitely more gently than moms will. We know what it’s like to be female and how tough we can be.
So go moms! All that yelling is good for them!
I didn’t want to believe that there would be anything different in being a boy or girl’s mother. But as time goes on and I wade deeper and deeper into these murky parenting waters. I realize that all my parenting beliefs and principles fly out into the wind.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, all one can do is be a loving mom and accept your kids for who they are. And hopefully, that’s enough.
Image source: Stills from Nil Battey Sannata and Taare Zameen Par
We are an author duo who love writing together. We have written a couple of books together, Tete a tete with R&S and Anu and Isha. read more...
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I watched a Tamil movie Kadaisi Vivasayi (The Last Farmer), recommended by my dad, on SonlyLiv, and many times over again since my first watch. If not for him, I’d have had no idea what I would have missed. What a piece of relevant and much needed art this movie is!
It is about an old farmer in a village (the only indigenous farmer left), who walks the path of trouble, quite unexpectedly, and tries to come out of it. I have tried my best to refrain from leaving spoilers, for I want the readers to certainly catch up on this masterpiece of director Manikandan (of Kakka Muttai fame).
The movie revolves around the farmer who goes about doing his everyday chores, sweeping his mud-house first thing in the morning, grazing the cows, etc and living a simple but contented life. He is happy doing his thing, until he invites trouble for himself out of the blue, primarily because he is illiterate and ignorant.