There’s an old saying that God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers!!! While this was meant to be appreciative of the unparalleled persona of a mother, it can also be a tad overwhelming, especially in today’s age of super-moms! Of course …being a mother is a huge part of a woman’s identity and there’s nothing in the world that would make her trade places with someone who’s never experienced the joy of motherhood. That said….does motherhood define one’s identity ….may be and may be not! It’s been almost ten years since I’ve joined the ranks of many women and came to be known as “amma” to my son and had a dejavu feeling when my was daughter was born last year. As my daughter is slowly getting the hang of calling out my name aloud - “amma” …… I wonder if that is all I will be to them! No doubt … I am their mother and they are at a stage where …..“amma” is everything to them, more so with the little one. But I am not sure if I want them to grow up thinking that “amma” is a uni-dimensional figure, ever present and ever ready to make their life as easy as they want it to be! As they grow up, I surely want them to understand that “amma” has her own life or has her own thing going which may not be convenient to them at all times.
Sometimes I wonder if we moms really need the anointed status of “Supermoms” because we are as flawed as anybody else and just like everybody else…we have our good days and bad days too! Well….I’m not sure if even God meant for mothers to be everywhere or round-the-clock/24-7 care- providers leaving us with very little or no ‘home-life balance’! J
So as a departure from my usual routine on Onestoryaday, I’ve picked up a book meant more for adults than children “Mothers and others” a wonderful compilation on motherhood and more, edited by Jaishree Mishra, brought out by Zubaan publications. This eclectic collection provides an off-beat perspective to one of the most special human relationships - the mother-child bond. With most contributions narrated from the mother’s point of view, this certainly makes an interesting read and even echoes the sentiments of young moms who find it hard to toe the traditional line, when it comes to parenting. With contributions from well known writers like Shashi Despande, Jahnavi Barua, Manju Kapur, Kishwar Desai (to name a few and my personal favourites) and many more, you realize that motherhood cannot be strait- jacketed into how its represented in mainstream media and films and that there are so many layers and dimensions to it, with its own highs and lows and pain and pleasures. Read on as the books also explores questions of identity, adoption, childlessness, bereavement and loss through the medium of beautifully written essays, stories and poems. Though the stories are essentially for grown-ups, I did manage to read to my nine year old, a little from “Eating Baby” by Anita Roy, a hilarious account of a mother transitioning from nursing to feeding her baby solids ( a stage I went through recently and hence could totally relate to ) Though my older one could follow a little, he couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about! Well..once in a while, it's sure okay to set aside the picture books or young reader fiction and read what mommy wants to read right?? Like I said …“amma” has a taste and a mind of her own too! J Happy Mother’s day to all the mommies!