The Nightingales that forgot they can sing


Mothers day gift
Mom

This is going to be a long post, but please read it completely.

If you take care of your Mom, then you are awesome. Or may be you are just a human who loves and tries to take care of your mom in every possible way remembering all the zillion things she did for you.

But I am not that person. There are several people like me who take their mom for granted.

So how well do you know your mom?
Do you think about your mom? Other than for asking her to do something for you?
Do you worry about your mom? May be not as much as your mom does worry about you, running her imagination wild about all the ways you could die or be kidnapped anywhere and everywhere, but a little?
Do you even feel grateful sometimes that she is always there for you?

How well can you describe your mom if she goes missing?
Can you describe her features?  Do you have her recent pic?
Do you know for sure that your mom can navigate in the city all by herself?

What does she like?
What was her childhood like?
Obviously she hasn't always been The Mom, she was once a child and probably grew up more or less like you. She may have been a rebellious teenager. She had dreams about her life. She had a life of her own. Now all she does is cater to your every need.
I finally asked my mom about this and she told me that she had a very happy childhood growing up with five siblings. She suffered loss when her sister got married and left home, when one of her siblings died when he was 17, when my grandpa died, when her first born child was still born and when my grandma died. 

I call my mom's sister as Mummy, yeah weird. But she really has been mom not just to me, but even to my mom after my grandma fell severely sick. She took care of her since then. She takes care of me. 
Who is the second mom in your life? How is she? When did you talk to her last time?

My mom was born as a gardening fanatic and it's her passion even now. She grew a whole lot of trees even in their farm. She also used to read a lot. I think, that's why I read a lot!

After my grandma was bedridden from the loss of her son, my mom took the entire responsibilities and since then she started cooking and doing all the household chores. But before that, she was like me, she just played with her friends and siblings. She went to school late, because she had this important job of throwing rice flakes at fish in a lake on the way to school. Apparently her school teachers were ruthless and beat students a lot. So my mom didn't quite enjoy that. She used to walk to school which was 3 kms away. My grandpa pampered his kids a lot. So my mom with one of her sibling and friends often went to movies and she recalls these memories as the best in her childhood. She was apparently a fashionista in those days wearing knee length skirts and back buttoned blouses. She was almost a spoiled child, may be not as much as me. She also used to beat up her younger siblings if they don't fetch things for her. She thinks that grandma neglected her health and stopped eating well since her son died. She said that grandma got married at 12! But she was awesome - she did everything and used to learn so many crafts and do them all.

My mom completed her BA in correspondence and she even wrote and scored well in her BEd exam after getting married. But she never took up any job. In those days it was easy to get a job with a degree in hand. When I asked her if she regrets it, she said 'A lot'. She wanted to become a bank manager as a child after making a journey to a bank with her dad. She always insists on me being independent in every aspect. She always wants me to be self sustainable.

That was my mom's life. Now she is all alone at home as everybody leaves to office. Even if we are at home, it doesn't make so much difference. Because everybody is busy in their own world. She gets little human interaction - which is mostly about asking her to do something for us-meals, etc. She does all the work. She gets yelled at often. She wears same old sarees. She doesn't go out often. She is not taken out often. She talks to her sister on phone sometimes. She works 24*7 365 days, even when she is sick. She has no holiday. No vacation. No one thanks her ever. I want my coffee time to be undisturbed. But my mom gets up from her meals often to fetch something for us. Her tea always gets cold. She doesn't own many books now. She doesn't have much time for gardening. She is busy with chores. She sings to herself old 80s melodies while doing them. She urges you to eat some fruit only to get yelled at. She gives ideas about your dresses only to be ignored.

~

Forget about her past. Let's just deal with the present.

My mom supports me in any kind of issue and she is there for me always. She knows all my secrets - more than any of my best friends. She knows all the crushes I had in my lifetime and she used to ask me casually 'What happened to that guy?'. Whenever I reach home, I will tell her everything that happened in the day. 
But I never asked her how was her day. Do you ask your mom?
I get annoyed when mom disturbs my TV/internet time. I don't pay any attention while mom is speaking to me- she talks to me excitedly about something that she likes very much and I only half-listen to it and say 'hm' for every thing. After a while, she realizes that I am too busy and don't have time and leaves.

Whenever I am sick, my mom prepares my favorite food, feeds it to me, makes sure I am all comfy. She asks me to rest and sits beside me till I feel better. She gets all worried even if you get headache.It's a different thing that she blames all your sickness on TV or internet.
Do you google her symptoms as much as you do yours?
Do you take care of her when she is sick? Who does the chores? Do you help her at least?
Can you even empathize with her pain?
Do you know how her overall health is? Like may be for this month? Is everything all right?
How often do you think about the things she complains about - like may be getting all dizzy, spinal and legs pain? Do you even think about it? When was the last time she went for a full body health checkup?

She prepares elaborate meals with all kinds of side dishes and snacks. And she prepares many items each according to each person's taste. She packs my lunch and she calls me apologetically asking me if I ate lunch, if she feels that the curry didn't come out well.
What do I do? I just say outright blatantly that something isn't good. You can't even light a stove properly and you just criticize a person who wakes up early when you are happily snuggled under blankets, cooks complicated breakfast and lunch for you and asks you if you liked it. And this person does this always, every single day, in every season- when it's too hot in the kitchen in summer, too cold in winter, on her sick days. Just imagine everyday- she spends most of her time in kitchen. Did you ever ask your mom if she likes being in the kitchen?
Have you ever cooked her anything? Do you know what's her favorite dish?

I am very rude to her sometimes, but to the outside world I am this soft-spoken person. I have got all the courtesy when talking to others but none when I am talking with my mom. I always justified this behavior thinking that she nags too much that I loose my patience and this isn't actually being rude-it's just the way we talk to each other. It's normal for us.
You know how they say that you understand things when somebody gives you a taste of your own medicine. That happened to me. I realized suddenly how awful my mom must have felt to be constantly yelled at, even when your intentions are good. Even if it happens 100 times, you still feel the sting 100th time. It may become normal for the person who is yelling, but it's never normal for the person getting yelled.

She always brags about me and I am her most favorite topic to talk about. This has become too much to the point that it irritated so many people and some of the people hate me because of that, I am not bluffing here. How much ever I tell my mom before hand not to discuss me, she always ends up discussing me. She has immense confidence in me though I have none in myself. If I fail to do something, her thought process will be something like-if my kid can't do it, then probably no one else in the world can do it. She over pampers me. The only reason she asks me to help her is because she wants me to learn. She wants me to survive when I am all by myself. The only reason she sometimes worries about her health is because she thinks-who will look after me if she can't take care of me. Even if she is so busy with something, she stops doing that and makes something for me to eat. 

My mom has been my defender since I was born. If I do something wrong or if I don't do something which needs to be done and somebody criticizes me, she defends me like she is at war with that person. It's a different thing that I get a long lecture in private. But that's what she does, protect and defend me in front of other people and correct me in private. She has had many verbal fights with many close relatives defending me. It doesn't matter who it is, if someone speaks against me, she gets into this Liam Neeson mode-'I will find you and I will kill you'.
When somebody speaks against my mom, I don't always defend her. In fact I tell on her to many that she says anythings, she doesn't know what to say, when to say etc.

When I stayed away from home for a brief period, she would call me everyday and ask about everything I did during the day. She never hangs up the phone so quickly and she would lengthen the call by talking to me so that I don't feel homesick. But often I would just half listen to her or talk rudely to her.

~

The amount of emotional debt I owe to my mom is way beyond my limits. When a person goes through all this, taken for granted for so many years they lose their identity. Their threshold level to feel anything increases so much that they can't feel anything. You basically mess up the person's system and life. You can't expect her to cheer up by helping her one day. You have limited time. Chances are that you may even be living away from your mom. You are busy in your world. Make the most of the time you spend with your mom. Help her and take care of her from now. Don't delay it before it's too late.

You know how people talk about slavery, women oppression, holocaust and war as horrible things, I am in no way trying to underestimate their toll on human lives, but many Mom's are suffering so much emotional abuse and neglect which just makes their lives so hollow. They go through the same routine day and they have no expectations from anyone. They were once happy souls with dreams and ideas, but now they are just the nightingales that forgot they can sing.

You have her. She needs you. She doesn't ask for it, but she needs you. You need to motivate her to pursue her hobbies once more like she motivated you to learn ABCs. You need to guide her and teach her about technology and self reliance like she taught you in primary school. You need to make her independent.

Spend time with her. Give your full attention while talking to her.

You can't plan it. You have to watch people more. You know, sort of keep an eye one them. To protect them, because they can't always see what they need. It's like your big chance to fix something that's not like your bike. You can fix a person.

This is a quote from 'Pay it forward' movie. I was inspired by this movie and always wanted to help someone. But now, before helping any stranger out there, I wan't to help my mom first. I wan't to stop living as if I am a paying guest. I want to fix her. It takes time, it may take lifetime. But the thing is you need to be consistent in your efforts. 

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.
- To kill a mockingbird

Walk in her shoes. Do all the things she does on a daily basis for a day and see how much tired you will get at the end of the day. Remember she is older than you. Give her a break on this Mother's day(14th May).

Happy Mother's day to all the Moms, you rock!

Comments

  1. Very Nice! So much to think about! Happy Mother's Day
    -Bar

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  2. I found myself agreeing with some of the things you say. I have issues with my mom (I'm 36, she's 66) but it would be too much and too hard to explain. Basically my mom always wanted us (my 2 older brothers and I) to be well-behaved and educated but she wasn't very affectionate. She demanded a lot from us. And it was especially hard for me because I just wanted to be a kid and be free, but my mom wanted me to stay indoors and wear little girly dresses and stay a child. This caused so much strain on our relationship and I really hated her when I was in high school. She is the only person I have no patience with. Now she's in the early stages of Alzheimer's so it's even harder to be patient because she forgets and repeats the same things over and over. It would be nice if I could rewrite history a bit and had been raised by a more carefree mom.

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    Replies
    1. I guess sometimes moms get obsessed to make their kids perfect..

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  3. Such a nice emotional writeup, loved it :)

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  4. I loved reading this!! Such a great post - we are so lucky to have our moms!

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  5. I love my mom so much, but this post made me realize I should show her that more often. Obviously she knows how much I love her, but I'm sure it would make her so happy for me to ask about her childhood and her dreams; her struggles and her sacrifices. I'm sure she has amazing stories to tell...I just have to take the time to listen.

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