Through the years the role of a mother has been glorified in history. A woman for her ability to give birth and nurture life commands the utmost respect. She always puts the interest of her baby first and will go to the ends of the earth to protect it, fight a tooth and a nail if she has to, and do everything in her power to make sure the child has a good upbringing. Such motherly values have been propagated through the years that the stereotyping of a mother in the society is now doing more harm than good.
A mother is a human too. She has her vices with her virtues, can be infallible and has her shortcomings. But the pressure of being a good mom who knows it all, has it all in control, is a pro at multitasking, has great disciplined kids and looks like a million dollars, is so hyped by the society that every woman who is a mom has fallen in this trap and has many a times guilt shamed herself for not being good enough. She beats herself up for not being perfect, for how her life and kids are spinning out of control, for how the lady next door is doing a better job than her. She wallows in low self-esteem and is judged constantly for the choices she makes for her family, her kids and herself, putting herself often at the end. Does that make her happy? Hell no. She lives her life in regret thinking of all the missed opportunities in life and blaming herself for the choices she made. Of how she is more than just a nurturer and caregiver.
Ask a mom, and she will tell you the tens of moments she has in a day where she has not pulled her hair out, or lost her sanity at her kids, where she has not had a moment for herself (at times to even pee in peace) because a crying, wailing, snotty toddler won’t let her out of sight to even go to the bathroom.
I have always wondered at those women in advertisements who look like they seem to have all their shit together while endorsing a detergent or toothpaste. The blatant truth is that being a mom is literally a hair raising experience (doesn’t really matter if you are raising an infant, toddler or a teen). The model’s clean crisply ironed clothes, hair in place and well made up face is nowhere close to how a mother looks in real life. How and where the media and society got this image of a perfect mom from, I wonder. For any mom like that in real life, I would raise a toast and only be happy for her.
Catch me on my normal routine day and you would find me nighty clad, hair disheveled, stinking of sweat from the heat of the kitchen, shrieking at the top of my voice for my children to even pay attention to my existence. Why am I screaming? Because unless my voice is at an amplified decibel, it falls on deaf ears. My morning tea has turned ice cold after reheating several times because I have to tend to the needs of several others before mine. Because I have to wake up several hours before everyone if I want to enjoy my morning in peace. But, I am human too after all. The quiet of the night is the only moments of solitude and ‘me time’ I get to enjoy when the whole house is asleep, when I can catch up on my social media, my Netflix series, or that favourite book. Where I can process my day and retrospect. But I have to sleep early to wake up early because if I don’t then nothing will go right in the lives of the other souls dependent on me. I am not a superwoman. I am just a mom. I have my needs and wants too. I have a life of my own too. I get tired too. And there is only so much I can do. I am sorry if anyone expects more.
Nothing prepares you for motherhood. Nothing anyone has said or written can help guide you through your personal journey. It’s different for everyone. It’s all a trial and error. There is no good or bad mother. We are all here trying to just make sure our kids and us make it alive every day out of this crazy journey called motherhood. So kindly do not put us on a pedestal and glorify us by giving us a superwoman status. Nope. Just treat us equally as humans who are learning as they make mistakes, who also have needs and dreams while tending to tiny humans, who can rage and lose their shit every once in a while when things get too much. Let us just be a mom, not a superwoman.