Being a Woman
I’m a mother, and that has become a label that somehow overshadows and obliterates everything else I am. My personality has been completely folded up and fitted into a box labeled ‘Mom’. My kids I’m sure see me as a cross between a meddling dinosaur and a crazy ostrich. Meddling Dinosaur, because even though my ideas and tastes seem to be getting outdated at an alarming speed, I insist on giving them life lessons; an ostrich because I seem to be running behind them squawking all the time. The beady eyes fixed on them just strengthens this opinion!
Spouses and progeny have this extremely irritating habit of creating vexing situations and then looking at me wide-eyed like innocent little sparrows when I erupt. The resultant tears and protestations of innocence has me feeling guilty until I suddenly realise that I am the wronged party here ! Hey ! I should be throwing tantrums and sulking ! But I’m a Mom, and I’m supposed to be right next to Gandhiji when it comes to displaying forbearance and restraint under extremely trying circumstances. Moms are strange creatures from an alien culture who children undoubtedly love, but stay slightly wary of. Popular culture wants to project Moms as hapless yet eternally smiling creatures who are always on the lookout for an opportunity to express their willingness to jump off a cliff for their offspring – ok, if not a cliff at the very least give up food and sleep so that the child can develop into a world-class brat. Well it’s a given that if you forsake everything for your children, they never value you and you’ll end up with a thoughtless offspring who should have been given a swift kick in the nether regions at certain crucial junctures in life.
So, I would like to throw some light on the wild side of Moms. We do have others aspects to our personality than acting as safety nets for our children. We have weird thoughts galloping through our minds; we love running in the rain, squealing with joy along with girlfriends for the silliest of reasons, climbing trees, licking melted ice-cream off our wrists, racing the car against a young whelp riding a bike and fist pumping the air on getting ahead of him, going all misty eyed and slack-jawed on seeing a favourite actor, we do all that and more. So here are a few of the wild thoughts that I get which do not necessarily reflect favourably on my Mom avatar. But I feel that a Mother with a wild side is definitely an interesting and fun person to be with 🙂
I too want to throw stuff ! – I’ve waxed eloquent to my children on social niceties and proper behavior. One of the big no-nos was throwing things and slamming doors when in a temper. The poor things have been quite diligent in following this rule and I really cannot remember too many instances where I’ve had to castigate them on this account. However, I find that I tend to get this strong urge to behave like an Olympic discus thrower. In times of utmost frustration, I find my hands inching towards the nearest solid object with the prime purpose of hurling it with as much force as I can. The only thing stopping me is the memory of one instance when I actually let my inner discus thrower run amok. My daughter was a toddler and I’d had a harrowing day where nothing went right. (Moms, I can see that knowing smile of ‘we’ve been there’ on your faces! ) I was standing on the balcony, quietly bemoaning my fate and fuming at the world in general. The last straw was when Mr.A asked an innocuous question which just made me see red. Without a second thought I grabbed the nearest object and hurled it into the universe with all my pent-up emotions bursting forth. It was a Barbie doll and the blighted thing went only as far as the car park and somehow managed to land on our car and to my utter horror created a tiny dent on the otherwise unmarred roof. To compound my agony, Mr.A came on to the balcony at that very instant to offer clarifications on whatever he was saying. I could only look wildly from the dented car to his face. I think he must have realized that his wife was just a word away from a total breakdown. He quietly stood there for some time looking quite sadly at the car and then at his wife practically frothing at the mouth and wisely withdrew from the scene. But I must say that it was hugely satisfying to let go ! My two takeaways from this incident were a new-found respect for Barbies and a note to myself to never stand on a balcony when I get angry. And of course never to throw stuff, although I often fantasise about it.
I too would love that !- Have you seen all the amazing things that are available nowadays in toy stores and book stores ? When I take the kids to such places, I indulge myself. But when we have the respective grand mothers or uncles and aunts along, I have to keep my inner greedy self under tight control. The most difficult part is when the loving aunt or uncle asks me whether I want anything. I can almost feel my tongue curling to form a Yes, but with superhuman effort I push it back to form a meek No. It’s not that they will object to anything I pick, but I don’t want to shock the gentle folk by picking a glittery hoola hoop or a game like Hungry Hippos. I do try to nudge my off spring in the direction of whatever I want but they somehow manage to evade my machinations !
I know ! – It’s a universally accepted fact that the single category which receives the maximum amount of advice, is that of Moms. Pregnant women do come a close second but Mothers win this hands down. Everybody, from well-meaning aunts and uncles, to the vegetable seller, to co-passengers in whatever mode of public transport you travel in will give you their opinion on different aspects of motherhood. I’m sure if given a chance even the migratory swallow will chip in with its two bits. I remember once when after a sleepless night which had been made infinitely worse by the spouse’s snore, I resorted to the time-tested tactic of depositing my toddler in front of the television, so that I could drag my zombie self to give the younger one a bath. At that time the friendly aunty who dropped in for a visit tells me that watching too much TV is bad for the child. How I would have loved to yell Time –Out and tell the well-meaning well-wisher what I’d really like to do with that piece of advice which I know and which has been drilled into my head by countless well wishers. The only factor that held me back was the genuine concern shown by the other person. Today even when I’m the mother of a teenager, I get unsolicited opinions on my daughter’s academic choices. Now I find it quite hilarious since I’ve developed this habit of making up the most absurd answers possible – in my mind of course 🙂
These were just the thoughts which occur at regular intervals in my mind. Then there’re those once-in-a-while kind of thoughts like
In the interests of maintaining domestic peace I think I better not divulge any more thoughts or they will be used against me in times of duress. I’m sure there are many Moms who have even more wilder thoughts and I’d like to say how much I love you ladies. We might be Moms but we are crazy, zany and wacky and we make life infinitely more interesting and fun for ourselves 🙂