11 May 2009

Growing Pains on Mother’s Day

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new". ~ Rajneesh

I doubt my mother would agree with that. Let alone my grandmother. You see, I grew up in a society where every woman is expected to have motherhood, wifeliness (is that a word?), docility, and kitchen and household skills the day she is born. All other skills were taught. Motherhood was always left to good woman sense. My mother showed me how to do the dishes, wash clothes, clean floors, boil rice, do the laundry, make the bed, and vacuum under the sofa. She never once talked about how to bring up a child. She probably thought I should learn that through observation, or that it should come by instinct. Now, my sister and I were brought up just like my brother was – equal opportunities, equal freedom, and equal couch space in front of the TV. All of us were expected to put our own dirty plates into the wash basin; none of us were expected to clean them. Basically, I didn't know motherhood from Adam (or is that Eve?).

Suddenly I was 24, I got married. Within 7 months I had a baby! Mothers often make the joke, "My daughter is herself a baby, and she has another baby now!" That is not funny, and I kid you Not. Motherhood was not born with me, I swear. It was born with my daughter. My motherhood is not yet 2 years old. I have motherhood tantrums that equal my daughter's child hood tantrums. I am still learning the ropes. I die a little when women gasp that I forgot to wipe the chocolate off my 2-year-old's dirty shirt. This is all coming over in a very bad way, but I hope mothers out there understand what I mean – Motherhood is difficult.

The only thing that came long before the motherhood is the love for my child. That love was born when we first found out I was pregnant. That love grew with every new cell added to my daughter's being. That love will continue to grow forever. Everything I do for her, I do out of that love. I cannot be the best mother in the world. I may not turn out the plumpest, cutest, most intelligent, ultra-achieving child in the universe, but I can nurture a friendly, humane, intelligent, hard-working, empowered spirit in my little girl. I can introduce her to the best in the world and in herself. I can grow along with my daughter to be the best mother I can be.

With every growth spurt of my motherhood, I realize that my mother is still growing. I also realize how much my mother has must have grown, and how fast, with the least amount of help, bringing up three little children, in a foreign land. Every growing pains I have makes me grateful to my mother, who had the same pains but never let them show. Mom, I love you. I hope 25 years hence, Debbie feels I am half as good as you. That will be my true reward.

Happy Mother's Day Mom, and all growing Mothers of the world.

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