A message to all mums and children
She keeps you warm with her love and affection, she multi-tasks between different household chores, she claps for your victories and gives you a hand to stand up when you fall, she makes sure that you are well-fed, educated and have all the courage to conquer the world. This courageous human being, better known as the mother has a significant presence in all our lives. But at an era when moral values have long been forgotten, appreciating the hard work of a mother is rarely seen. As a result, mothers (and fathers of course) are left to wander on the streets, once children grow up and feel that they are the right-thinkers. While this is a trending phenomenon, many parents do not get a chance to spend the latter part of their lives with their children and grandchildren.
In view of Mother's Day which fell on Sunday, we spoke to a few mothers to find out the challenges they face in the present day and what they enjoy most about being a mother.
Asha is a mother of two children and was walking home from school. "I believe that children are not secure in today's society, especially girls. Therefore mothers need to take extra care of them. People in today's society would do anything for money. What we see on the media is enough to keep them indoors."
Shamala says that as a mother every day is a challenge as they have to celebrate joy and struggles at the same time.
"Personally, being a single mother with an almost four year old son, every day comes with a heavy package of it, in its own way. Working as a freelancer from home as I made the commitment to be with my son full time and work part time is a very big task on a daily basis. Spending quality time with my son is a major challenge. Attending to my little prince's needs and tantrums, his nursery related routine, scheduling work to manage finances, household work, etc, seems like a scary monster with many starving mouths wide open to consume all my energy. But the other side of my day would be, full of smiles, giggles, kisses, cuddles and hugs. Hearing my son's 'I love you, amma' many times a day makes me feel like a fully charged battery. The stories of his little eyes, makes me feel that am the blessed woman on the earth. I feel so much blessed to be part of that beautiful little world. As a mother I would say that whether it is a single mother or otherwise, a full time working mother or whatever, call it what you want, the life of a mother is so beautiful. Treasure the moments as you will not get a second chance of any of those beautiful moments. Plan your day to make sure your child/children come first. Be a mom and make your child feel 'My mom is the best'."
"Although I have been a single mother for the last 15 years, I certainly haven't done this job single handedly," says Priyanthi.
"I don't believe in setting aside one day of the year for children to be reminded the value of their mother or father. Instead, I do believe that if we have raised our children well, inculcated the right values in them and we have developed a very special bond with them, then every day of the year they will treat us with the same love and respect that is associated with "Mother's Day." Being a mother / parent today is so much more difficult than the job our parents had, due to how society itself has changed (for the worse), the many evils, distractions, influences etc, that were not present when we were children. If I have to offer a few tips the most important one would be to listen to your children. Learn to hear what they are not saying more than what they are saying. The most important thing I can say to women is - please, don't have children if your career, social life and everything else takes precedence over them / you spending quality time with them. Your children will remember this even when they are 40 years old. Cash therapy won't help and please do spend time with your children."
The bond and the connection between a mother and a child, is beyond explanation says Chandi. "There wasn't a night I've had a blissful sleep after my son was born. I would wake up for every little move. For every tear he drops, my heart cries million tears. I have wondered a million times if I have done things right and have always wanted to do it better. Being a working mom is the hardest because every time I step out, I'm guilty of leaving my son. The workforce is full of moms who are strong, determined and hardworking and have set out to provide for us as well as their own families. But once I return home from work, when he hugs and rest that little head on my chest I'm overwhelmed with love and joy, beyond comprehension."
The only challenge a mother face would not only be work or a stressful family life. Mothers with children who require special needs too have quite a number of challenges to face. Representing this section of the society, Malathi believes that the strength in these mothers could inspire others to try their best. "May your love for your very Special Kid get you through the darkest day. Mother's Day is a very special day because when you look at your own self you will see how very special you are. I too honestly didn't know my own strength."
Leelawathi is a lottery ticket seller in Pettah. She has been doing this business for quite some time. According to her, mothers today have busy lifestyles and often neglect looking after children. "Mothers need to give special attention to children especially during their stages of development. But we see children with babysitters or other guardians and parents getting busy at work. This is not the correct way of raising children. In that way, children will detach themselves from their parents at one point and live in a world of their own."
We found Rani, also in Pettah selling 'Tulip bags' to passers-by. Rani believes that even children are unpredictable today.
"We treat them with much care and affection but who knows whether they will dump us on the streets one day? It is sad to see many such parents who once sacrificed their entire lives for their children, are left to wander on the streets."