An ode to Motherhood
Today is Gita Jayanthi. Lord Krishna Himself took it upon himself to enlighten the world, through Arjuna about the true meaning of life, about one’s duty, about reltionships with one’s mother, father, family, society, and mankind. Krishna had a unique relationship with two women who were his mothers – His Birth Mother Devaki and His Foster Mother Yashoda. Each of His relationships present wonderful experiences but enlightening messages for the world at large.
Another noted Tamil poet Vilambi Naganar said “Mother was the reward one gets due to one’s good deeds in the previous births.” He further exalted mothers to the status of gods. There was no greater refuge than the mother in times of trouble. That was why one referred to one’s country as one’s motherland, and one’s language as mother tongue. “Even our Gods have shown us the greatness of mothers, by according a high status to their respective Consorts. Goddess of knowledge Saraswati is always portrayed as seated beside her consort Brahma. Parvati constitutes one half of Lord Siva’s body, which has earned for Him the name Ardhanaareshwara. Lord Narayana holds His consort Goddess Lakshmi in His chest. She has permanent residence there. And He has names such as Lakshmi Narayana, Lakshmi Varaha and Lakshmi Narasimha. The Lord forgives us our sins only because of the benign presence of the Goddess beside Him. Her kindness is greater than that of the Lord’s. Just as mothers forgive us for our mistakes, so too does the Divine Mother.”
So I thought I would write about Motherhood and the sacred relationship a mother has with her child from the time the child is in her womb all the way through being a toddler, teenager, adult, and beyond. So Mothers – this is for you !
Is there a Motherhood Gene?
As I see mothers all over the world juggle between multiple responsibilities to bring up their kids, I wonder where do they get their strength? Is it due to some “motherhood” gene in their DNA that is hardwired into their brain? No matter what it is, motherhood is special… whether you are a mother to your kids, or to your pets, or to your elderly parents or dependents. As one mother to another, I salute you all.
I do not know who wrote these lines so beautifully – but, I have added to it just a tiny bit:
- This is for all mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up puke, “It’s okay honey, Amma is here”;
- For all mothers who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can’t be comforted;
- This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse;
- For all the mothers who run after the leaving school bus and make cookies and fancy dress costumes. And all the mothers who DON’T;
- This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes;
- This is for the mothers whose kids’ priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors;
- And for all the mothers who endured the sweltering sun at football , tennis, badminton or cricket games instead of watching from the air conditioned comfort of their cars, so that when their kids asked, “Did you see me, Mom?” they could say, “Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” and mean it;
- This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens;
- This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to, but just couldn’t find the words;
This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat;
- For all the mothers who read “Krishna” twice a night for a year. And then read it again. “Just one more time”;
- This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead;
- This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to play like Sania Mirza or PV Sindhu or be like India’s Missile Woman, Tessie Thomas or astronaut Sunita Williams;
- This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls “Mom?” in a crowd, even though they know their own kids are at home — or even away at college;
- This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them;
- For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 16 year old dyes their hair green;
- This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war;
What makes a good Mother anyway?
Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it in her heart?
Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone, climbing the bus for the very first time, or entering the school gate with tears in their eyes when they look back?
The jolt that it takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?
The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear your teenager’s key in the door and know they are safely in your home?
Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?
The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation…
And mature mothers learning to let go.
For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers.
Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for ALL of YOU and for ALL of US.
My musings for today….. What do YOU feel about your Motherhood experience? Let me know your thoughts….