It’s time for Mother’s Day again and there is so much hype and hullabaloo about it everywhere. Countless things in shops are being advertised as the best gifts that you can give your mother to express your love, and all restaurants worth their salt are offering mouth-watering menu and deals to tempt you to enjoy the second Sunday of May there with your mother.
All kinds of reasons, as well as arguments, are presented by people favouring its celebration or rejecting it outright. The first group says it’s a day to show your mother how much you love and appreciate her. But shouldn’t you show this love all through the year, the critics argue.
Yes, a mum deserves a break from her chores and responsibilities so that she too can relax for a day. Mother’s Day is meant to pamper her, indulge her, follow her commands and make her feel special.
But she is special, isn’t she? So why not make her feel special each day by giving her love and respect, isn’t this what our religion and culture teach us too? Why indulge in a practice that is needed by those who leave home and their parents the moment they become adults. We live with our parents or maintain a close link until our parents finally leave us, so where is the need to make a special call or visit to mothers on Mother’s Day?
All these arguements from both sides of the divide are valid in their own way. Our decision to celebrate or not to celebrate Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day for that matter, depends upon what we feel individually about it and of course how our parents, who we are doing it for, feel about it. Things should be done because you want to do them and not because others are doing it. And celebrating an occasion which is a relatively new concept in Pakistan shouldn’t be done unless you really relate to what it stands for, and not because it will make you seem so in touch with the rest of the world.
Yes, there is a need to celebrate and honour what a mother does for us and express our gratitude for it. The selfless person whose life is dedicated to the care of her family, especially children, needs to feel cared for and her efforts acknowledged and appreciated. We do enjoy a close relationship with her, but mostly we care about the care we get from her and not about the care we can take of her.
We like what mum cooks, how she knows what we want without us having to ever tell her about it. A reassuring smile from her can make all our worries vanish. A gentle touch or a hug eases the pain we feel. The sleepless nights she spent looking after us and all that she has done for us are things nobody else can do for us. And there is simply no way we can ever really thank our mother for all she has done for us.
But she really doesn’t need us to say ‘Thank you’ for all these things, she just wants us to love her back, follow her teachings and be a child she can be proud of. Yes, and if we show some appreciation for her efforts, it just makes her feel good and recharges her to do more for us.
Essentially, both the adovates and the critics of Mother’s Day want one single thing – to show that our mother means as much to us as we do to her. Those who like to celebrate this day want to go the extra mile by having a celebration of some kind, giving mothers a present and pampering her. The others want less fanfare but more genuine feelings and efforts the whole year through.
Both have a point and both are right in their own way. We need to find which way we want to go and how best our love can be expressed for the most important person in our life. It is true that commercialisation of everything has made it seem that without spending money, we cannot do anything meaningful. Cards, flowers, chocolate, cake, perfume, dinner, jewellery and what not, have been advertised as nessessary to maintain relations and express emotions. Of course this is not true and we all know it. But we also know that a surprise gift given to anyone, let alone a mother who doesn’t expect anything material, brings a smile on the face. It does make them feel special.
So what is the harm in getting her something she would like and enjoy, and which will remind her of her children even if they are always with her. But you don’t have to limit giving her a gift to Mother’s Day only or on special occasions, a random gift on a random day is a better idea. She doesn’t limit her love for special occasions, so why should we?
Likewise, helping her out and giving her a break on Mother’s Day by cooking breakfast for her or something similar shouldn’t be a once-a-year act. Help her out everyday– she needs a break everyday! Yes, especially as kids get older, she too gets older and we need to become her support and ease her burden. We should pamper her everyday as she has pampered us all our lives. This will make it seem like a celebration all year round and each day will be a special Mother’s Day!
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!
Published in Dawn, Young World, May 13th, 2017