It is Mother’s Day tomorrow and most of you must be discussing secretly with your siblings what present you should get for your mum and what to do to make her feel special and comfortable on her big day. You may be trying to decide between her favorite perfume, chocolates, flowers or a dress.

Today I would like to suggest a very different gift for your mothers. Instead of giving her something which she will use for a time period and eventually finish or discard, why not plan to give her a present which will keep her happy all year round and remain with her throughout her life.

Allow me to tell you what would be the most valuable gift for your mum. I hope you will find my suggestions interesting and worth pondering upon. You are free to focus on anyone of them or make a combination, to make a perfect gift for your mother. Would you like to give her a flower or a bouquet? It’s up to you to decide!

Shower her with love every day

You do not and cannot have an idea about how your mother took care of you when you were a vulnerable baby. Handling you gently, feeding, bathing, changing soiled nappies and looking after you when you were sick, were some of her tiring jobs which she did happily and without a word of complaint.

When you started school, she had the additional duty to look after your studies, making sure you went to school on time and there were always clean uniforms and shoes for you to wear. Day in and day out, she doled out delicious food for you, making sure that she cooks your favourite dishes. And do know what she wants in return? Your love and attention and the assurance that you care for her!

Do not wait for Mother’s Day to express your love for her. Hug her a few times every day, acknowledge and appreciate the efforts she makes for your comfort and always let her know how much you cherish her.

Follow mummy’s rules

Every mother expects her children to be obedient and try to follow the rules she has set for them. At times, you may feel that your mum is too strict or you may fail to understand why she wants you to do such and such thing. Believe me, your welfare is always your mother’s top priority and whatever she decides for you is for your own good.

There may be times when your opinion is different from hers, but instead of throwing a tantrum or misbehaving with her, you can sit down and explain your point of view. In this way, you will conclude on an option which is acceptable to both of you. Even if you do not agree with her, try to abide by her rules as best as you can.

Always be polite to her

Talking rudely to your mother is strictly prohibited in every religion. The teachings of Islam are very clear on this issue and many verses, the Holy Quran orders us to be polite and respectful to our parents.

Your mother may not be as techno-savvy as you are, so instead of laughing at her or being impatient when she cannot operate a cell phone, laptop or any other modern gadget properly, help her politely and be ready to give her time whenever she needs your help.

Never talk back angrily when your mother scolds you. You can never understand how deeply your rude replies or loud voice hurt her! Even if you are not at fault, she may be upset at something else and you had to bear the brunt of her bad mood. After she has cooled down, explain to her politely that you were scolded for the wrong reason or whatever you think needs to be explained to her. I am sure she will make up for her angry attitude by giving you an extra dose of her never-ending love and care.

Illustration by Ahmed Amin
Illustration by Ahmed Amin

Help her in chores

Many children feel their mums are always nagging and being a cleanliness freak. You should understand that she carries a heavy burden of housework and looking after you and your siblings is a tiring job.

Working mothers are more stressed out as they have to balance between their jobs and keeping their homes in order. Instead of complaining about their short-temper and moodiness, try to understand the reason behind this behaviour. Working seven days a week and all around the year without any respite, often leaves your mum physically and emotionally exhausted.

You can improve her temperament by sharing her workload to the best of your ability. Looking after a younger sibling while she takes a short nap, helping in setting and clearing the table after meals, running small errands for her and keeping your belongings and room in order — these may be small contributions from your part, but your mum will be more than grateful for them. Ask her often how you can help around and you will see her mood change for the positive.

Don’t mind her never-ending questions

Mothers are usually concerned about their children’s well-being and safety, and keep on questioning them about their activities and friends. Many of her queries start with who, why, where, when and what.

Most of you may find her questions irritating or an intrusion into your privacy. In the unpredictable times we are living in, these questions should be considered a blessing instead of a nuisance. Try to understand that she worries for you and is comfortable only when she gets a proper response to her investigations. There may be times when you get in some sort of trouble, but if your parents have full knowledge about your activities, friends or whereabouts, they can help you in a better manner.

Value her dreams for you

Being a mother and a grandmother, I know that every mother starts dreaming for her child as soon as he/she is born. She wants her offspring to be successful in every walk of life and live up to her hopes. She often visualises them in a dream career she had failed to pursue.

There may be times when your aims/goals of life clash with her views, but instead of hurting her by being rude or intolerant, convince her in a logical manner. A mother is too loving and caring to disagree if your opinion is correct, eventually she would give in to your wishes so why not do it in a polite way that makes the two of you happy.

Give importance to her priorities and values

All of us have different set of values depending upon our social, cultural and religious backgrounds. Some women keep their family on top priority, and some may find their religious values more important. As children venture out in the world, they often disagree with their mother’s way of thinking and find them outdated and old fashioned. Always remember that your mother is wiser and more experienced than you are. Even if you fail to understand her views, instead of scoffing at them, try to give her space. Communication is the key to understanding each other.

Instead of sulking and withdrawing into a shell, open out and talk to her heart-to-heart. More often than not, you will understand her way of thinking and learn to value her priorities.

Be grateful for her efforts

A kind word from you, a loving hug and a quickly scribbled ‘Thank You’ note is a more valuable gift for your mother than something expensive you buy for her. Realise how much time, energy and hard work she has contributed to make you happy and comfortable. Tell her often how much you value her selfless efforts and express your desire to do something for her in return when you step into practical life.

You can never pay back your mother for what she has done for you and will keep on doing till her last breath. Each and every day, try your best to keep her happy, relaxed and proud of you. Let her know daily how special she is for you.

So this Mother’s Day, resolve to follow these guidelines every day of the year. In my opinion, this is the most precious gift you can give to your mother!

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 12th, 2018


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