Mums — taken for granted!

11 May 2019


Illustration by Sophia Khan
Illustration by Sophia Khan

Friends, have you ever noticed who in your family is the first to leave the bed in the morning and the last one to retire to bed? Who keeps cleaning the house as many times as you mess it up, makes sure that your clothes are neatly pressed and shoes are brightly polished? Who makes sure that you have proper meals and comes up with nutritious/delicious home-cooked food every day? This person is usually the last to eat and often the one who takes the smallest portion if there is something special on the table.

times as you mess it up, makes sure that your clothes are neatly pressed and shoes are brightly polished? Who makes sure that you have proper meals and comes up with nutritious/delicious home-cooked food every day? This person is usually the last to eat and often the one who takes the smallest portion if there is something special on the table.

Day in and day out, you can always count on this member of your family to look after your needs, soothe you when you are scared and nurse you when you are sick. In any difficult situation, you will turn to this person for support and help, seeking guidance and advice. I think most of you must have guessed by now who this important person in your life is!

Yes, there can be no doubt that she is your mother!

Friends, Mother’s Day is here again. I know that most of you give great importance to this day and do let your mum know how much she means to you. Many will be busy scanning their brains for an appropriate gift and new ways to make her feel loved.

This year I would like to write something from a mother’s point of view. I will ask you a question, but want each one of you to be very honest in giving a reply.

As soon as Mother’s Day is over, will you be as enthusiastic to show her your appreciation for all the efforts your mum makes to keep you happy, content and safe?

I often find children complaining that their mums are irritable and get angry at the slightest pretext. Sometimes they are depressed and moody and refuse to laugh at the jokes you crack.

Even a friendly argument between you and your siblings may get on her nerves! Would you believe me when I say that children are usually the reason for a mother’s mood swings? It is because most of you take your mums for granted!

Most of you will defy my opinion and indignantly say that it is not true! Friends, I will be happy if you feel that I am wrong, because this denial shows your deep love for your mother. I know that most of the acts which make your mother angry or frustrated are unintentional, but small steps from you can make your bond with her stronger and also help to alleviate her mood.

Let us discuss this in detail so that I can make my point clearer to you.

Show gratitude frequently

Everyone wants to be appreciated for their hard work. Remember that a mother’s job is never done, she gets no break and is usually taken for granted. We often do not note that she keeps on doing things endlessly, unless she doesn’t do it one time for some reason. Imagine a day when there is no food on the table, the sink is full of greasy dishes, the trash basket overflowing and the laundry basket bursting at the seams. You will find yourself shuddering at the thought!

Your mother is a multi-tasking wizard who always has her hands full. A word of praise, a loving gesture and an offer to help out will let your mum know that you appreciate her endeavours for your well-being. Remind her often that she is invaluable for you. A quick thank you note left on the breakfast table, a small gift now and then, and, most important of all, a loving hug will make your mother’s mood soar!

Illustration by Sophia Khan
Illustration by Sophia Khan

Your mum is not a cook

Although mothers usually love to come up with new dishes for their children to enjoy, there are times when she feels like serving a quick single dish as she has more pressing chores on hand, some personal engagements or she is just not in the mood to cook.

Instead of complaining about the food, be thankful to her for serving you a hot meal and ask if there is anything you can do.

There may be times when you just ask for a time consuming snack as your mum is clearing up after cooking. If she refuses to comply, try to understand that she has lots of other housework to do and cannot spend unlimited time in cooking. If you make a long face and grumble, she may get irritated and take out her frustration on you on some other pretext. Or she will leave her work, to be completed later, and meet your whimsical demand out of love for you.

Give importance to her plans

I talked to a number of mothers to get their views on my write-up. Most of them complained that their kids always thought that their plans were more urgent than their mum’s. If you have to go to a friend’s place for combined studies or to a party, before making a commitment, always ask your mum if she is free to pick and drop you. Often, she gives up or adjusts her engagements to accommodate yours, but there may be times when she cannot or may be does not want to change her plan.

Your mum has a life of her own and like everyone else at home, she also needs time for herself. Always cooperate when she wants a break.

Understand her moods

Homemaking is a full time and tiring job with no off days or salary. Remember that a monotonous life becomes strenuous and if your mother keeps on following the same routine day in and day out, she is bound to sometimes be short-tempered and snap at you at the slightest reason.

Instead of replying rudely, going into a sullen mode or, worse still, accusing her that she does not love you, try to understand that she may be overworked. Her bad mood maybe due to the fact that she is bone tired.

Working mothers have a more strenuous life. When you find her irritable after she comes home after an exhausting day at work, cheer her up by insisting that she rests for a while, or serve her with a hot cup of tea. You can lift her mood by offering to help with a sibling’s homework, or assist her in the kitchen. Make small talk with her and, sooner than you expect, she will be all energised by the attention and love you shower on her. Don’t you feel the same when she showers you with attention? Sometimes it is her turn too.

Although your mother cares for you more than you realise, do not expect her to cuddle or pamper you all the time. She may shout at you for being irresponsible, or for creating a mess in the house, but that does not mean that she does not love you.

Lend a helping hand

A funny quote by American journalist, P. J. O’Rourke goes, “Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help mum do the dishes”.

Most children feel that housework is solely their mother’s job. They often mete out the excuse that they have no time or are exhausted after attending school and doing their homework. But this is not a good attitude.

You can cut short your afternoon nap and spend less time on your electronic gadgets or the television to help ease your mother’s workload. Divide the simple chores you can carry out with your siblings, or take turns to do the odd jobs. At least take responsibility for your room and your personal tasks.

Try to press your clothes and polish your shoes and not unnecessarily burden your mother. A mother is not a maid who has to clean up your room after you walk out of your room leaving the bed unmade and the books and clothes scattered all over.

I could write endlessly on this important issue, but I think by now you all must have understood where you often go wrong with your mother. Before I conclude this piece, I would like to give a piece of advice to my young friends: Never take your mother’s services for you as your birth right. Although I agree that it is her duty to take the best possible care of you, a task she performs happily and endlessly, you must realise that she is not a robot.

Most mothers think that they are doing a thankless job when they feel that their strenuous efforts are unappreciated, although they may never admit it to anyone (or even themselves)! This year, resolve that you will never let Mother’s Day be a reminder for how much you take your mother for granted 364 days of the year! Believe me, this will be the best gift you can give to her.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 11th, 2019