The first thing that stuck me hard after I took my son in my hand when he was born, was the difficulties that my mom must have undergone throughout her pregnant days, during childbirth and while bringing us up. They say that a son is a son until he gets married while a daughter remains a daughter forever. In fact, the bond with my parents has been ever-growing stronger and stronger since I got married and much more stronger and stronger since I became a mother. All through my days when I was living with my parents, I didn’t realize what it is like to be a parent. After marriage, I slowly started looking back how boring and sometimes exhausting it would have been for my mom to have looked after home continuously for years. This looking-back doubled after I had my own children. When my son refuses to eat something I had prepared with lot of love, care and the anticipation that he is going to finish the bowl, I get reminded of how much I must have troubled my mom being a poor eater. When I get worried when the thermometer reading crosses 100 on my son, I recall of those days when my mom used to sit beside me trying to make me sleep during the unwell days. When I run at the last minute to pack my pre-schooler’s snacks box, I feel amazed thinking about the years’ of lunch box packing that my mom did for the family.
At the end of day, I sometimes contemplate on how life must have been for my mom – without diapers, without a washing machine, without a house maid and without videos. In addition, she used to walk us to school up and down twice a day with me sleeping on her shoulders on most days which is almost fifty times of the walking I do in a day now. When I ask her, “How Amma, did you manage?” she thoughtfully replies, “Perhaps, we are more resilient than your generation.”
My dad often used to say, “We didn’t raise you. You both grew up by yourselves.”
There’s a subtle truth in this statement. Parents of the 80’s and 90’s weren’t behind their children as much as we are now. We didn’t play with barbie dolls as kids. There were no ride-ons then, no lego blocks, not even television in the first few years. Yet, our generation has excelled in myriads of fields, has imbibed great values and are proving to be responsible citizens. I don’t think our parents took parenting as seriously as the way we deal with it now. In fact, pregnancy, motherhood and parenting weren’t hyped in the 80’s and 90’s as much as it is now. I don’t know whether our parents were more stronger than us or our children are more demanding than how we were then but the truth is they definitely endured more than we do now.
Every other day, motherhood reveals something little about the struggles of my mom’s then life. If you have read the other posts in this series till now, you can notice how I relish talking big about my motherhood. I hardly remember a day when my mom had whined about her story having said that her story had multiple times the struggles of mine.
Love you than ever, Amma!
13 Replies to “R for Reminiscence – Motherhood without diapers, washing machine and videos? Amma, Your Highness!”
I think it’s the cycle of life. Just today I was talking to a colleague about this. What we don’t like today, we will end up doing tomorrow. Just like you think of your mum and her challenges, your son will in his fatherhood 🙂
That’s an indepth vision, Parul. I am thinking about your statement and it does much sense to me.
Very true, Nandhini.
We realize how tough parenting is. We have so many privileges & advantages, & still we find we can get nowhere close to the standards set by our parents!
Exactly! I wonder what creates that gap between these two generations.
I’m not sure how different it was for my mother than it is for me where we live (Canada) – She had a diaper service (cloth diapers) and I did the same. I grew up on Sesame Street, my kids have different shows. I work and she didn’t which is a large difference – but I think she was pretty good at building a support network to help raise us – in the same way I do. I think each generation figures it out – taking in to account there are many challenges along the way!
There is a huge difference between these two generations, in particular, in India. Their’s was almost the first generation to come away from the practice of a large joint family living (where all siblings, their wives and children lived together in the same house) and begin to live independently as a nuclear family. So, their support network reduced and considering the fact that technology, electricals and electronics were just then coming into India, their challenges were huge.
One point that really hit me is when we, kids and adults included, refuse to eat something prepared with a lot of love and labor, we forget how much it affects the person who prepared it. I never thought it that way. I always felt refusing to eat something, that is not unto my liking is my right. Thank you for opening my eyes.
Haha….did you really mean it? My mom shall have a hearty laugh when I tell her that I opened somebody’s eyes in this matter. As a matter of fact, only after I began making food for my son, I actually began to appreciate every grain of my mom’s cooking.