A message I wrote to my mom on Mother’s Day one time reads:
‘A life lived with dignity and self-reliance; the pleasure of being of service, of giving, of caring; holding the head high and meeting challenges head-on; working to the best of my ability; finding the way around problems; maintaining integrity; speaking out boldly; looking forward with hope and looking back with fondness…these are the things I have learnt from you. Thank you for teaching me how to live with contentment.’
I never thank my mother for the sacrifices she made. My beautiful mother who gave me the gift of life, blessed me with unflinching support and love mentions hardships she faced in bringing us siblings up. Where many would talk of ‘sacrifices’, she tells me about the choices that were required to be made by both parents. They were part of life and living; made in the course of events, never in obligation or duty, but in motivation for the benefit of her kids.
I too, have walked the same path. Never have I felt more powerful, surer of myself, more certain of my choices, more in control, and more complete than in bringing up my son. It is one area of life where I can claim success with no doubts. Sacrifices? Sacrifice is defined as ‘giving up something valued for the sake of other considerations that may be more important’. To me sacrifice implies an element of regret for we give up something we value. It also burdens the child with a sense of obligation when he is grown up. I refuse to either feel regret for any such action that I took which could be construed as a sacrifice, or burden my child with the sense of my having done him big favours so he feels obliged as an adult. I prefer to keep it simple: I made some choices, not sacrifices as a parent. Same as my mother.
I am sure most mothers would agree. So, let’s not equate motherhood with sacrifice. Let’s take that word out of the equation.
When I look inwards, I see a lot of steel, a lot of individualism, a lot of patience and a lot of hope: I reflect my mother, though I doubt I will ever learn to be as strong.
This mother’s day, I say it again to my mother: Thank you for making me who I am. You are my inspiration. Happy mother’s day!