Twenty years a Mother, and a few desperate Mother's Days
I am not an advocate of Mother’s Day, and neither do I vehemently declare that “every day is Mother’s Day”. Such saccharine inventions and expressions do nothing for me except raise my blood sugar levels.
I am however a practical person; and I do realise that unless an event or an interaction or an emotion has been declared on social media, it has not occurred, and that it is highly important for my image as a mother to be feted and congratulated and celebrated on Mother’s Day.
Why do I even have to project a certain image of being a mother? Hmm. More chinta on this later.
Now, the reality of my situation is that my daughters are blissfully unaware that they are required (almost lawfully) to express their greatest love for me as being the “bestest” sacrificing mother on Facebook. (I know there are other social media sites, but my critics and I, oops I mean my audience and I, are most active on FB).
My girls fail to comprehend the social nuances of acknowledging all that I have done for them on a public platform. I am just Mum right? Not an actress whose brilliant performance needs an accolade.
According to them I wished for daughters, I wished to raise them myself, it was my personal choice to be a stay at home parent, so why does the public need to be invited into our mother - daughter space?
Arrre…the public has everything to do with it. Since when is motherhood a private affair? Ever since I was a young female child myself, I can clearly recall being confidently (and continuously) informed by family, friends, and random strangers, that I would be a mother someday. Unbeknownst to me I became conditioned with the aspiration to procreate.
And I am delighted that I did, because nothing brings me more happiness than being around my girls, although I am not sure that they share the same emotions being around me. No, please do not ask them. I would rather not have my doubts confirmed.
Let us get back to the public. Motherhood, in this day and age of hyper-communication and visual imagery is not at all a private or a personal space, rather it is about social endorsements. If I cannot achieve a certification on Facebook that I am the *insert superlative* mother ami ato koshto korlaam kisher jonno?
For several years now, I have attempted to cajole my daughters and resorted to coercing them for a nauseatingly syrupy description in a post or status about my mothering skills, but to no avail. They refuse to capitulate to my highly unreasonable demands.
And what does that say about me as a mother? That amar meyera amar kotha shune na? Tsk Tsk. If they are not perceived as lokkhi I just might be done for. That’s another chinta altogether. For now we focus on how I score on Mothers Day.
I am not one to give up that easily. I have a Plan B. The father. My husband. He did not earn the title of bechara for nothing. The onus then falls on him, living in far away Bangladesh with a 5/6 hour lead time, to produce a mother of all statuses (pun intended) for Facebook tagging me and the girls, and to organise the flowers and chocolates on our daughters’ behalf.
But do the girls bother to answer the doorbell or even stay at home to take delivery and present me with the tangible proof? No.
Somehow it ends up being me receiving the goods, me arranging the flowers in a vase, me taking the photographs of the flowers in the vase and the chocolates, and me posting the photo evidence thereafter on Facebook, of my girls’ respectful appreciation of me.
I do of course duly profusely thank them and their father for their thoughtfulness and write a few words about being touched asa caption for the photographs.
So what do my daughters have to say to me on Mother’s Day? “Mum, if you are not eating the chocolates, can we have them”?
Chintamoni grew up in Dhaka, where she will always belong, but never quite fit in. She is an enthusiastic traveller, a compulsive procrastinator, and a contumelious raconteur.