I have specifically chosen to put this post up today. Since all the brouhaha about Women’s Day is finally behind us, at least for this year. And since all the madness over Mother’s Day is threatening to stare you in your face.
There are all these innumerable larger-than-life, bra-burning and yet sensuality celebrating forwards that stare you in the face on Women’s Day. And then, there are the anxiety inducing portrayals of the ‘altruistic mother’ messages for Mother’s Day. Proving you to be the angelic mother who has bestowed upon earth perfect little children. Some of these forwards almost make you want to vomit. To my mind, each of these well-meaning messages is only increasing the pressure on us to aspire to be something or someone we are not. Be sexy. Be Sensuous. Be your special unique mysterious self (Whaaaaat??!!!!) who will breast-feed her child, use sustainable menstrual pads and cups and still turn her man on (Again, Whaaaaat??!) while going away on long, women only adventure holidays. If you figure this one out, let me know, please. Be Durga incarnate, wielding and juggling all these multifaceted avatars to perfection. Be a successful corporate woman who gets promoted every single year. But can also make amazing phulkas at home. Be sure to be miraculously back from work on time to help your kids study for their exams. You have angelic kids who score Aces all the way through every single test. Your kids are a reflection of the super-power you. Your husband dotes on you and your every single achievement and leaves messages for you on your facebook wall. You have perfect family pics on FB. You manage to find time for your girlfriends, your family, your spouse, your in-laws, your parents, your dog, and yourself…..you have perfectly manicured nails, brilliantly presented outfits with matching bags and shoes all the while and go on these enviable holidays and show off the hot body. Don’t waste your time. Make every second count. Live it up in life. Make your mark on this world!!!
Cut for a moment to my life (and many others like me) this week. I do not work at the moment. Or I work when I desperately need pocket money. Or when someone hires me. I do not pack lunch as the state is kind enough to feed my child at school. I sometimes bathe and look half decent when I go to drop her off at school. Then there are times when I look like the devil incarnate in pyjamas as I shove her out of the car at the school gates. I do not doll up and stand greeting at the door at 6 pm. There are days when I cook, there are days when I haven’t. There are days when the house looks spectacular. And then there are days when it looks like a scum hole. Almost inviting those fat British rodents. (They are a different size altogether, I swear!!)
I maniacally breast-fed my child. I can tell you I love her but she’s no genius having digested the miraculous milk. And while on this absurdly trending topic, I was never breast-fed. I am as mad or sane as all other women. If anything, I am taller than the national average and weigh lesser than the national average too. But oh yes, on the negative, I have more than the average amount of facial hair. I have worked. For a fair amount of time. And when I thought I couldn’t hold it all together, I quit. I have gone back to work again when I thought I was ready. I have also woken up at 4:30 am for the longest time to get dabbas ready for all three of us in the family. I have tried my best to be a good mother. And there are days when I have failed miserably despite my best intentions, having my child yell at me that she likes the friend’s mother better. I have desperately tried to be a good wife, a good daughter and a sexy happening woman. Failing more than succeeding by the standards set by society as above. Some of us don’t have the luxury of a master plan with so many dependent factors in our lives. And yet, I have some precious, absolutely happy moments from at each of these stages of my life, one day at a time. I am far from being any icon or indication of success. But I am alive. And I don’t bite. So, for what it is worth, as my friend and I were discussing today, here is a thought. Just be yourself. And just do what you believe is best. At that moment in time, with your hand on your heart. Some of us are destined for greater things and some are not. And that is OK. You cannot predict the future or own it. But you just do your bit. At this particular point in time. That is it. And if you don’t want to try your best, switch on Romedy Now and watch back-to-back episodes of HIMYM or Crown and wallow around in your pajamas. This is fine too. You will continue to live well beyond these stressful WhatsApp messages. And the greatest miracle of all, no child has ever grown up to be an adult who can’t wear their shirt or guide the spoon to their mouth by themselves. No man has ever been successfully trained to sit and pee in the toilet. And I swear those Harpic salesmen don’t randomly come ringing your doorbell to check if your toilet is sparkly clean. So let it be. And just be.