Mothers Day 2020 is definitely unique. It is a time when we are truly counting our blessings and thanking our mom’s for inspiring and preparing us for a situation like lockdown. You might think I am just trying to join the dots here, but just stay with me here, I will clarify it in a moment. For me, mothers day is never just about my mom. It is a celebration of all the women who are motherly for me and who continue to inspire and support me. With 2020 lockdown, as we faced new challenges and experiences I realized how these women were preparing me and how it did leave a huge impact on me.
Mothers- Kal- Aaj aur Kal
My grandmom is from an era where she saw the partition, and the subsequent wars. My mom and MIL is from an era where they saw major outbreaks of plague and cholera in the country. Each of the generation had seen their share of lockdown like situation. The point being that they had been in situations where they had to work with limited resources, restricted movement and limited or no money hence they always insisted on self-reliance. They had learnt their lessons in self-reliance and being content with limited things and the same was passed on to us.
This mother’s day I reflect and thank them for their lessons in self-reliance, contentment, healthy living and emphasis on learning life skills that are extremely helpful in current situations.
Condescending tone for basic life skills
I had seen this and heard this for quite some time now. Not knowing cooking was shown off as a badge of victory. It was somehow tied to feminism and women’s rights! I have grown up seeing that cooking is an art just like any other. But it is also a life skill that is important for survival. As kids mom insisted on us learning to cook a simple meal. Her favourite dialogue was “If you have to live on your own, you will at least not die of hunger or blow up all your money on food!”
I get it that not all chores are liked by everyone, my only problem is the condescending tone with which cooking is talked about. Both me and my husband can cook. Hubby is not crazy about cooking, but if I am down in the dumps I can rely on my hubby’s cooking skills to save the day. I personally can cook well and enjoy cooking. I am not a MasterChef nor have images worthy of having a YouTube channel but my kids are super kicked with my cooking and that is good enough for me.
Similarly other basic skills like cleaning, mopping, washing etc. is looked down upon. There was some kind of sophistication in saying that I have never done any of these chores. These were always named basic skills in our household. Be it a boy or a girl, they had to know these and were expected to do these when the age was right.
It was because of these, that shifting from bai-mode to self-mode was easier for us. I say us, because it was a similar upbringing for my husband as well. Today the whole house has divided chores and all of us do our work so as to not over-burden one person. So while my Instagram does not have images of the house cooking, cleaning or cooking, things are being done smoothly as these things were known and done by all on other days as well albeit not as frequently as now in the lockdown.
Mother’s Fitness mantra for mind and body
Another important lesson that I learnt from my MIL was fitness. She is not someone who runs marathons or obsesses excessively about fitness but she likes being independent and hence ensures that she is active. For someone who is nearing 70’s both my MIL and FIL have been managing the house on their own with no complaints. They ensure that they do light exercise at home daily, eat healthy, read something good and useful daily, and do all their household chores on their own.
Even if I ever feel lazy, talking to MIL gets me out of that mode immediately. If she is doing everything at her age, I have miles to go! She taught me that it is important to understand our physical and mental limitations and work on it constantly so as to stay young at heart and keep anxiety at bay.
On this mother’s day under lockdown, I would like to thank all these moms’s in my life, whose teachings have made my life easier today.