As a connoisseur of many award winning sitcoms such as “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “The Goldbergs” etc. I have been ambivalent in my sentiments about the guilt inducing mothers. While on one hand I was cocky enough to assume these traits were far removed from my personality, on the other hand I found myself empathising with the mothers.
Of late as my daughter has started to come into her own I find that my viewpoint has started veering towards the latter.
“They say that motherhood is a thankless job. However, no matter how many times you reiterate that statement, coming to terms with it is not as easy. Every time I go that extra mile for my kids, at the back of my mind I am going “she better be grateful.”
As much as I don’t want that hanging over her head, here I am with my larger than life (literally) halo looming over her. The one person a child should be allowed to take completely for granted is MOM. No one knows this better than me and my almost sixty year old doppelgänger (Ma don’t kill me!). That poor lady is still jumping through hoops for her 36 year old daughter sitting hundreds of miles away in Kolkata.
So when my daughter tells me at dinnertime that we have to produce a chart for school by the next morning, my dumbfounded expression leaves her unfazed. Further my sense of self importance in coming to her rescue is also met with minimal fervour. This in colloquial terms is what we call getting a “chop”. To meet my own ridiculous standards (not hers) I stay up all night to try and produce this cut and paste masterpiece. I wind myself up into a frenzy of my own doing and then this martyr like sigh of exhaustion for her benefit is a natural side effect. Bottom line – I dig my own grave and expect my child’s gratitude to justify my actions.
That being said, in my defence my offspring has an unsympathetic gay abandon with which she throws googlies my way. While I want her to know that I am that person that she can take for granted at the same time I feel having a sense of gratitude is critical to shaping a personality of value. So this begs the question, are my demands from her stemming from a personal need for validation or for her to grow up as person who understands the need to have value for things she is blessed with ?
I don’t know, maybe I just overthink and poor readers such as you are victims to my monologue. I can say this much, I am an extremely passionate mother who lives for the glee on her kids faces. If I slave over baking cupcakes for her stall at the fair, pore over endless art and craft projects, experience sleepless nights I feel I am entitled to enough to demand appreciation (and perhaps some adulation). In the larger scheme of things I hope it stems into her in general having an attitude that values and shows gratitude in life for all her blessings big and small.