MARY SAID YES TO LIFE

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shall be out this weekend. Doing a workshop on Theology of the Body with experts Vally and Anna Coelho. Check tob-attitudes.blogspot.com for details.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Modern Mother

I was listening in to the messages relayed on the radio on International Mother’s Day (May 9), when I was highly amused to hear a caller complaining about his mother. He said she was always nagging him and he was fed up with the harsh treatment. Much to my delight, the RJ countered that by saying that it was a common way for mothers to show their fierce love and protectiveness for their children.
Yes, as a mother, I totally agreed with the RJ. No doubt, it is because of our love that we attempt to mould our children into good persons. It is a difficult task since we are not perfect ourselves and often sadly out of ‘sync’ with the times.
‘Mama knows best’ – this used to be our slogan when we were growing up. We listened to our mothers, went to them for ideas and ideals, cried on their shoulders if things went wrong and hugged them around the waist when things went right. Oh, we were tempted many a time, but we always remembered their words of caution and behaved with propriety.
Today, mothers are losing this power over their kids. And why not, when they themselves are not around much to wield that authority. A tired mother, back from work, cannot hope to compete with an over-energetic and hyper-smart prodigy. Most probably, after a minor tussle of wits, she gives in, guilty to have left her child the whole day in the hands of servants or worse still, all by himself.
Modern mothers work outside their homes as well as in the home. There seems to be no respite for them at both ‘places of work’. The husband continues to be the factory worker/businessman outside the home and the hide-behind-the newspaper ‘guest’ in the home. He ‘visits’ for three-four hours in the night, has his dinner in front of the TV, then yawns himself to bed. The next day he wakes up to bed tea, a piping hot breakfast and an extra-large tiffin to carry off to work.
In contrast, look at the plight of the modern mother. She wakes up before the proverbial cock to prepare not only breakfast for her family but also their respective tiffins for work and school. She cuts and saut├ęs the preliminary items for the midday meal if she is privileged to come home to cook it in her afternoon break, otherwise it is a whole meal that she has to prepare in advance in addition to breakfast and tiffins. Then she hurries off to work after giving proper instructions to the maid (if she is fortunate to have one, that is!). After a slogging and mind-boggling day at the office, she detours daily to the market to replenish her larder before returning home. Once home, she has to referee endless arguments of her kids, supervise their homework, besides getting the dinner ready for them in time. If a child has to be bathed or a shirt button is loose, Mom is commissioned into service. It is amazing how engrossed Dad becomes in the paper/ TV/computer and how well the kids are conditioned not to disturb him at all costs.
For stay-at-home Moms, it is no different; the only plus point is that they have more time to do the jobs listed above. It is a rare Mom that is blessed with a helpful Dad.
I asked a neighbor of mine why she puts up with it and, believe me or not, she said it is her duty to do everything. So she plods on smiling outwardly and grumbling inwardly. The husband of a modern mother has his bread buttered on both sides – a wife to cook, clean, baby-sit and also bring in the big bucks!
A child needs the undivided attention of his mother for the first five years – not a stressed out, frustrated woman who has got the worst of both sides. I am told, in Japan, mothers are asked to work from home during the first five years of their child’s life and even the father is not allowed any overseas job in that time frame. Times have changed, technology has advanced. When are our attitudes toward women, their work and their worth ever going to change? Most women seem to be tolerating this discrimination while fighting for other rights. Will 33% reservation really make any difference to the average woman who cannot even raise her voice to fight injustice in her own home? When will women ever be ‘equal’ to men in this important area of their lives?
I salute all mothers for their love, dedication and sacrifice to their families at the cost of their own personal freedom but I also wish them a lot of God’s grace to change their future for the better without compromising on family values.

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY ME WHICH WAS PUBLISHED IN HERALD ON 16 MAY 2010
PRAISE THE LORD!
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GOD BLESS!
auriel