On Mothers

Mothers are strong creatures. They sustain life within their able bodies for nine months, and then after the trauma of growing a real life baby and birthing it out of them in what is commonly hours and hours of excruciating pain and exhaustion, do they get a holiday?

No, sir, they do not. They immediately launch themselves into a manic system of nurturing, which makes for very comfy times for the newborn baby (who by the way remembers nothing of the pooping and crying and burping and crying and pooping and crying), but horrific times for the mother. Staying up all nights at unheard of hours. Is she partying? Well, she has vomit on her but none of it is alcohol induced. She is rocking and patting and humming and sleepwalking and sometimes, she might be crying.

Her body has just gone through a tremendous change and she is sore and painful and completely, utterly self-less. Nothing she does is for herself. That bath? For her? Gosh no, see how she dips her elbow inside to make sure it’s the perfect temperature? She WISHES somebody would do that for her. No, folks, it’s for the precious little person that she is taking care of now, that is claiming every second of her life. She will gladly jump into a bath of cold water just to get the baby gunk off her. Hell, she is too afraid to poop in case it wakes up and screams its head off.

She is a powerful lady full of love and care and emotions. Sometimes she has other minions who are clinging to her skirts as she attempts to take care of the little creature she has birthed. These other creatures are a little older, but still as demanding.

‘Where’s my breakfast?!’ screams one.

‘Charlie is eating my toes, Mummy!’ shouts another.

‘Muuuuuuum. Tell Peter to get out of my room!’

‘Mother, I can’t wear this it’s stained.’


A mother is a therapist. She listens to everybody’s problems and helps them come to a solution. A mother is a cook, a cleaner, a nurse. She is exceptionally skilled at hearing noises in the night time, and can wake up at the slightest floorboard creak. She is used to her little ones running up to her to tell her all the gory details of their potty business.

A mother is a selfless being who gives everything she has to her children, only to have them move away from her at some point when they reach adulthood and start fending for themselves. For a lot of mothers, this is a welcome break.

Be gone, they think, and leave me finally to do what I have been wanting to do for eighteen years! To sit back and have a cup of tea without any interruptions!

But that doesn’t stop them from worrying about whether or not Peter has had dinner and why Jane is looking so pale.

Mothers are powerful because they have magical ears that can pick out exactly what their baby’s cry means, the silence that means a toddler is behind the door with his fist inside the sugar bowl, and who is in the kitchen by the way they open a fridge.

‘GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN,’ the mother roars, aware she sounds just like her own mother.

They are strong because they put everybody’s emotions before theirs, and carry their troubles along with their own. They cater to everybody’s needs, at the detriment of their own.

They are forgiving because no matter how many times you have transgressed the limits, they will still love you and make sure you have a nice hot meal when you come home late from university, shattered.

My mother lost her mother five years ago. Sometimes my mother wants a mother to get warmth and comfort from. I heard her say to her friend once, ‘It’s just hard, you know, a mother is the centre of your world.’ Sometimes I say, “I’ll be your mother, mama,” because if I didn’t have my mother I would be lost, so lost. I want to make her feel better. It’s nowhere NEAR the same, of course. She bats me away and tells me not to be so ridiculous when I try to give her a motherly hug. Sometimes my mother will get a faraway look in her eyes and when she thinks nobody is looking, a great sadness will come over her face. I know, then, that she is thinking of her mother and it breaks my heart because she is my mother, and I never want her to be sad. When my mother used to cry, I would cry too, because her pain is my pain. And I am not always the nicest daughter to her, and I am so sorry for that, so I am actually going to pause this post and go call her.

Mothers are special folks. Not everybody gets along with their mothers. Some mothers are different from other mothers. They come in all shapes and sizes. But if you have a mother, and if you love your mother, then this is a post that commemorates her along with all the other hardworking mums out there. May they be blessed and happy and healthy, and may they find peace and happiness in their children and families.

Shriya Das mother-and-child-painting-358-L

Shriya Das


8 thoughts on “On Mothers

  1. So many fools of my gender think the hard part is childbirth. Thatis only beginning. And I can chirp all I want about being a god father, I will never know a mother’s pain. A woman gives birth to a child, and for the rest of her life she is watching a piece of her grow to adulthood.

    Liked by 1 person

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