#Opinion

Do We Appreciate Our Mothers Enough?

Swara Bhasker quotes, nil battey, mom daughter conversations
The alarm clock rings at 5 am. Everyone is still at peace in their slumber. But there is one person who deliberately pulls herself out of the bed, steps into the kitchen with eyes heavy with lack of sleep and shoulders hunched with never-ending responsibilities. That’s my mother.

Dedicated, strong and responsible. She inspires me every day to not kickstart my day despite the negativities and be strong enough to handle the responsibilities. But I always wonder that does our society appreciate mothers enough? Is it common to see mothers as an inspiration to lead a successful life? Aren’t mothers only glorified for the sacrifices they make? Are they ever seen as a role model of success and achievements?

Mothers are often taken for granted

In our society, mothers whose responsibilities are confined within the boundaries of the home are often taken for granted. Housework and parenting are seen as labours that do not deserve respect as much as paid jobs. Look back in your life and tell me, were you ever told to perceive your mothers or housewives as role models? Aren’t the section of role models crowded with fathers or men who do paid jobs?

Even if some people recognise the labour of mothers, they pedestal mothers as idols of sacrifice that no other human can replicate. They are, in other words, dehumanised and hence deprived of the freedom and flaws that humans embody. Mothers’ work and contribution are never seen as achievements or inspiration for people who fight for ‘real’ jobs.

A part of the problem is the patriarchal conception that housework and parenting are easy hence feminine and doesn’t deserve any pay or respect. Even if it is respected, it is not seen as something that can inspire a person. Performing housework is always understood in terms of failure in life or inability to do something substantial in life. Aren’t women or men who do not excel in their education or career shamed by saying that they can only make Rotis at home?

But why is performing housework seen as a shame? Why is it not recognised as a real job? Isn’t housework the basis of the success of a day in any other job? And why is this hypocrisy of ‘pedestalling’ women who do housework and yet not valuing and respecting them as role models?

Maa ke hath ka khana, Mother In Law Divorce, women enemies

A still from the film Thappad.

Mothers are an inspiration. Do we appreciate our mothers enough?

For me, mothers are the role models of dedication, responsibility and success. I am not trying to pedestal them for the unpaid labour they perform. Because pedestaling them will mean dehumanising their labour and contribution. For me, my mother is an inspiration to be dedicated to my job no matter how exhausting the battles of life could be. She teaches me the ability to handle multiple responsibilities without feeling burnt out. I have learnt the skills to manage a budget from my mother. I have leant to cook for my survival from my mother. I have learnt the importance of financial independence in the life of a woman from her. She taught me how to manage life with mental health issues and much more.

My mother and every mother, in general, are humans with achievements who inspire me to keep moving despite the hurdles that patriarchy places in my path. Fathers are often appreciated, in our address, official forms and as our role models to be successful. But it’s time we appreciate our mothers too.

Of course, it would have been better if society recognised mothers’ contribution and paid them for it. But if I am not capable of paying my mother for the role she plays in my life, then at least I must respect her as my role model in life. I must stand up for her rights and empower her to demand her freedom.

But before I end my article, I want to address those who would react and say how can I monetize the sacred labour that mothers perform. So dear readers, monetization of labour is not a concept that I discovered. It has always been the rule to respect every work by balancing it against an equal amount of money. Moreover, when priests are paid for performing sacred rituals, why don’t women’s sacred duties deserve to be paid?