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Is It Truly Possible To Define Motherhood?

Is It Truly Possible To Define Motherhood?
May 07
12:50 2015

If there is a term in the world that could hold several different and even contradictory meanings all at once, it is none other than ‘mother’. Whenever the word ‘mother’ is mentioned, it evokes a myriad emotion, ranging from love and warmth to responsibility and protection.

From the moment we are born, just the feeling of being held in mother’s arms is something that is not just comforting but also provides an assurance of safety. Although intangible, it is this cushion that enables us to grow physically and mentally and gives us the courage to face the world and find our own bearings. But did I realize all this when I was child and had a mother hovering over me for most part of the day? Unfortunately, this wisdom dawns only when we have ventured beyond the cocoon of protection which our parents weave around us. Only after having become parents do we realize and grow to appreciate everything that our mothers did for us – the love that was showered, the sacrifices that were made along the way, the joy at our achievements and tears at the slightest hurt.

While mothers themselves may differ from each other on what could be the most perfect definition of their role, something that they agree on unanimously is the fact that simply giving birth to an infant does not make you a mother. What could be a better example of this than the world-renowned Tarzan’s mother Kala who, in spite of being an ape, cared for a human infant in a way that fulfilled his need for a parent in every way? She protected him, smothered him with love and warmth, fought for him with her tribe and encouraged him when he was demoralized. And when he grew up, such was his gratitude that he always envisioned her as his mother no matter where he went and whom he interacted with.

Kala’s character in Tarzan is an ideal showcase of what motherhood is all about. She is an anchor of her child’s life, instrumental in his growth and development and yet cautious enough not let him wander adrift if the tide is too strong. Like an anchor she holds on to her child no matter how forceful the winds might be and how hard the stormy weather tries to break them apart. At the same time, she gives him the freedom to experience everything that the world has to offer while standing rooted to her spot, being a passive participant as long as the going is good and ready to step in the moment things go wrong.

Motherhood entails so many things, not the least amongst which is having an iron hand in a velvet glove. It is indeed a mother who can discipline her child like no-one else, giving liberties and drawing a line when the situation calls for it, being lenient or strict but just enough so as to gently guide her child in the right direction and knowing when to be there and when to withdraw to give children their own space. Through all the daily chores which could be so extremely exhaustive at times, a mother enjoys having her child around her even though it entails missing out on all the rest and sleep because she knows that the day will come when the house would feel empty without all the bedlam and chaos.

Is a mother’s job over when children grow up, establish their own identity and derive solace from their work and friends? Once again, a point that most mothers would agree upon unanimously pertains to motherhood probably being the only profession in the world which is lifelong because a mother’s heart follows her children and continues to shower blessings upon them wherever in the world they might be.

For everything that a mother does, what could be a better way for children to acknowledge all the hard work than to celebrate Mother’s Day and shower gifts, cards and love that echo all the gratitude for the years gone by and many more to come?

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