by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 14 May 2006)
It would be remiss of me not to take the opportunity to extend my best to the mothers of Guyana today. As a mother, it is comforting to know there is at least one day a year when we are appreciated for all of the hard work we do and the numerous sacrifices we make every single day.
Being a mother is highly rewarding, but it is also emotionally draining. In the last year or so, I have seen my older children strike out on their own. I do not think there are any words to explain the emotional turmoil a mother experiences when her children leave the home.
We want to be proud and we want to offer encouragement, but at the same time our heart is breaking at the thought of waking up the next morning without seeing the face of our precious child. So we act brave and busy ourselves with the details of the move.
I want to give extra credit to those moms who are filling the roles of both parents. For some reason, there are far too many men who think they can walk away from their parenting responsibilities simply because the child did not grow inside their bodies.
Women shun this immature notion and fully accept their duty as a parent – even when they know the father will not be around for support. Single mommas, you are absolutely incredible! I admire your persevering spirit.
Mothers should be honoured for the vital role they play in society. It is often a thankless job. I remember one time about ten years ago, I attempted to count how many times I had cleaned the family toilet without even one “thank you.” Nobody likes to clean toilets, but a mom cannot let her child sit on a dirty toilet either.
Think about how many meals your mother has cooked, how many dishes she has washed, how much laundry she has done and how nice your house always looks. Think about how many times she has said, “brush your teeth” and how she has been there for you every single time you are sick.
Think about how much hoopla she makes out of birthdays and holidays. Think about the traditions she has maintained and the new ones she has established that will be passed down for generations. Think about how good her homemade bread tastes and how she puts a hearty plate of food in front of you before you even mention that you are hungry.
To put this loving care into numeric terms, if she has fixed only two meals a day for six days a week over an 18 year period, that would mean she has made well over 11,000 meals for the family. If she combed the hair of two of her children just once a day until the child is 12 years old, she would have loving groomed her children’s hair 8,760 times.
Now, how many times have you told her how much you appreciate her?
Trust me, a little appreciation and just a bit of your time will make your mother the happiest woman on earth. I received some flowers and chocolates a couple days ago for Mother’s Day. The chocolate was gone in an hour (it is my weakness) and the flowers will be gone in a few days.
I’ll get some cutesy presents from my children and probably something nice from my husband too. However, just having all of my children under one roof at the same time would be the best gift I could get on Mother’s Day - and I bet your mother feels the same exact way.
Women are so much more today than just mothers. We have gone into the work place, the courtrooms and the political circles. Our role in society has grown exponentially in the past few decades. Meanwhile, we still fully function in our role as mothers without missing a beat. How many fathers can say that?
Women have the capacity to make sure the kids have a decent breakfast at 8:00 am, negotiate a peaceful resolution to a family squabble at noon, lead a business meeting at 3:00 pm, have dinner on the table at 6:00 pm and then dress up for a night on the town at 8:00 pm.
Mothers are indeed absolutely incredible beings. If we could only teach more men to be even half as effective at multi-tasking and to willingly assume some household responsibilities so we can have some down time too, then our already fulfilling lives could be a bit less chaotic as well.
However, in my opinion, the most amazing aspect about a mother is her capacity to love. It doesn’t matter how many times she has had her heart broken or how under-appreciated she is by her family, her heart will melt like butter every single time she sees her child asleep in bed.
Your mother deserves to be recognised for every little thing she does each day and today is the perfect excuse for you to show her how much you love her. So why are you still sitting there reading my column? Go spend some time with your mother instead.