During our latest holidays in Mauritius, which we spent to celebrate the New Year with my in-laws together with our young son, we did a short outing with our good friend in the Central Plateau of the country, in total contact with Mother Nature. At a moment, during our ride, we were driving all along a way which I perfectly remembered and which I had been making during all my singlehood, from my school to my parents’ house. At a moment, when we came closer to the road to my parents’ house, I suddenly said: “Hey! I perfectly remember that way, it reminds me of my childhood!” Then our friend asked me ironically: “Did someone ask you to mention about that matter?” Then I answered: “No, no one did ask me to tell anything about that matter. But I was just expressing myself, since it reminded me about my childhood, and nothing else.” When we arrived closer to the street going to my parents’ house, our friend asked us whether I would be interested to continue in that way until my parents’ house. Then, without hesitation, I answered: “No, I don’t want to. I have already been suffering too much in my parents’ house during all the time I had been living with them in it! Too many tears of blood, too many sorrows, too many angers! That’s enough now! I don’t want any more to see such a house which brought me so much pain!” With a smile of satisfaction, our friend and my husband then agreed to take another road, and our friend then replied to me: “I am very happy you said that, and this is what I call from you a very positive attitude!” I was myself at the same time happy and relieved that I gave the best answer. Isn’t that a strange reasoning coming from a married woman, whereas in general, any married woman would still keep within her heart the best memories of her childhood and then wouldn’t hesitate again and again to go back to her childhood house and environment as often as she would like to, and share those moments of happiness together with her own children? Yes, that is a strange reasoning and maybe a normal person would have called me crazy for having such a negative reasoning regarding my childhood.
That strange reasoning, though, didn’t come on its own by itself. I may have been growing into a wealthy and easy environment all my life, but unfortunately, especially in a capitalist country like Mauritius, when you are rich, you are happy. My foot! I know too well that it’s not true, since I experienced it during all my life! I may have been growing into a golden cage, but my life was a real hell, punctuated mostly with the toxic environment in my house, mostly due to my mother’s influence, since she always wanted to control everything at home! I still shiver when I think about a fight we had when I was still in university. I remember that this evening before the fight, I had a lot of difficulties to finish my dinner, which wasn’t very good. Whereas everyone finished dinner, by my side I was still struggling to finish my dinner and forcing myself to appreciate that horrible dinner my mother prepared for dinner on that day. Seeing me not eating properly, my mother got angry against me and we got caught into a fight in the kitchen, after which I preferred getting out of the kitchen to find refuge in my bedroom. Unfortunately, even my own bedroom wasn’t a real refuge for me, where I would feel safe and secure. My mother very often entered my bedroom without my permission and it pricked me to the core! She forced my bedroom door and kept on yelling all sorts of rubbish in my face to hurt me more and to make me cry. At a moment I was so fed up that I ordered her to get out of my bedroom and to live me alone. Instead of listening to me, she kept on sitting on my personal sofa, on which I used to sit to read my books or to watch TV and replied with a cruel and arrogant voice: “You don’t have to tell me wherever I shall go, because this is MY house here, and I have the whole right to go wherever I want in that house! And by the same way, I also have the total right to throw you out of that house too if I want to!” Without realizing it, though she hurt me a lot and made me shedding tears because of those harsh words, she taught me two tight lessons of life, for which I made my own experience after marriage: the value of a girl in her parents’ house before and after marriage, and the distinction between a house and a home. Through that theory I have made some researches about the five keys which may turn a house (or not) into a home… or into hell! Those five keys are GirlHOOD, WomanHOOD, LadyHOOD, MotherHOOD and GrandmotherHOOD, and they are five words all ending with the suffix “Hood”.
The website Wiktionary describes the suffix “HOOD
” through that meaning, I quote:
- A condition or state of being the thing or being in the role denoted by the word it is suffixed to, usually a noun.
Child – childhood
- A group sharing a specified condition or state.
brother – brotherhood
neighbor – neighborhood
Also, through those words, I understood how those four words would become meaningful in my life all along my evolution in life, especially since I reached womanhood, then when I started evoluting from girlhood to womanhood, from womanhood to ladyhood, then from ladyhood to motherhood.
- FROM GIRLHOOD TO WOMANHOOD THROUGH THE MAINEST WAY OF TRANSITION: MARRIAGE
Each time, my father-in-law used to say that, especially in a Hindu family, boys are gold since they will always maintain the family name and tradition in the house, whereas girls are silver since they will lose their maiden name after marriage, because they will take their husband’s name and follow the same traditions and culture as their husband and their husband’s family. I just discovered an article entitled “Children in Hinduism
”, where some extracts in it perfectly justifies unfortunately the discrimination parents do regarding their children according to the child’s sex. Regarding male children, I quote, “A son is generally preferred because he upholds the family values and ensures its continuity. The Vedas clearly state that the man lives through his son. Before passing away, a father well-versed in the Vedas transmits his qualities and powers to his eldest son performing a special transmission ceremony, which gives the son the right to head the family and continue the family tradition in the footsteps of his father and ancestors”
, which is the total contrast with female children since, I quote:“Having too many girls in a family is considered a great financial burden since the parents have to pay large dowries for their marriages”
and since, I quote, “After marriage a girl child becomes the sole property of her husband and cannot stay with her parents how strong may have been their relationship”
According to what was written previously, I then concluded that marriage was, in some way, the most principal pathway for any female human being to get out of girlhood to enter womanhood. When it comes on girlhood, the transition from childhood to girlhood is mostly described as a classical traditional one than a more modern one being the middle between girlhood and adulthood, like mentioned in introduction of an article entitled “New Girls and Traditional Womanhood, Girlhood and Education in the Netherlands in the Ninteenth and Twentieth Century
”, I quote: “In the first half of the nineteenth century, leaving childhood meant entering the female world. After 1860, partly due to new ideas on girls’ education, girlhood became a distinctive period in life between childhood and adulthood. Until the 1960s, two conflicting identities of girlhood can be distinguished: a more ‘traditional’ one and a ‘new’ one. The first model was characterized by a sex‐specific school life, upholding an interconnection between girlhood and female maturity. Co‐education determined the character of the second model; this kind of school life contributed to a genuine separation between girlhood and female adulthood.”
However when it comes on the tradition from girlhood to womanhood, becoming a woman doesn’t totally complete any female being into becoming someone mature and complete, since marriage didn’t yet enter her life to make her assuming heavier responsibilities. In her blog extract “Womanhood, Girlhood and Shared Exclusion
”, the blog author wrote an interesting paragraph perfectly describing that transition from Girlhood to Womanhood with those words, I quote: “To be a woman is not to own something called womanhood, a magical substance given to some in greater quantities than others. To be a woman is to live within a power structure which positions you as slightly less than real. You are not the default person, but an added extra who provides others with greater definition. You are there to fill in the gaps and must mould yourself around the spaces already occupied. You are essential but not to be taken seriously. You are: frivolous, fickle, irrational, childlike, dependent, not to be trusted with possessions, including your own body. You lack sexual agency, but you are also to blame for the sexual transgressions of others. Your actions lack external validation because you are not-quite-real. The depersonalisation you experience is reinforced or mitigated by other oppressions or privileges around you. The one constant is that whatever “woman” is, you know it isn’t really you.
- FROM WOMANHOOD TO LADYHOOD – A VERY COMPLEX SITUATION TO DEAL WITH
By the same way, by sacrificing their maiden name after marriage, girls will then endorse a new responsibility, by letting away her physical beauty and care, those newly married women then endorse a new responsibility, which is to transform their husband’s house into a home, like the Chinese quote says “The Ugly wife is the treasure at home”, since, according to a video review written by an online forum participant on RooshV Forum
, “The Ugly Woman Is A Treasure At Home ” because she is a functional wife who is more likely to accept the role of wife and take care of the kids, elderly parents etc and is less of a liability than a beautiful wife who might be more demanding about wanting resources or be more likely to be wooed away by other men. The video also stated this advice is for common men not rich guys who are able to take the liability of a beautiful wife”
Also, are boys really as gold as we think? My father-in-law mentioned that nowadays, though parents have sons, more and more parents will tend to make their daughters-in-law instead of their sons as their heirs, since it’s the daughter-in-law who will rule the house and no more the son.
It remains, though, a very risky decision, since the image of the wise Mauritian lady waiting for her charming prince at home with a perfectly cleaned house, a hot and delicious meal and children perfectly groomed and educated doesn’t exist anymore in the new generation of nowadays, especially in supposedly traditional families like in Mauritius and India. So many women, nowadays, with the evolution of the mores, are being mostly influenced by the Occidental culture. So many of my Mauritian and Indian male friends had been crying and confiding in me, mourning the same song all the time: They had been abandoned by their girlfriends, who preferred rich men chosen by their parents instead of true love, which was the only treasure my male friends could give them instead of money and wealth. More and more women prefer lust and superficial happiness to true love, because they prefer all that glitters… But not forcefully all what is gold. Who knows also if such women act smart with their in-laws and husband since they had in mind they would become the heirs of the family as daughters-in-law? I’m pretty sure that it’s the case for my mother, who teases my father so much with her lies and comedy, which maybe explains why she may be 14 years younger than my father and praying everyday for his death, exactly like she did for her first husband! To underline what I have been writing in that paragraphs, I was doing a few researches on internet, and here were what I have found. First, at the page 129 of the book “Dynamics of Change in the Modern Hindu Family
” written by Raghuvir Sinha, a paragraph attracted my attention saying, I quote: “Not only the form, role regulations and role expectations are changed but also the area of the operation changes, when the girl and her sphere gets spread wider and finds herself faced with a number of challenging problems and in a new environment where expectations from her are more and different than what were when she was a girl in her parental family. Her role there was exclusively governed by role expectations from a girl. Her new role here is now of a woman who is entrusted new responsibility. She does not have any experience in her new role though she may have well received her cultural training for this anticipatory role in her girlhood as a daughter in her natal family which tries to make a girl a successful housewife in future.”
Unfortunately, I noticed personally that a lot of modern Indian and Mauritian young girls still struggle when it comes on following that new type of tradition, mingling at the same time their modern lives as educated young girls and their traditional lives as perfect spouses-to-be, and they still tend to be either one or the other for the most of them. I still remember in the movie “Piku” (Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Irfaan Khan among the main actors in the movie) how Deepika, playing the character of Piku, was struggling between her capricious sick father Amitabh Bachchan, her house chores and her professional career. There was however an extract, where Amitabh mentioned to Irfaan Khan that women who get married are ignorant women, and he admitted himself how he had been causing so much pain to his late wife until her last breath though he loved her very much. He also mentioned that women who work and who are self-independent should never marry, talking about daughter Piku. But Irfaan Khan objected and said that nowadays, modern girls are becoming more and more manipulative, especially those who are educated and self-independent. But Piku, despite being unmarried and despite her short temper, perfectly assumed all responsibilities as a professional, a housewife and a devoted daughter until the very last breath her father gave before passing away. Though she never married, she became closer to Irfaan Khan who was a shoulder on which she could rely on, though they had numerous clashes in the past. Also, even though not being married, Piku perfectly represented the example of the perfect lady, who assumes perfectly all her responsibilities between her work, her chores at home, her sick father and her own responsibilities.
- FROM LADYHOOD TO MOTHERHOOD: MOTHERHOOD IS THE FINAL STEP WHICH CONCLUDES THE THREE OTHER “HOODS”
Before becoming mothers, the concept of becoming ladies is already a very difficult one, and which not all women can assume correctly. First of all, most women misinterpret the role of ladies at home. According to a blog article (Source: https://powerofmoms.com/book-summary-the-lost-art-of-ladyhood/
) , the first question the blogger is asking is, I quote: “When you hear the phrase, “How to be a lady,” what do you think of? Tea, crumpets, corsets, sitting up straight, and crossing your ankles?”
No, not at all! And the link I sent you before from Connie Omari’s book describes it all perfectly. And if, as a woman, we perfectly succeed into assuming our transition from motherhood to ladyhood, it means we are ready to assume motherhood perfectly as well, a new but the very best art into every female human’s life, which completes and locks together the three concepts of girlhood, womanhood and ladyhood.
It includes girlhood as from the moment the mother-to-be gives birth to her baby, especially if the child is a female child. During that moment following the baby girl’s birth, the new mother will then become closer to her own mother, and remember the older days when she was herself a baby, and then a little girl, and the treatment she was receiving from her mother during her older days. She will come back to the moment she was a child, and to her very first steps from childhood to girlhood. It also includes womanhood, as from the moment your child turns a grown-up adult, but to come from girlhood to womanhood there is a transition period: Teenagehood. I did some researches about the concept from girlhood to teenagehood and I was surprised, through an article I retrieved (Source:https://womensstudiesintros12.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/redefining-girlhood-teenage-activists-and-contemporary-feminisms/
) to notice that girlhood and teenagehood were almost the same thing, when I read those extracts, I quote: “Girls in adolescence tend to spend excessive amounts of time on improving their appearance usually because they are afraid that other people are judging them based on their physical appearance. As a result, in order to survive such competitions and the intensity that flows between groups of girls, girls are required to possess a strong heart with some boldness for self-defense. A show called ‘Gossip girl’ is a great example that portrays a true sense of girls’ position in societies and a variety of ways girls adjust in them. From a female college student’s perspective, girls, by the time they are in college, are almost professionals at adjusting themselves in different situations like where they feel the need of overcoming the barriers, also known as the other girls”.
In my previous paragraph entitled “From girlhood to womanhood”, I mentioned that the step from girlhood to womanhood was marriage, and when I mentioned about it, I mentioned about how they quickly assume womanhood especially in Hindu traditions. But motherhood includes womanhood in a very different way than the transition from girlhood to womanhood when, at a moment, while growing up and looking for her own identity, the grown-up girl is also facing the facet which is the worst one according to her, to accomplish perfectly: Her first steps into womanhood, which is mostly confused to ladyhood. Lots of mothers of teenage girls confuse the concept of womanhood to ladyhood, since they tend to responsibilize their young daughters who are facing a real teenage crisis, during which they are in search of their own identities and the construction of their personality. They are so busy with their personal construction that they remain careless when it comes on being responsible on the households. I remember having watched, in 2003 in cinemas in Mauritius, the movie “Freaky Friday”, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, and relating the conflictual relationship between a mother and her daughter in teenage crisis. Though Jamie Lee Curtis was, in the movie, a brilliant psychologist and assuming perfectly as well her role as a single mother, she was unable to understand her daughter who was facing serious teenage crisis and behaving irresponsibly. Their perceptions about life will change when they open a fortune cookie given to them by a Chinese lady in their usual Chinese restaurant, further to which, during the night, they will both exchange bodies and live each other’s lives. Despite being a psychologist, Jamie Lee Curtis could never understand that her daughter was facing her first steps from girlhood to motherhood because of her teenage crisis and kept all the time on making of her someone irresponsible and careless. But that unexpected incident will make them better understanding each other’s lives and universes and will help Jamie Lee Curtis understanding as well how hard she had been with her daughter and that deep inside herself, her daughter had secret dreams she had to remain untold because of the lack of communication and comprehension between her and her too busy mother. That movie would be the best one, as well as for mothers of children facing teenage crisis as for daughters facing teenage crisis to better understand each other in such conditions.
Finally, it also includes ladyhood, with the volume of responsibilities and challenges awaiting the female human race, as per Connie Omari’s book extract mentioned before. And if all those steps are perfectly understood and followed into every female human’s personality construction, then we can arrive to the perfect conclusion of motherhood, as per that blog extract, I quote:
“This skill breaks down what motherhood is, and how important it is to appreciate your mother and all the thing’s she does for you. Children can see great beauty; they can also shock you. Being a mother means giving up many things. It means sacrifice, more responsiblity, exhaustion, and worry. Motherhood is a challenge. Motherhood is a beautiful opportunity for women. It’s a feeling of overwhelming happiness of bringing someone in to this world who is a part of you. It’s giving finding fulfilment and purpose in your life. Although motherhood is not for everybody, being a mother is a choice. Children are not meant for everybody to have. Being a mother is devoting everything you can to your child, giving them as much love as you can possibly give them. Children are a great beauty to have, when they are planned. Time is everything. You have to be ready, know that it’s what you want and be prepared to love that child to death. Consider your ability to mother a child with love and patience before becoming a mother.”
- UNFORTUNATELY, THOSE FOUR STEPS AREN’T ALWAYS PERFECTLY FOLLOWED, AND THEY CREATE DISORDERS IN LOTS OF MOTHERS’ LIVES AND EXPERIENCES.
There was a very beautiful text I retraced on a compatriot’s blog regarding motherhood, and regarding the lack of thankfulness that some children feel towards their mother instead of worshipping her and bless her each and every day for all the things she does for us with all her love and care (Source: http://athalkrishna.com/2014/08/07/my-identity-my-mother/
). I did some researches and found some interesting stuffs, for which some initiatives are being taken, to sensitize children to be thankful to their parents. In that blog article, I appreciated the intermediary coming from a father on Mother’s Day, during which her children have been very disrespectful towards their mother. The father immediately interfered and told his children, I quote: “”Don’t talk to your mother like that! She loves you and cares for you and does so much for you! Your mother is the most important person in the world and you should treat her with respect!'”(Source: http://www.anniezirkel.com/category/blog/gratitude/) And the mother was deeply touched and considered the father’s intervention as the most beautiful Mother’s Day gift she ever had in life. True mothers don’t expect a material gift from her children, since thankfulness, love and respect are the only things for which she matters. But there is also the medal reverse of the fact also, where parents confuse gratitude and overindulgence towards their children. As per an article, “Overindulgence is simply giving your children more than their character can handle. In fact, when children lack gratitude, the more you give them, the less they appreciate. Although parents love their children and want to give to them, they must restrain themselves or they’ll exceed their children’s ability to manage the blessings. Overindulged children rarely become grateful when you give them more things; they grow to be more spoiled, demanding, and selfish. Parents then feel unappreciated and become resentful. The hearts of both parents and children harden toward each other, and closeness becomes a thing of the past. (…)Teaching the heart gratefulness can be a challenge. Having a child say thank you is just behavior. Gratefulness comes from the heart. Monitor your child’s response to gifts of love to determine if you’re growing gratitude or overindulgence. As gratefulness increases, you can slowly give blessings in a way that will produce more gratefulness. You’ll know if you’re moving too quickly by your child’s response.”
- AN EXTREME CASE : FEMALE HUMANS WHO SUCCEEDED BECOMING MOTHERS, BUT WHO FAILED INTO BEING GOOD MUMS
I remember having had a debate with a compatriot of mine regarding Mother’s Day. As someone who had been growing into a “normal” and balanced family environment, he naturally saw a mother within every woman in the world, including if it’s a single young girl. Unfortunately, he was totally far away from the medal reverse of today’s dark side from women pretending to practice so-called motherhood. I was so angry against him, that I replied him those harsh words, with tears falling from my eyes when I remembered myself my own sad childhood:
“It’s not all women who have the gift of motherhood. (…) French singer Patricia kaas said in an interview that she never wanted to have children because they scream! You have mothers who even don’t hesitate to abandon their children, who bring them in the wrong way to become sluts, or who kill them! Remember the French woman who froze her twin babies in South Korea. In a book a man was sexually abused by his grandmother who practiced incest on him! Some women don’t hesitate to have sex with their own sons after widow age and after divorce! (…) Motherhood is NOT everywhere and not in every woman. Only women who LOVE kids, not necessarily women who HAVE kids have the gift of motherhood. Janet Jackson never had kids but strongly supported Prince, Paris and Blanket after Michael Jackson passed away. That’s what I call a true mother. Mother’s day shouldn’t be only once a year but every day and only for women who DESERVE to be HONORED for their motherhood! (…) A relative of mine never infanted for health reasons but she loves children. She also is a true mother.”
Other examples about anti-motherhood that came into my mind the day after I had that debate with my compatriot.
- All of us know about the story of Cinderella. Since her biological mother passed away, her father married an arrogant lady, who never loved her, who treated her as a servant and who only preferred her own two daughters. For me she is not a good mum. If she was a true good mum, she would also have loved Cinderella like her own daughter. She would also have treated her own biological daughters and her stepdaughter Cinderella in equal way, though Cinderella didn’t share her blood.
- A friend of mine, by accident, once fell pregnant from her boyfriend. Though both her mother-in-law and mother accepted the baby, she was forced to abort because it would cause some trouble in her boyfriend’s life and career as he had to study. She pretends that they are more united than ever since she aborted, but deep inside she is suffering in silence because she regrets she aborted. Moreover, she is suffering from anemia since she was aborted. And it seems that her boyfriend doesn’t totally understand her, though he pretends to love her. Even though she never became a mother, the mum spirit within my friend was very strong and my friend felt some emptiness within her since she was forced to kill an innocent life for the sake of her relationship with her boyfriend. My friend’s case though wasn’t an isolate one. But according to another source (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11738638/Abortion-The-harsh-truth-about-how-women-feel-afterwards.html) with such similar cases, contrary to my friend, all those young women who aborted for the sake of their relationship felt total relief within them and became closer than ever with their partners. How would we call that? Selfishness from the partner? Selfishness from the female partner? Or the absence of the mum within them? In my friend’s case, the sadness is there though, but the reason was that, contrary to those other girls in the article who aborted because they wanted to abort, my friend didn’t want to abort, but had no other choice for the sake of her relationship with her boyfriend. In such cases, then the emotions are totally different. An article lists the different causes women feel distressed after abortion, stipulating though that, I quote,“Approximately 5% to 30% of women report feelings of regret, anxiety, guilt, mild depression and other negative emotions.” The causes are the following ones (Source:http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/12951.php):
- Hormones are changing back to their pre-pregnancy state after an abortion. This chemical change can make a woman feel sad and emotional.
- A woman is more likely to feel negative emotions if she felt pressured into having an abortion by someone else, instead of making her own decision.
- Some women don’t receive much support from their friends or family.
- Social stigmas about abortion can make it difficult for women to share their experience and make them feel isolated.
- Some women might feel judged.
- Some women fear that they might never again be able to get pregnant. However, abortion does not interfere with your future fertility.
- Sometimes the couple relationship is stressed or undermined by the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy. In these circumstances, women may feel abused and/or abandoned.
- Another friend of mine fell pregnant from a man who abused of her and who abandoned her with her daughter when her daughter was still a baby. She lived in very poor conditions, suffered from severe depression and health complications since her husband abandoned her for another woman, and she struggled all alone to recover from her injuries and deceptions, with her father as only support. She succeeded, despite living in poor conditions, raising all alone her young daughter, and that daughter became a successful young lady in life. Unfortunately, my friend faced almost the same problem as mine. Her mother comes from a rich family, whereas her father comes from a modest one. Her mother, though being part of a rich family, was raised without moral values, in a world of sex, drugs, amusement and alcoholism. Her mother betrayed my friend’s father with another man, from whom she had a daughter. My friend’s half-sister turned into the same bad lifestyle as their mother, and even became extremely addicted to drugs. The half-sister fell pregnant from a rascal, and both are drug-addicted and drug dealers and both are actually jailed as they had accusations for drug traffic! Their young child is raised by my friend’s mother, who unfortunately gives them bad education. As well as my friend’s mother dislikes her first daughter who totally inherited her father’s straight-minded character, but instead she adores her second daughter and instead gives her the bad education and fully tolerates her illegitimate daughter in her sins, like a way to indirectly killing her second daughter softly, because she is conscious she did a mistake by betraying her husband with someone else, but by pride she doesn’t want to accept her fake and she mistreats her first daughter because she knows very well her first daughter is right and speaking the truth.
- It reminded me of a caricature that I once saw on Facebook, where a modern mother is melting when her daughter is swearing as a toddler, provocatively dancing as a little girl, wearing miniskirts as a teenager and afterwards falling pregnant accidentally as a young adult… and the mother who cries and who complains “what could I have done to allow such a thing happen to you, my daughter?” All this because the mother has bad principles in life, and she transmitted her bad principles to her own daughter, but doesn’t seem or doesn’t want to realize it.
That is why I insist on the fact that you should really understand the true meaning of MOTHERHOOD. Because there are some women who never succeeded becoming MOTHERS but who succeeded becoming TRUE MUMS. Like there are some women who succeeded becoming MOTHERS but who lamentably failed in becoming TRUE MUMS. There are women who succeeded in both, and women who even failed in both.
The term MOTHER has more a medical and physical shape, in the sense of giving LIFE through BIRTH. But after birth, not all of them succeed into becoming MUMS. Because MOTHERS give LIFE, but MUMS give LOVE and LAUGHING. There are MOTHERS who only give LIFE, but are unable to give LOVE and LAUGHING. There are also MUMS who never succeeded giving LIFE or who haven’t given LIFE yet, but who are able to give LOVE and LAUGHING. There are women who are unable to give LIFE, and even unable to give LOVE and LAUGHING. And finally there are women who really succeed into giving all three LIFE, LOVE and LAUGHING.
See also Mother’s Day. Why should it be celebrated only once a year? Why not EVERYDAY? Or why should it be celebrated for MOTHERS unable to be TRUE MUMS, or for women who failed into being both MOTHERS and MUMS? And TRUE MUMS also exist through single women, single girls who never infant yet… and even through a SISTER, a COUSIN, an AUNT, a GRANDMOTHER, a STEPMOTHER, a GODMOTHER or why not your OWN BEST FEMALE FRIEND?
I meditated about that matter and I found the reply, which justifies that motherhood exists in EVERY FEMALE HUMAN BEING who successfully crossed the pathways from CHILDHOOD to GIRLHOOD, from GIRLHOOD to WOMANHOOD, and then from WOMANHOOD to LADYHOOD:
- A MUM can, through her breast, distribute milk to her child and to every single child around her. See the example of nannies who look after babies when their mothers are busy. It doesn’t mean forcefully that it’s a biological mother who did that. It’s a MUM who did that. Even though a mum couldn’t properly breastfeed a child because there wasn’t enough milk in her breasts for health reasons, it doesn’t mean that the mum didn’t feed the child. Because one single drop of that mother’s milk is already enough for feeding a child with love and laugh. But if a woman refuses to breastfeed her child of her own will and decision, then she is not a MUM, but only a MOTHER. Maybe also she is a woman who lives in a total world of illusion and who doesn’t know the true value of MOTHERHOOD.
- A MOTHER is able to shed a tear with a sincere heart. It may be a tear of joy, like it may be a tear of sadness. A MOTHER or a WOMAN shedding tears of joy in front of a child is a true MUM. A MOTHER or a WOMAN who sheds tears of sadness also is a MUM. But it has two different concepts:
- The first concept concerns a MUM who sincerely loves her children when she sees her children badly behaving, going in a wrong pathway or sick. This kind of mum truly loves her children and wants his happiness and good health above all.
- But there are also MOTHERS who give LIFE but who are unable to give LAUGH and LOVE to their children properly or who reject their children, like the previous examples I mentioned before. There are some women who don’t want to infant, because they prefer giving priority to other stuffs than to motherhood. Such kinds of women live in a total world of hypocrisy and are hypocrisy with themselves, living in a total world of illusion, like I mentioned before. They don’t realize they are insulting themselves and insulting the gift of motherhood which was given to every woman. And the day they realize it, it will be too late. It will be too late for the MOTHER who failed into being a MUM, because she either abused of her child or rejected her child. It will be too late for the female human who never infanted and who even failed into being a MUM, because she was indifferent to children and she was indifferent to the idea of becoming a mother. And the day they will realize it, it will be too late. Too late for the MUM because she will realize it the day she will loose her child forever. And too late for the female human in general, who refused to conceive a child when she had time to conceive it, and who will struggle to conceive a child when she will decide to go ahead with that project, and maybe will end infertile. I mentioned about the IVF experience I faced because of severe endometriosis and also the fact that I faced too many personal and financial problems which affected me a lot psychologically and which then had a repercussion on my fertility. But what I haven’t realized was that it was also my fault, because psychologically I wasn’t ready to have a child and… to be honest, I myself was living in that same world of hypocrisy regarding women who don’t want to become mothers at all or who are postponing their motherhood for later, because I wanted to give priority to my career and my couple first. And in addition to all that, my mother, who wasn’t a good example for me always influenced me to postpone my pregnancy, pretending that I needed time to enjoy my marriage life with my husband… But in reality, she refused to accept that I would have a child with a man who didn’t match with her kind of son-in-law she wanted to have in life. Yes I say it loud, I have my own part of responsibility also. I still remember my father-in-law’s words which made on me the effect of a knife blade in the heart: “If you never succeeded conceiving a child with my son, I would have forced you to leave him and to go your way!” I still suffer when I hear those words, and I made him paying for those words in a violent fight I once had with him. But I cannot blame him totally either on that point, because if since the very first time I had expressed my desire of becoming a mother, though it would have taken me time, maybe I would have never heard such harsh words in my life… and which my father-in-law dared pronouncing to me only a few days after my son was born, whereas I was suffering from severe post-natal depression!
I would also like to share the synopsis of a complete novel that I am actually preparing, called “Verri”. Verri in Tamil language means “Triumph”. And in the story, I relate about one of the main characters, a single mother named Shobana Patel, who lived in a Covent in Vailankhani together with her young daughter Devina. Devina is the fruit of an accident which happened to Shobana, as she was abused in her native Delhi by a gang of rapists, exactly like for the Delhi gang rape scandal in 2012! But contrary to the true victim who passed away after having raped, Shobana survived and fell pregnant. Shobana even gave birth to her child and decided to raise her child alone, without any help. She was even rejected by her surroundings and family, who had big goals for her to become a popularity. Instead, she left behind her the life of luxury she was living and she raised her daughter and earned her life with small jobs in the covent of Vailankhani. But when Devina was born, she decided to confront the rapist who turned her pregnant, a taxi driver named Gautam, by presenting him his daughter! And Gautam is a married man and has two children who already turned adult. Among them, a son named Santhosh. Santhosh noticed Shobana while he was inside the house watching the scene between Shobana and Gautam, and both Santhosh and Shobana had the same age when Shobana came in front of Gautam’s doorstep with Devina in her arms. Shobana was even accompanied by a lawyer who accompanied her to make Gautam signing some documents certifying that he was Devina’s biological father, so that Devina is never recognized as an illegitimate child and that she obtains her dignity when she turns adult. Though she was raised with love and care, there was though one thing which Shobana feared for Devina: her security towards men. She always kept on being overprotective with Devina on that point, and though Devina was always obedient to her, at times she was fed up about that situation. Things would start changing when Devina falls in love with Mukesh, a young bodybuilding champion who just faced a horrible sentimental deception since he discovered that his fiancée was a transgender and lied to him since the beginning about his sexual orientation! Mukesh was so shocked that he was reluctant against every woman he met, including Devina. But little by little, though they will have a lot of difficulties to agree with each other, and this despite Mukesh’s secret attraction towards Devina, they will learn to discover themselves and gradually fall in love with each other and seal their relationship with an intimate wedding celebration. Shobana, at first, will disapprove that relationship in such a way that Devina will be forced to hide that relationship to her mother, as she saw that her mother was becoming more and more possessive, and even will punish Devina very cruelly about that relationship. But thanks to Santhosh, who always kept contact with Devina and cared for her since she was born, and who also had the opportunity acknowledging Shobana when Devina turned into a grown-up young girl from university, Shobana will realize that she was wrong about Mukesh and Devina and that they both truly loved each other and were really made for each other. Shobana will then apologise towards both Devina and Mukesh, and even towards Mukesh’s parents as they were also insulted too. And by coincidence, Santhosh will fall in love gradually with Shobana in same progressive level as Mukesh will build his relationship gradually with Devina, and Shobana will marry Santhosh but won’t be able to infant due to some health complications accumulated in the past since she was raped. Santhosh won’t mind about that matter and will keep on caring for her. But Devina will fall pregnant quickly from Mukesh. Mukesh will take part into a bodybuilding competition, for which he will be finalist with another big champion, and it’s Mukesh who will win the competition. But instead of accepting the trophy, he will gift the trophy to his competitor and only accept the medal. In return he will ask his wife to remove her pregnancy dress and appear in front of him half-naked, showing her 7-month-old pregnancy womb on the podium together with him. As a speech Mukesh will also say “I don’t need a trophy and prefer giving it to my competitor, who also worked very hard like me to arrive at the final competition. I already have my own trophy, and that trophy is the child I conceived with my loved one. And that trophy is my “Verri”… My triumph over injustice, betrayal and abuse, and my triumph in love together with Devina, my wife and best friend, whom I am presenting you today.”
Contrary to me, who passed through IVF and had my own part of responsibility about refusing to become a mother and having been badly influenced by my own mother, Shobana opted for Devina instead of her luxurious life and career that was awaiting her and that her own parents, family and surroundings expected for her. But despite all, Shobana didn’t care that all of them rejected her for having chosen to keep Devina, though at the beginning it affected her a lot sentimentally, but with time she came to realize her family’s and surrounding’s true colors and how they were using her as a trophy because she was brilliant. Motherhood can be something prepared in advance or something totally unexpected like for Shobana. But when you have a true mum laying within yourself, it means everything.
To end, here was the answer I gave to my compatriot’s post “My Identity, My Mother”, certifying two other examples of mothers who failed in their duties as mums, and the pitiful results it had over their children in the future:
“This lesson of life only applies in a normal situation with children growing up with true loving and caring mothers in a safe environment. Unfortunately… Very few among us will see the medal reverse of motherhood. Very few among us will see the difference between a mother and a mum, or will really understand the difference between a mother and a mum. Not all women can become a MOTHER. When I mention MOTHER I am especially talking about it in a purely medical way. Despite the medical progresses worldwide, there are still some women who are still unable to conceive, and who fight endlessly to conceive a child. There, by such a fight, this is the voice of those women’s hearts, the voice of the MUM within them, which is screaming loud in them, asking them to fight continuously to satisfy their desire of becoming MOTHERS. But there are also cases of women who became MOTHERS, but who never had the gift of being a MUM within them. Do you know that abusive mothers exist worldwide, mostly in occidental countries? See that piece of article regarding a publication about an abusive mother (http://www.examiner.com/article/family-publishes-painfully-truthful-obituary-for-abusive-mother) who died at the age of 79 and who won’t even be missed by her children for having been abused by her when she was still alive. Do you remember the scandal of the French expatriate mother who killed her twin babies by locking them in their home freezer in South Korea, and who made the whole world shocked since the mother admitted having killed her babies of her own will? (Source:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/15/AR2009061502881.html) Those women became MOTHERS but there was NO MUM within them! With such examples, MOTHER and MUM could match together… Or could exist separately as well. So many women could never infant to become mothers, but they were wonderful adoptive MUMS… Such as childless Laetitia Halliday who adopted so many children together with husband rocker Johnny… As well as the inverse, at the example of those two toxic MUMS I mentioned before.”
CONCLUSION: GRANDMOTHERHOOD: THE FINAL STEP OF THE FEMALE HUMAN BEING
“Role types are discussed and qualitative data which were obtained from the subjects are used to reinforce quantitative descriptions. The findings indicate: (1) grandparenting types are predicted by life style; (2) behaviors engaged in, that is, actions carried out in acting the grandmother role revolve primarily around babysitting, home recreation, and drop-in visits—mostly those initiated by the parent or by the grandchild; and (3) grandmotherhood is a role which is actively enjoyed by 80 percent of the respondents and for many (37 percent) it is more enjoyable than parenting because it provides easy joy and pleasure without the socialization responsibilities associated with parenthood.”
As per what I have just read, if most grandmothers are acting like that towards their children, it’s because, thanks to wisdom growing up with age and life experience, they perfectly assumed their roles from childhood to motherhood. But their roles still remain quite complex, since they vary, according to the culture in which they have been evolving. If I take my own case, as an Afrasian Mauritian native who had been evolving within a traditional Hindu Mauritian family, my in-laws, though their children are grown-up, still have a very strong influence when it comes on the way for their children to manage properly their marriage life. For Hindu grooms, since even after marriage, they are still carrying the burden of the family name and tradition over their shoulders, they are strictly followed by their elders when it comes on leading their marriage life and the way the children should be raised, mostly following the father’s rites, rituals and family traditions than for the mother. Grandmothers also have a major role to play as a strong support for the new mothers when it comes on the child’s welfare, health and education, especially if the grandmother is the father’s mother. However, in Occidental culture, then both grandmothers should agree together about the way their grandchild will be raised up. I still remember some episodes of the successful serial movie “Desperate Housewives”, where Susan (Teri Hatcher) and Lynette (Felicity Huffman) had clashes together when it came about the responsibility of their future grandchild, since they learnt that Susan’s daughter Julie fell pregnant from Lynette’s son Porter. In an abstract of an article regarding the role of grandmotherhood in East Cameroon, where it’s stipulated that grandmothers easily replace mothers when they are working, but they raise their grandchildren in a completely different way than the mothers (Source:http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7979377&fileId=S0001972000092032
) As per a study made with several Australian grandmothers, I quote, “For these women, grandmotherhood is important and brings joy but it is not the whole of their identity. Where responsibility for child care is involved, expectations and parameters need to be negotiated. Implications for the helping professions, child-care policy, and ageing policy involve the acknowledgment and valuing of grandparents’ caregiving activities, as well as the recognition of their freedom to explore new horizons, at this stage of the life course.”
Finally, what about the role of grandmothers of children with sole parents? Here is an interesting conclusion that I have found about it, and which proves again that grandmothers are a true source of support and relief despite the ups and downs in the mother-child bond, thanks to their experience of life and thanks to their aptitude to help both the single mother in her transition from ladyhood to motherhood, and the child in her transition to childhood to girlhood/boyhood and then the grandchild’s transition from boyhood to manhood if it’s a grandson, or from girlhood to womanhood if it’s a granddaughter. According to me, most grandmothers were present physically, especially those who married at a very young age, to see the evolution of their grandchildren until womanhood or manhood, before passing away. But then, the parents arrived at a certain point of maturity where they can help their children arriving at the step from manhood to genthood or from womanhood to ladyhood, since those mature parents arrived at a point they can manage alone since their children grew up enough to reach those steps:
“Overall, despite possible existing conflicts, grandmothers in general are found to be important stress reducers, either through emotional support or through practical intervention and support, to their lone mother daughters. Both roles, that of replacement parent and partner, seem to be of significant importance for the lone mothers as the motivation for this arrangement seems to be twofold. On one hand, these changing roles derive from the subjective experience of missing structures in their own lives (being a single parent and being without a partner) and, on the other, from the feelings they experience due to the missing structures in their children’s lives.
Lone mothers value their children’s relationships with their grandparents in a stronger and more special way as they feel their children are anyway deprived of family structure and usually not only have one parent but have only half a family tree, being in touch mainly with their mother’s family. In the same sense, it is important for them to feel that grandparenting is a significantly valued construct for their parents, that there is an established emotional bond between their children and their parents. When asked how they view their mothers’ grandparenting, most interviewees state they view it as a role of being both a mother to them and a grandmother to their grandchildren and that both of these relationship connections are giving equal motivation for their grandparenting behavior. It seems important for mothers to feel that grandparenting is more than simply a new form of parenting and parental support. It is a relationship with equal importance and significance for all of the family members; it is a network for mutual support, which increases the well-being of all involved.
Therefore, it can be concluded that both of these grandparental roles of parent and partner are welcomed by the lone mothers because they ease the feelings of guilt regarding imposing undesired responsibilities of care on the grandmothers. At the same time, these roles decrease the feelings of life failure and dependency by making the grandparental involvement a construct autonomous from the lone mothers themselves and resulting from the grandmothers’ own feelings of responsibility toward, or pleasure from, their grandchildren. Indeed, this feeling is an intrinsic characteristic of both parental and partnering relationships.”
Also, whatever the cultural, social belonging may be, we can conclude in general that the chain of female human nature starts from childhood and ends with grandmotherhood, sometimes lengthens with great-grandmotherhood, though it’s rarer since great grandparents are most of the time elapsed from the generation chain, as per a study resulting that, I quote, “The respondents engaged in more frequent contact and activities with their grandparents than with their great-grandparents. They also perceived their grandparents as having a more defined role and being more influential in their lives than great-grandparents.”