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Posted at: May 12, 2019, 8:18 AM; last updated: May 12, 2019, 8:18 AM (IST)TODAY IS MOTHER’S DAY

Mother of all...

Aradhika Sharma

“Motherhood is tough. If you just want a wonderful little creature to love, you can get a puppy” — Barbara Walters

Mom-hood starts with pregnancy. Except for some very fortunate women, it usually entails morning sickness, food aversions, water retention and an unrecognisable body clad in ill-fitting clothes. Soon, the adorable little embryo, develops a will of his own — s/he twists and turns in mom's tummy, kicking with all its might. A wise mom should heed those kicks — they're a portent of life as it will be after the birth of baby. Once you are mom, life will never be the same again. You might as well start bidding adieu to a full night's sleep, manicured hands with painted nails, having time to 'do' up your face and hair and to a life without guilt. Multitasking, especially for working moms, takes on a whole new meaning. They become master jugglers, trying to balance kids-home-work-homework-doctors-playdates-soccer games-dentists-birthday parties, while making tasty treats for their kids and trying to raise them to be responsible people. Not that their kids try to make it easy for them! 

The singular target of any progeny seems to be to try and send their moms to the loony bin. However, there is one invaluable quality that equips any mother for the trials and travails inherent in the state mom-hood. Humour! Without a sense of humour, the mother will probably end up in a nuthouse and even if she doesn't, the family will have a dreary existence. On that note, here's a survival guide for moms with useful tips that will help moms endure and prevail.

Don’t lose patience …or your sense of humour

In case you are questioning why the stress on these two excellent qualities, do check out the following scenarios:

  • Your kid is extremely likely to barf, put muddy or chocolaty hands on you just as you are ready to exit for a nice evening out or office.
  • You're waiting for your toddler to put their shoes on to go to the doctor and they can't figure out left from right, but insist on doing it on their own, thereby trying to drive you bananas!
  • You try to instil discipline in your kids so that they don't continue with behaviours like using a towel and never picking it up from the floor, eating meals and never doing the dishes, sitting in rooms they never clean, switching on lights and TVs they never switch off. 
  • You've just finished up mopping the floors because the maid didn't show up and your 10-year-old son charges in with five friends after a muddy romp in the rain.
  • Your 12-year-old daughter is mooning over a new boyfriend who has blue hair and a feather earring.
  • You’ve woken up at 3 am to nurse your baby for the third time since going to sleep yourself and are sleep deprived and run down.
  • Your 4-year-old daughter is wildly jealous of her baby brother and keeps pinching him to make him howl.
  • Your teenage daughter constantly rolls her eyes when you speak and breaks out into emotional, hormonal outbursts. She continuously back talks and tells you once a day that she hates you.
  • You go to pay the fees at school only to learn that your kid hasn't attended school in a week.
  • Your boy sneaked your car out, over-sped and went into a road divider and is now calling you to help with the policeman who wants to impound your car.
  • Your eight-year-old daughter is throwing a tantrum in the mall again.
  • You start the day by pumping breast milk for the baby while you're away at work.
It's not PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) that's making you want to burst into tears and scream — it’s BMS (Busy Mom Syndrome).


Perfect the art of pretending to be asleep

Shweta’s story

Moms are the most sleep deprived humans in the world. A working mom said, “I used to hate delays at airports on business trips, but now that I have two kids, an extra hour or two at the airport are a luxury!”

A short afternoon siesta is one indulgence that Shweta allows herself after usually ridiculously hectic mornings. Her two children are banned from disturbing her for these 45 minutes. Invariably, however, they make their way into her room ad stand over her, talking in loud whispers to check if she's really asleep:

Manu (9 years): Do you think mom's sleeping?

Ritu (7 years): Yes. Her eyes are closed. Blow on her face and see if she's awake.

Manu blows: She's awake! I just saw her eyes fluttering.

Both children put their faces close to Shweta's face, intently staring at her eyes, willing them to open. She can feel their breath on her face and smell that they've found the chocolates she'd hidden. 

Ritu: Her eyes are shut. She's sleeping. She said not to disturb her. 

Manu (In a piercing whisper): MOM…MOMMMMM! Let's put this stick in her ear to check.

Ritu: You do it! She'll give you one slap if you wake her up again today. 

Manu: Hmm. Then we'd better throw some water over the fire in the kitchen. I'll take the bucket from the bathroom— you bring the mug.

Shweta leaps out of bed. Her afternoon siesta's been highjacked again!


Do communicate…if you can

Rekha’s experience

Everyone says that communication is the key. Communicating with a teen is the most uphill task in the world. Mostly the conversation is something like this:

Rekha: Hi Rohit! How was your day?

Rohit: Fine (as he walks off to his room).

Rekha: Who are you texting to?

Rohit: No one (as his mom continues to stare into his phone while he types).

Rekha: (After looking at Rohit chatting for about 10 minutes) What were you talking to your friends about?

Rohit: Nothing (He shuts the door to his room).

"And then they complain that their parents don't understand them!" Rekha says. "In my house sometimes conversations are not really actual conversations. Instead, I'm either talking at my kids and just lecturing endlessly or my daughter is asking me for money. Sometimes I'm lucky to get past an exchange of a few sentences. Anyway, I'm hoping that they'll outgrow this phase. The sooner, the better!"

While kids are receptive listeners between the ages of 3 and 13, adolescence changes things and mothers are left to deal with sullen, recalcitrant and sometimes, deceitful teens who don't even seem to speak the same language. Having the same arguments again and again with your adolescent son or daughter could leave a mom feeling cared that she's failing as a mom and at her wit's end about what to do. Rekha has a theory about this phase. "The only way you can communicate with a teenager is if you keep your mouth shut and your purse open"

A salute to moms — all of them. Motherhood and raising productive, responsible children is quite a task. But remember one day your kids will fly the coop, get married, have children, and then, finally, it's payback time!


Become a Masterchef!

Neha and Shivani’s stories

No matter how much you've hated cooking all your life, but kids have the unique driving force to make a mom sweat it out in the kitchen to make tasty and healthy food for them. Most moms love to get creative in the kitchen and as kids grow up they do appreciate their efforts. Just like Zoraawar loved to take Neha's special chocolate cake to school. If they ran out of cake, there would be tantrums and sulks, Neha would even wake up earlier than usual to bake and ensure that two slices were packed in his lunch box. It was years later that she discovered that the cake was in fact used to barter food with other kids. A slice of cake for an idli or a French toast. 

"But why didn't you ask me to make those things for you?" Neha asked. 

"What? And lose the power to negotiate? No way!" Zoraawar responded. Bubble burst, his mom had to be happy with the thought that at least some kids must have liked her cake.

Most moms are usually dying to try their culinary skills on their children just to see their expressions of delight. Shivani's 16-year-old son came in from basketball the other day, gave her a sweaty hug and demanded:

"Mom, make me a cold coffee with ice cream and something nice to eat, na".  

"Sure! Ham and Cheese sandwich?"

"Nah!"

"Popcorn, French fries?"

"No Mom, something exciting"

"Chocolate cookies? Rasgulla? Your favourite lemon tart?"

"Boring!" he said morosely.

"How about pancakes with maple syrup?"

"Noooo" and then a smile lights up his face.

"I know what I want! I want MAGGIE NOODLES!" 

"Wah! What a flair for flavors and tastes you have, my dear son."

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