Real Mothers (capital R, capital M)

A few months ago, one of my blog’s unfans commented along the lines of how I was a mother on the sidelines, not really bringing up my kid hands on and adding to the rift between classes by having “help” in the house- and yet STILL blogging about about how hard pressed I am for some k time or me time or time out from my work. I remember being momentarily irritated but then vastly amused at the presumptious nature of this comment and person who sat so firmly on her high horse deciding who was suffering enough to be a Real Mother. A similar comment thread on Mad Momma’s blog reminded me of that and even though I have already posted this comment there, I am reposting it on my blog to remind myself that there are mother’s of all kinds out there- most working damn bloody hard to ensure the best possible reality they can give their kids along with a few dreams. Nobody has the right to judge how she does it.

I think one of the most deplorable things in educated circles when you have to prove how you’re a mother because you cook or clean or do some kind of physical labour. What about if I just work bloody hard and earn well and pay someone else – who wants to make money too- to do the physical work so I can have some quality time with my kid? Why do I get judged on that? Is a mother MORE a mother because she has suffered more? Personally in my circle of reference the people I have seen taking on all the laborious work of cooking cleaning are the ones who are worried that their kids get the short end of the stick- so basically instead of pointing these long painted fingers at each other, if we actually stood up and smiled encouragement at each other for whatever little bits we give up to provide the other little bits, won’t we finally be making some kind of universal sense?


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5 thoughts on “Real Mothers (capital R, capital M)”

  1. sadly jammie unless one is from the Nirupuma Roy school of moms, white dupatta/sari, bending over a sewing machine, you are nothing but the evil woman dying to start jiving at the club…for if you dont sit at the sweing machine, Nadi will NEVER get to wear the white shoes and tell you “Maa may BA may paas hogaya”, you will never have the daughter in pinned up pigtails who will play badminton, marry the rich neighbour and maintain you in a style you deserve.
    And why would you like to deny your family of all that hainjee?
    and I dont know why some people have such an antiquated perception of having someone to help you out…they are the “help” not slaves….you are paying them decent wages, treat them with respect, NAdi must think they do something admirable when he emulates them in cooking and cleaning..a particular genertaion of women could go forth and bring in the revolution because their sisters managed the house for them, you know what I mean.

  2. this is most interesting- i have passed similar ‘what the fuck u talking about idiot, u have 3 bloody maids’ comments towards dear friends and cousins back home…. they have graciously taken them, probably realizing my pent up frustration and general helplessness at that point.. i realize they were in bad taste, now

    and now that i have a maid come in every week AND have outsourced my cooking, it pisses me off tremendously to be judged by nasty rotten holier than thou hawaateen

    go figure

  3. aww man…sara i think its just hard, period, being a mom. it doesn’t matter whether you are a working mom or you are a stay at home mom, or a mom that has all the help in the world, or the mom that doesn’t. maybe on the outset it looks easier since you have one less thing to worry about, if you have hired help,definetly it helps. but that one less thing is replaced by some other worry. just being a mom and having to take responsibility of another person is selfless in my mind. i love your blog and i think you are a great mom!

  4. well said you guys. i think the idea that just because have more you are doing less is a stupid old one that points towards the limited vision of th eperson perpetrating it. You can have lots and lots and the onus on you to do and be more.

    Privilege is something to be thankful for- not ashamed of- and if you can manage to share your good fortune in a well meaning manner with people who dont resent you that- well good for the normal people who surround you and sucks to the idiots who just want to point out flaws all the time.

    cheesoo- i think i myself have seen friends who have two kids and a maid per kid complaining and thought to myself what the hell do THEY know about having it tough but the simple fact is that we are all capable of diffferent things and maybe even with her two maids , the guilt feeling associated with not being there enough-perhaps mentally perhaps physically- is enough to make the most privileged moms feel bad. Its a very very relative place to be- and i have to remind myself to not judge also!

    i love mad mommas blog because its honest self depracating and hilarious. she is who she is and accepts all the ups and down that come with being modern middle class parents. her words strike a cord- and ring a true bell- but those of you who lurk around my blog to make snotty comments know that you will continue to be deleted – just liek you have been in the past- because this isnt your domain to be hormonal on, ok?

  5. thanks jammie. well said. and yes, i think what pops out most often is that others resent your ‘privileged life’ without realising what goes into it. we have maids in this part of the world and they’re not exactly slaves. they earn helluva lot more than i earned as a rookie journalist with none of the education or skills that i had. and to compare it to lives of either poorer women (do these unctuous types compare them to less privileged women working at constructions sites as they sit in AC offices and use the internet?!) or to those who live a differently privileged life in the West (where they take water, electricity and decent roads as a right) – is plain stupid. and hormonal? :p

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