As I watch my son grow up, steadily and fast, I often wonder how he perceives his mother. You know, what does he think of me? I know he trusts me and all that… but really what image does he have of his mother. Does he think she is an independent woman? Will he grow up to understand that I am feisty and liberated? Will he understand the decisions I take? Will he respect me for who I am?
In our journey of motherhood there comes a time when we all want to fit in. The need to shine, to excel, to perform and be appreciated and loved is a forever one. Being a mother, a woman may not accept this, because really she is not motivated to love her child because she wants to be accepted and appreciated. She does so out of genuine emotions. But to know that your child respects you for the person you are is really reassuring.
The worth of a mother comes bombarding at you when you become one. There is no turning away from that. Yes, being a mother today has made me sensitive to not just my own mother but also other mothers who have selflessly raised their children. There are mothers who have battled hostile situations at home to protect their children. There have been mothers who have balanced their work and family precariously. There are mothers who have battled diseases for the sake of their children. There are mothers who have earned the stars of motherhood by just being there. A mother, is a mother, is a mother. Ask any and she will tell you that it is over rated. Motherhood is, she will tell you. How a woman handles motherhood and the changes it brings to her life. Her personality undergoes a change that even she is not aware of. She makes choices that she didn’t know she had to make. Some which are easy, many which are not. But in between everything that she does the emotions for her little ones are always the purest.
Being a mother is tough business. I see my mom and I realize it must have been so tough for her. It still is. Because every time she comes visiting me, I make sure that I stop cleaning my cupboards at least 3 weeks in advance. She cleans my cupboards, throws away the junk, airs my sarees, lays new newspaper on the shelves, and cleans the cobwebs from my cluttered life as a homemaker. What would I do without her!
In what was considered homely skills, perfect for the domesticated homemaker, skills like sewing and knitting were must haves in women of my mother’s generation. Over the years she did my share of needlework in school. Hemmed my skirts. Replaced the buttons. Sew my blouses loose and then tight. Painstakingly and lovingly she embroidered sarees and dupattas for me. When she humored herself with a sewing course she made me aprons and dresses. These remain fond memories of my growing up. When I became a mother she took to crocheting for the first time. And once again I was amazed at her dexterity and ease with a new hook.
Running a house comes naturally to her. But when it comes to running a business, she is the last one to take the leap. As a woman, the first change that my child brought on me was to dream of going solo. From being a workaholic maniac who lived her job 24*7, after a baby I didn’t want to be a desk slave anymore. And in a strange curious way, I didn’t want my mother to remain just a homemaker. I pushed her. Pinched her. Praised her. Prepped her. And then… launched her.
The Mother’s Basket is a pretty culmination of my belief that anyone can turn a hobby into a business. And be successful at that. It is my little gift to my mother who I believe has incredible talent and enthusiasm when it comes to using her fingers creatively. It is also a home based venture for my mother and yes she looks at each sale incredulously!
Today she chirps like a budding entrepreneur when I tell her that people like her pieces. She sets off to shop for raw material the moment I tell her that someone is interested we take The Mother’s Basket to an exhibition. She buys my father a drink. She abandons her daily chores at home and gives it all up to work on her new collection.
And suddenly she is happier and more confident. That’s how I see my mother. And that’s how I would like to see her always.
The TV junkie is back into the idiot box. Besides pretending to be a superwoman between work and family, Rituparna also dreams of flying free as an entrepreneur! Her son’s student, she is learning the ropes of parenting every day. Rituparna blogs at http://onboardthemommyship.