The words, mother, motherland, mother tongue, and Mother Earth refer to different things, and yet they vie on the same root, the origin of our being. From the womb of our mothers, we have come to life, and life itself is the embodiment of the universe, the more prominent source. Out of this more significant source of life, when a woman chooses to become a mother, it's the materializing life's gift to her. Our Creator has chosen the females to reproduce and has favoured a mother as the source of life.As my friend, Khalida, says, "I became a mother three times over and can assure you that nine months of carrying my babies or having them all through vaginal deliveries were not easy. But after the second child, I wanted one more kid, I just love babies. There is a calling within me to motherhood that only women experience."
She still loves small children and had chosen to become a teacher at a local day care. Khalida's story resonates with countless tales on the pros and cons of motherhood, the sweet and the gruelling aspects. It is said that if mothers remembered the indescribable pain of labour, they would not want a second baby. Labour pain of a mother is also called "Happy pain." The mother forgets the indescribable pain that comes with a vaginal delivery. Deliveries under C-section are no less painful, but nothing compares with the final pains that come before the baby comes out into the world. Many countries around the globe allow the fathers to witness the whole process of a new life coming to the world so that they can understand the beauty and strength required of a woman to achieve her motherhood.
Motherhood is defined with difficulties and pleasure from the moment a woman conceives. The nine months of a full-term pregnancy is different at every stage as the foetus develops inside the womb. For a woman, the physical and mental changes with pregnancy feel like having a new body. There are no such things as 'easy pregnancy,' and from the months of carrying the baby in the womb to the delivery chapter, life changes significantly for a mother. When children become adults, she may not be directly involved with the son or daughter’s life, a mother’s life continues to be identified by those she had carried in her womb.
Through ages, the mother has been embraced as a symbol of inner strength and vitality. In the present time, more than ever, the role of a mother has crossed boundaries. A mother is not only the homemaker but also the breadwinner of the family. The saying for generations goes as, "Mother dear / You are wonderful with everything you do / The happiness of family depends on you!" Handed down through ancestors as the source of life, the mother was not only the particular person who was the source of family life; she was also the visible source of a cosmic mystery. The mother carried life on all levels, on the biological and physiological, and even on the psychological level. According to Aldous Huxley, "Mother was that oceanic Unconscious, out of which personal self-consciousness is crystallized and in which, so to speak, it bathes." The mother continues to be the source of life at all levels. The 'Great Mother' has been worshipped in many parts of the world. According to Wikipedia, “A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of motherhood. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother.' For instance, Kali, the Great Mother in India, is sometimes beneficent and sometimes terrible.
A modern mother embodies the cosmic energy through parenting challenges she continues to be the fountain of love. Working mothers bring food to the table, and they change diapers, are excellent cooks, and they are heads of corporate bodies. They take kids to school, and they fly around the world meeting heads of states. One wonders how the same person is playing these multiple roles. It is no easy task to take care of the home and run the office. Although men have stepped up and help with child-raising and the household chores, the more considerable bulk remains for the women in male dominates societies.
The working mom often has to opt for quality time to handle the multitasking that is usually required of her. The mothers of the modern days are the "do-it-all" women. Studies show that there are more and more working woman choosing to shoulder the child-rearing at home after they are back from their paid jobs. At times working mothers opt to stay at home till the baby is at least a year old. In this process, they may be losing promotions or other job benefits. But they are ready to sacrifice the opportunities for taking care of the child. To them, being the mother is more rewarding, and the mother within them wins over materialistic wants.These days when family break-ups seem to be on the rise, it is indeed essential to keep the marriage on its sanctimonious ground. The threatened family is often the worst nightmare for a child. A mother puts in her utmost to give her child a happy home being well aware that children from a peaceful family are more like to give his or her best to life. However, single mothers are doing their utmost in putting children's life before all when it comes to taking care of their children. Out there are some women who have their backs against the wall as they shoulder the hectic competitive life. Stress takes its toll, and it is wise to seek professional help. And there are times when vacations are absolutely necessary, and the need to let go and 'love thy self' or 'self-care' has to come in. The mother is still a mystery where her inner strength and love are concerned. We cannot set the mother on a scale as to what measures she can go for the welfare of her family, but we can follow her love and patience.
As life becomes more complex and demanding on mothers, the experts tell us to slow down, not to be the super-mom all the time. It is okay to be in second places at times for below the ripples of the river lays the calm river bed. As Julie Andrews said, "I think birth and motherhood are not things that you're trained to do. You might have a good example in your own mum, but nobody teaches you how to be a really great mum."
Tulip Chowdhury writes from