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An elephant does it. So does a goat, orangutan, polar bear, tiger, puma… Yeah they all do, give birth I mean just like countless other mammals on earth including humans. There is a difference though. While after giving birth, the rest of them go about their business of being a mother quietly, humans (the one human that gave birth and the rest of the crowd consisting of women and men) crow and trumpet about it, some among them continuing to do so throughout their lives, never letting their offspring or anyone else forget what a great and noble act was theirs. ‘Pathu maasam chumannu, nonthu prasavichu’ (Bore you for ten months, of course technically wrong, and gave painful birth) go the Mallu mothers (in real and reel life) and I am sure their counterparts elsewhere have something similar up their sleeve to keep those errant and not so errant but merely independent (which it seems is the greatest sin in the eyes of most mothers) children in line.

It IS a tough act, no doubt to it. But please spare me all those paeans sung in praise of mother and motherhood. Please spare me also the worship and adoration. Please spare me all that (nonsense) talk of divinity. Please spare me that place reserved for mothers over there on that too tall (and shaky to boot) pedestal which makes one look ridiculous apart from the danger and discomfort of standing on it impersonating an inanimate stone statue while the rest of you burn incense sticks suffocating one in its smoke, burying one beneath garlands of tributes and chanting praises to mother and motherhood till one goes deaf…. And all for what??! For going through the perfectly natural biological act of giving birth?! Give me a break society.

Yes, I am a mother. So what??

I am no God-like figure.

I am no superhuman.

I am not an inanimate object/stone idol.

I am not an asexual being.

So stop treating me like all of the above just because I have given birth.

I am human.

I am made of flesh and blood like the rest of you.

I have all the human feelings and failings.

I laugh, cry, get angry and stressed. I may scream, throw something in frustration. I love with all my heart. I also hurt. I desire, long and yearn. At times I may feel jealous, envious, disillusioned, and delusional. I need love, sex, sympathy, care, pampering.

I sometimes hurt with innocent remarks or barbed words spoken in frustration. I forgive the worst of mistakes. I expect to be forgiven too.

Sometimes I am down in the dumps, I am lost. I need a hand to pull me out of my despair or at least railings to hold on to pull myself out. Don’t think/assume that because I am a mother everything becomes alright magically. I need affection, a caressing hand, a warm breast to lay my head when I feel cold and alone. I think you are the world, but I need to be made to feel I am the world too for someone, somewhere.

I am scared at times, unsure too. I make mistakes, I may want to walk out, start afresh. Instead of kicking me down, accusing me that a mother cannot, help me start over again. I am also capable of hate. I lash out, strike, spew venom. I may have my moods. I may look forlorn and morose. Don’t expect that ‘mother’ is a synonym for the mannequins in the malls or worse still, the models who are paid good money to do a bit of smiling for a short time in front of movie cameras. I also look frumpy most times quite unlike them, though I try not to.

I fall sick (remember I am human). I need the doctor, maybe someone to listen to my real or imaginary aches and pains. I want to be left alone just like you all want at times. I want to do my own things, not to be at your beck and call at all times. I have likes and dislikes. It is not always about your likes and dislikes. Respect my privacy. Motherhood does not mean my life is an open house for you all to walk in and out when it pleases you.

Don’t talk down to me, talk to me; you may know a lot of things. I know a few things too. Don’t treat me as if I have half a brain. I may not be used to certain things, so may take longer to learn or simply won’t be up to mark in some. Don’t poke fun or make unkind remarks as if I don’t exist. I do. Don’t assume (or expect) that ‘sacrifice’ is my middle name. Don’t worship me as you do the idol in the temple and then walk out to forget me till the next time you need something.

Yes, I became a mother when I gave birth, a biological act that has been assigned to me by Nature as of now. But that does not make me a saint with superhuman capabilities.

I am no God-like figure.

I am no superhuman

I am not an inanimate object/stone idol.

I am not an asexual being.

So stop treating me like all of the above just because I have given birth.

I am human.

I am made of flesh and blood like the rest of you.

I have all the human feelings and failings.

Treat me like one, just like you treat each other. Is that asking too much??

I have been tagged by IHM to write about being a mother. Well IHM, this is it . I refuse to fall at the feet of mothers and motherhood and sing ‘Hail Thee Mother!!’ Mothers are not saints. Individuals among them may be. Neither will I point fingers or condemn them for their mistakes. Mothers are not sinners (wrong doers according to the present system). Individuals among them may be.

Mothers are just humans. Period.

Having said that, now I move to the next topic. Deeps has tagged me to list five things that I love about being a mother.

1. The coos and gurgles, tiny little feet and hands, the baby smell and the chubby faces that screw up and go all red bawling their lungs out, but light up as if by magic when your face swims into their ken.

2. The absolute adoration on their faces, the faith that Momma knows best and has the answers to everything, the total trust that Momma will take care.

3. The opportunity to play Hitler in real life. Disciplining at times with the iron hand in the velvet glove touch while at other times with looks that kill, but sometimes just screaming ‘NO!!’ and having the satisfaction of being obeyed pronto. Wow! ‘Power’ is intoxicating! ;)

4. Enjoying the new fads and fashions and reliving the thrills of your own good old days; being ordered on how to present yourself in front of their friends; arguing, fighting, despairing as the universally accepted difficult teenager steps out of that cute adorable kid that had been your child till now and starts growing vertically as if there is no tomorrow, making you strain your neck muscles while trying to look that face in the eye and make it wilt beause things are strewn all over a messy room contrary to your explicit instructions; feeling relieved when heavy bags are carried for you by hunks on whose protective faces you try searching for traces of those bawling babies of yesterday.

5. Pushing them gently out of the nest (this is the best part) and watch them fly off to make their own life, waiting for their calls with news updates on what they have been up to, asking them n number of questions regarding the PC whose working you took for granted while they were home and being told sternly ‘find out on your own coz that will benefit you in the long run’ and speculating if that had been one of your own lessons being thrown back at you, watching with pride (wondering ‘OMG when did they become so well-informed??’) as they now add to your knowledge bank; making plans on what to make to tickle their palate and fill their tummies and how best to pamper them on their next visit.

Well, these are what I love about being a mother, that human one I spoke about.