web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Martyr Mater. Not
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Sunday, May 13, 2007
Martyr Mater. Not

Motherhood is a crown that doesn't sit well on me, and if I am totally, totally honest with myself, I know I don't deserve to celebrate today. Of course, I get it anyway -- the scrumptious breakfast of Lamingtons and sandwiches; the homemade card with pink hearts and handwritten "I love you mommy" (and a smiley, thin me holding a tulip, scrawled out with magic marker), the day out shopping, the hugs and chocolate at the end of the day. Everyone in my family is indulgent towards me today.

But here's the truth : they're indulgent towards me every day. Of the five of us, I am the most rottenly spoilt. My husband lets me get away with it; my kids let me get away with it.

Mother's day should be reserved for those who wouldn't otherwise get a break. Those women, paragons of motherhood who wake up at five to make breakfast, get their children ready for school, help them with their homework and sleep at their elbows when they're sick. The moms who would rush home after work to make dinner, who'd sew buttons, bake cakes. The apple-pie kind of moms, self-sacrificing, martyrs.

I'm not one of those. I'll ignore a child if I'm sleepy or if I have a good book to read. I'll tell them to come back later, and we're usually good with that arrangement. I rarely feed my kids, I don't know how to plait their hair and if we happen to be in a shower togther, it's more likely that I'd be the one getting a shampoo treatment.

The one who deserves to get the mother's day card, truth be told, is my maid, Ti. She does all the matryring and sacrificing. Her every waking hour is to serve the children; and the kids are more afraid of her than they are of me. (I'm a means of breaking Kak Ti's rules) For my children, she will postpone rest, marriage, her own happiness. It is solely to this unflinching devotion that I, the mommy, owe my afternoon naps and literary sojourns.

But I do other things, I really do! I read with my kids, I help them with their stories, I invent jokes, I download songs, I draw, I dance, I do voices. For all intents and purposes I'm the fun parent -- I bring them out and buy them things and lie on bed with them while they spin yarns about jumbuks and dancing princesses. I don't renege on promises and I don't lie (unless it's about sex, and even then not always) If I cook it's always a special event. I let them drink capuccino. I let them play with my makeup. I let them tell me I'm fat. On a hot day I'll push a fully clothed Adam into the pool. I talk to them about politics, poverty and providence. I never insult their intelligence and even though my kids tell me I should be more responsible or that I should learn to drive, I think we have mutual respect.

Still, once in a while a little voice will tell me that this is all wrong and that a few years' down the road I shall see the effects of such casual parenting. For the moment though, my children are happy, well adjusted people with a mind of their own and that's good enough for me.

Yes, yes, I know. The question should be : is it good enough for them? Fortunately, my children have a dependable, diligent Daddy who'll be able to square things off in the long run. Just today he practiced soccer with Adam and Aiysha, helped them with revisions, dressed Aiysha's wounds and fed her medicine, and because Kak Ti is away, he also cleaned the house and did the dishes. Tonight when he sleeps, I should see if heaven is under his feet.


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