In the middle of a phone conversation with my mom one time, I brought up the idea of initiating a small business for her. It was the second time to bring it up to her. I suggested clothes that she can go around sell. But she readily brushed off the idea as most of the people in my hometown would opt for something cheaper, or probably, my mom isn’t much of a seller. Then I asked what she likes to do as that would be a starting point for us, and from there, I can help her build something. I even used the word “passion” just so I could light up something in her. But she fell silent, perhaps thinking. But out of the blue, with the intent of making it sound funny, she said being a mother is her passion, and then she just chuckled, as her usual self. As I was about to retort back in pragmatic thoughts, I fell silent myself in my mind. I thought she made sense, and this conversation was just a week before mother’s day.
Being a mother has somehow been set on a pedestal as a given role, as something well understood, part of the ordinary undertakings of life, and that which is simply just that state of domestication, care, comfort, and service. We may acknowledge this role during special occasions in a year, but being the mother is probably undervalued coming from the perspective of the children, the husband, and the society in the most general sense. There is something more profound in being and even in becoming a mother.
I have always been a believer and motivator of women, especially those who would just settle in becoming mothers and housewives. I just think that they have so much more to offer in the world. This idea I have definitely came from the conflict perspective that women are suppressed in their states, that instead of pushing themselves, they are left and set at home with just the hopes of becoming the best mother. This reconstruction I have in mind made me blur my thoughts on essential motherhood that I have been trying so hard to disprove as the only resort for women. I just thought women ought to fly and surpass standards. They ought to live their dreams and ambitions. But after that small and quick talk with my mom, I realized I lost sight of what is being a mother.
Some may have given up on many dreams and kept passions just so to allow the state of being a mother, and this may seem saddening, but the owning up to stand still for the family, for the husband who may just come home exhausted and frustrated, for the children who are frail and may need that constant care and love, is just noble, noble beyond standards and liberalizing ideals. The patience, the persistence, the hope, and the emotional strength, that is being a mother. One can ask a mother what it’s like to be one, and you’ll end up with a story, and not the simplest accord of cooking, looking after the household, caring, and keeping home ideally “home.”
Being a mother is within every mother. One can’t just define that state in the most fundamental manner. It is raging with passion. They say that occupation takes merit, education, and skill. Motherhood takes none of such, but just that constant passion and inextinguishable gusto to love, care, and keep everything in the best condition possible. It is not a job. It is life, living, happiness, joy, sadness, loneliness at times, frustration at certain occasions, and love, which keeps everything bound. I have had conversations with a few mothers, friends of mine, at certain times in the past. And everything they said was all abstract to me. But then I thought, that’s probably because it need not be understood on the surface. It just needs to be felt and appreciated more than anything.
Though I still want my mom to do her other passions, I don’t want her to give up on one that she’s best at for years and years now. She just has that flare for mothering that I couldn’t readily see, but that which I can feel, hear, and sense. And I think, my mom has lived one passion in her entire lifetime, the best one she’s ever had.