So yesterday was Mother's Day.
In our Mizo online community, Mother's Day is kinda like Christmas, in the sense that you know it's Christmas season when all the WhatsApp and Facebook groups you're in start arguing about whether the correct term is "Advance Christmas function" or "Advent Christmas function", just like every other year.
Likewise, when it comes to Mother's Day, as usual, my Facebook friend-list was divided into the usual groups -
Group A consisted of people posting about their mothers and appreciating all the love their moms had bestowed upon them. Group B consisted of people criticizing those who did that, saying real appreciation should be shown in real life and not on social media. Group C consisted of people who criticized those who criticized people talking about their mothers saying it was none of their business to talk about what others post on their walls. Group D consisted of those who criticized those who criticized those who criticized those who… you catch the drift?
Yeah, full on drama :)
As a silent observer, I was just smiling at all the heated arguments taking place. I'm pretty sure that was not how our moms would want us to spend the day. I'm not gonna go all cheesy and say, "Hey, every day is a mother's day", but yeah, it is. The amount of sacrifice mothers make for their children is unfathomable. And if there is one day dedicated to them, whether it is a marketing gimmick or not, I'd say go for it. Shower your mom with all the appreciation, she definitely deserves more than that.
My opinion on all these "wishing on social media or not" is simple. If somebody wants to wish his/her mom a Happy Mother's Day online, what is wrong with that? Let them do it. And to the cynics saying some people do that only for show and ignore their mom the rest of the year… again, what is wrong with that? At least they're wishing their mom once a year rather than never, right? :)
I mean, you're not literally going to be there to make sure they pay attention to their mother the remaining 364 days, right? So why are you triggered then? Chillax bro.
First of all, I know a lot of those who posted "Mother's Day" messages and selfies on Facebook do care about their moms the rest of the year too. And sure there may be few who do that only to gain attention without actually caring about their moms, but hey, don't tell me you are offended because somebody's being artificial? We live in a new social media era where almost everything is artificial and fake, from the way we post about what we eat to where we party or hangout with. We wanna highlight this fake persona of ours that is a bit far-fetched from our actual mundane lives. When was the last time you updated your profile picture with no edit, no filter or changes made? See, that's the world we live in now.
Just live and let live, let people do what they wanna do on their Facebook wall, artificial or not, after all, it is their wall.
The reason why I wanted to write a short blog post about Mother's Day is not about this topic but rather about a different issue. It is about some of my dear friends, the single moms.
Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but lately, I seem to be having more and more new friends who are single moms! :D
And having known quite a number of single moms, I know for a fact that they have it much tougher than any other mothers out there with a "traditional" nuclear family. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trivializing the work of other mothers in any way, but for single moms, it is not just the stigma attached to being a single mom that they must deal with, they also have to play the role of the father and provider at the same time. They don't have any help bringing up their child, unless they're one of the few fortunate ones who happen to live with their huge/joint family where their sisters or aunts help them take care of their baby.
I think there should be a separate Mother's Day just dedicated to single moms :)
And while we're on this topic, I would also like to mention and wish all the single moms who are not in possession of their children a belated Mother's Day as well. Sometimes our patriarchal Mizo customary law can be brutal, especially when a divorced mom does not have possession of her baby.
I admit I will never know the pain of carrying a living being inside my body for 9 months, and after an excruciating child birth, spend sleepless nights nurturing that baby, only to see the baby slip away from my grip after a divorce. I can never experience that, but I can sympathize and understand the level of agony single moms who lose custody of their baby must experience.
I don't understand why some of us don't want to discuss this in public. It's not something we should sweep under the rug and turn the other way. Our state has the highest divorce rate in India, ergo it is bound to have the highest number of single moms per capita than any other state. Not to mention the high rate of children born out of wedlock. The question is, what are we doing about it? Rather than help them cope with societal pressures, we label them with undesirable names and stereotypes.
I've recently seen a single mom cry, weep her hearts out, all because she had to complete her degree while her parents looked after her baby in Mizoram. She just kept looking at photographs of her baby on her phone as tears streamed down her cheeks. Another dear friend of mine was admitted in the hospital. Her ex didn't even take their son to visit her at the hospital, that too on Mother's Day. She texted me to say she was fine, but I could feel her messages, stained with teardrops and pain.
So to all you single mommas out there, here is a very big (and tad belated) Happy Mother's Day. Hugz.
Keep rocking. Know that nobody is stronger than you are.
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