Thursday, December 9, 2010

A homemaker and her mood swings

My mother, a homemaker, just. I have never admired the effort she gave to keep a neat and clear flowery and fruitful garden, the three to five course lunches and dinners with no repeats and additionally the breakfasts (seldom cornflakes and milk) and evening snacks she kept putting on the table for a family of five for years. The endless number of buttons she had sewed on our school uniforms or other dresses. The table covers, sweaters, the art works she had made just to define the place with four walls which we called home. The endless questions she had answered each time asked by her three kids.  She never complained when every three years my father would announce his transfer (posting we used to say) to yet another unknown city. She absorbed it all.  

I never noticed the effort went behind those as a kid/teenager but, I always noticed those  mood swings she went through occasionally. I noted the cringes on her forehead when she had to straighten the bed cover umpteenth time. I reverted back with resistance on seeing the cloud in her face when I demanded to go to a friends house living in the other end of the city. I never failed to notice the irritation on her face when in spite of having an exam the next day, I would switch on the Television. I  observed the ultimate desperation on her face when my father on some evenings after coming back from his work would casually ask "What were you doing today?" My mother would just firmly comment "I don't have papers to show you what I did." 

I an ignorant teenager then would easily generalize that mothers mean mood swings. They are always angry. They are always there to say 'no'. They can never get the jokes. They are always serious. I decided in my mind I will be different, much much different, I will be a funny wife, a friendly mother (how? by allowing my kids to watch TV whole day I guess!) and a smart woman.

Years have passed, I am years into being a wife and a mother, I enter in and out of home making on my will. After two days of cooking two times a day, I die for a takeaway or eating out. I seldom sew any buttons (thanks to to the zippers they put now a days on clothes), I don't believe in straightening  the bed covers and they remain crumpled and ugly many hours a day, all our table covers and show pieces are ready made,  I complain each time we need to move or relocate houses or places. Dare any one ask me on the end of the day (when I am at home) about what I did the whole day! My daughter hates me when I take the remote and switch the TV off after an hour of her watching.  She gets off crying and complaining  "You are always in a bad mood".
Standing with the remote in my hand then, all the underlying efforts of my mother becomes bare in front of me. All those thankless efforts she has given just as a homemaker, to keep her home effortlessly ongoing. 

I suddenly start to identify a home maker and her mood swings.


  1. And....the sad part of it is that along with the society (indian)the homemaker also thinks is actually a thankless job and worth nothing....while in reality it is not!!!Managing a family is of course a full time job and she deserves a gr8 appreciation & treat too....

  2. di aap writer ban jao, bahot accha likhti ho

  3. Exactly Haimanti, I don't know if that is ever going to change as work of a homemaker does not get filed, ranked or even looked upon sometimes.
    Pawan, thanks you for your encouragement!

  4. Such a thoughtful piece........beautifully written!!!

  5. but the best thing despite it all is when your kids comes to you and say,"I LOVE YOU MOM".

  6. we will be rewarded when our kids are educated and settled.. i know homemaking is the most difficult and complicated job in the world..but imagine when our kids are gone out for higher studies or even later busy with their own family....nobody will be there to tell us mom i hate your cooking...i sometime really get scared thinking of that lonely life ahead....rather i love to do all this thankless job everyday for rest of my life....

  7. I think women tend to guilt-trip themselves about everything in their life...more so the generation that has more choice. We're afraid, at some level, to exercise those choices because the previous generation of women were more accepting of these issues (though many were resentful too). I'd say we should quit trying to be so perfect all the time.