“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children”- Jessica Lange
Being a mother is most beautiful feeling in the world. It is an incredible journey of learning about strength you did not know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.
But another side, motherhood is equally challenging too. Being a mother means being selfless and showering unconditional love to your family. It also means to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own. It is an incredible journey of serving others with uttermost love, care and joy.
In fact, many times during this journey of serving and caring others,
“Moms lost their individual identity. They are so busy in taking care of others that they forget to take-care of themselves. They complete their never-ending mothering duties selflessly. They do their best without taking any break and never make a complaint or demand for their selfless love and care.
But where this journey of selfless love reaches at the end?
Do they receive any reward for their self-less love?
Do they get much deserve love, care and respect that they had showered for their family for longer years?
Read the post to know more about this thought in a story
“Reward of self-less love”- A usual story of Indian mom!
It was Sharda’s fourth surgery in the last 4 year. She was lying down in the hospital bed with an expressionless face. Grey hair, sunken eyes, wrinkled face……she was looking more shell-shocked than usual. She was trying to hide her injured soul with a fake beautiful smile.
“Surgery will be a complicated one. She is allergic to antibiotics and had asthma since last 10 years; we need to take an extra care during and after surgery.” Doctor’s anxious voice has awakened her from a half sleepy state.
“All right doctor, we will do that” her father-in-law has said in a sympathetic tone.
But as soon as the doctor left the room, his sympathetic tone has changed into an angry one.
“It is entirely your fault. We are tired from your sickness.
“Why do not you take care of yourself?” he asked her with a frustrating tone of voice.
Sharda was quiet and she has not answered any questions of her father-in-law. but plenty of memories of past flashed through her mind. She was recalling all those moments that has changed her life forever.
It was 25 years ago when she got married. And this marriage had changed her life completely. She had a complete transformation from a pampered girl to a “responsible bahu”. She still remembers that overwhelming feeling of being most responsible person of her family and taking a sudden pressure of handling multiple family responsibilities.
In this new journey (and new role), she had missed the comforting presence of her parents all the time.
She was trying hard to fulfil the demands and expectations from all family members with her best efforts. From early morning to late night a long never-ending list of household tasks exhausted her completely. In spite of her best efforts, whenever she commits a tiny mistake, they (in laws) used to complain bitterly.
“Why do not you do anything properly” to “your mom did not teach you anything”. These kinds of conversation were part of her day-to-day life.
She knew that overload of responsibilities ruining her health. It seriously wounded her self-feeling and unconsciously led her in a state of constant psychological pressure. Her confidence has shaken by this family stress. She had lost 10 kg weight during the first year of her married life. She knew that,
“She should take care of herself and she has tried to do that. But……”
“Aunty please takes this medicine” by hearing nurse’s voice she returned to the present moment. She was feeling that world keep pilling the troubles on top of her head.
Suddenly bunches of neighbors (mostly females) appeared in her room. After a formal greeting, very soon they had started the usual but annoying conversation.
“Oh! Again, a surgery” one has said.
“It is fourth one right” next, has said.
And lastly, almost in a synchronized tone they had said: “Why do not you take care of yourself”.
This time, Sharda was feeling a little more upset, again the past memories of old days began to flood back into her mind. She had remembered when she was struggling with her physical condition after 2 miscarriages. These so-called neighboring well-wishers always make taunt on her, by saying,
“ Ab to shadi ko 2 saal ho gaye. Kab good news sunaogi?”
A constant pressure from society and family for having a baby was disturbing her life.
Family was trying their all-possible efforts to make this happen.
From intrusive testing to high dose medication, Sharda went through lots of things. She knew that her physical condition is not good for being pregnant.
She was aware that “before being a mom, she should take care of herself, But….”
“It is dinner time mam” And your kids are waiting to meet you. A sudden voice of housekeeper brings back her in the present. “Oh! My kids, Sagar and Somya, I want to meet them right now. She breaks down into tears as she has hugged her kids.
“I was waiting for both of you since morning” she has said with an optimistic approach.
“Yes! Mom, we are feeling really worried about your health. Why this is happening again and again”?
And after some formal conversation, she has received the same piece of advice. “Why do not you take care of yourself“, this time, she was completely shuttered with the statement. She had thought that kids would understand her pain, her emotions, but……
The earliest cherished memories to the toughest moment of motherhood crawled in her mind.
How can she forget that after a long fertility treatment when she became a mom of her pretty princess Somya, it was the happiest moment of her life, and very soon with the grace of god Sagar was born.
It was the happiest but most challenging time of her life. She was deeply engaged in completing her multiple mothering responsibilities. Their education, health…and never-ending responsibilities of being a mommy of two young kids was overwhelming for her. But she has done her best to take care of her kids.
In between, she had her first asthma attack. The attack was so severe, she had decided to take a natural therapy for that, but it requires her to stay in “Treatment center” for a while.
“No, mom it is our exam time. You cannot go anywhere. You had to stay with us.” She had cancelled her all-treatment plans after hearing just one innocent request from Somya and Sagar.
After that, she has tried hard to follow a special diet and exercise schedule for improving her health but every time multiple family responsibilities created an obstacle in her path.
“Mom, please help me in this assignment”
“Mom, please cook something new”
And never-ending demands and expectation from all family members were putting a constant pressure on her health. She had always kept her duties and responsibilities above than her well-being and health. She has done all these without having any feeling of regrets.
She has always felt an immense sense of satisfaction and joy while serving her family.
But today when she was going through a “hardest phase” of her life, she was feeling alone, very alone….
“Sharda, it is time to go in O.T. are you ready?” this time, Suresh (Her husband) has aroused her from the past memories.
“Hu…you will not tell me, something” she has asked him.
“Do not get afraid, everything will be fine” he had consoled her.
She has felt a bit of relaxation, but within few minutes when she was getting ready to enter in O.T., she has heard the agonizing words,
“Are! Bhai whole day, household tasks…. she did not take care of herself” Suresh was saying the same thing to his elder brother.
It was the most panic moment for Sharda.
She has done lots of sacrifices for her husband and family. From handling economic pressure to losing his job, she has helped him in each and every moment of life. She has always given an unconditional love and care to him without making any complaint or unusual demands.
Since morning, when everyone (in-laws, neighbors, relatives…. even her own kids) had disappointed her, with a same piece of advice, she was waiting for Suresh with a ray of hope.
She had thought that her “life partner” would be the only person, who will understand her situation. She was believing that he will understand the real reason, why she wouldn’t be able to take care of herself? But unfortunately, nobody was with her. She was feeling isolated, she was feeling lonely…
Sharda is waiting for the surgeons on the operation table. She had numerous thoughts in her mind. first time in her life, she had felt a sense of regret for the things that she has done in her life. She was rethinking why she had always put her responsibilities above than herself. is this the reward for her “Selfless love”?
After few minutes, doctors took her to operation theater.
As soon as Sharda entered into operation theatre, her father-in-law was the first person who had realized his mistake. He regrets that “I should not talk with her in a disrespectful tone of voice.”
Sharda has taken care of all of us for so many years with so much love and dedication. He has said to Suresh and felt a sense of regret for his behavior.
“Yes papa, it was not the time for offering the advice, she needs our love and affection”, Suresh replied.
In next room, Somya and Sagar were talking the same thing. “Mom has done lots of sacrifices for our well-being”. Now, this time it is our duty to take care of her. Now they all are realizing the fact,
“Why she wouldn’t be able to take care of herself”
Now, they all made a promise to each other that, they will give her a much deserve respect, love and care to Sharda.
After few hours, Sharada came from OT. All family members have hugged her and said, “Please accept our heartfelt apology, we are so sorry for our behavior”.
This was an unexpected and pleasant surprise for Sharda. She has said nothing but the tears rolled down from her eyes.
Today was happiest day of her life and she has received a beautiful reward for her selfless love.
Though this story is a work of fiction, but inspired by a real-life incidence. I believe, this could be a story of any mom who always put her family & responsibilities above than herself, and at the end, suffer from poor physical and mental health due to constant pressure and lack of family support.
So, I want to give a message with this story, that
“Moms, Its not selfish to love yourself. take care of yourself and to make your happiness a priority, if you want to give light others, you have to glow yourself first”.
Also, I want to convey a humble request to all,
” As a daughter/son, many times we take our parents’ love and care for granted and forget to give them much deserve, love and respect for their support. so, take out some time from them and give them a beautiful reward for their selfless love as your time. they truly deserve it”.
PS- This is my first attempt to write fiction. please be kind.