“I’ll get it Amma…”
The snippet was part of some inane conversation in the morning as we bustled around getting ready for school and work. I would have missed it had it not been for the funny flips my heart did when I heard Amma instead of mommy.
Motherhood, for me, is the destination of a hard traversed path. I have never insisted that my children call me by any specific moniker. I refer to myself as Amma when I talk to them. I have mostly been called mama, mommy, mom and an occasional Amma by my children.
Yet, today, it hit hard. The nonchalance with which it slid out. I held on to it, feeling the cadence of her voice as she said it. I replayed it in my head many times over.
Mother’s Day approaches yet again as is evident from solicitations in my inbox for various themed events. Most years, I look forward to the hand made cards and cheesy poems my children bring home.
This year, I feel weary. The burden of motherhood rests heavy on my shoulders. Most days, I wake up feeling inadequate. I should sit with my kids more, help them learn, teach them skills. The “should have”, “could have” things in my head guilt me. I am resentful that I have to wake every single weekday before 5:00 am to make sure food is ready and packed, iPads charged and put in their school bags, water bottles filled and inserted into side pockets.
I am tired of the endless laundry, the washing, drying, folding and the constant cries of “My shoes do not fit” or “I don’t have clothes to wear to school.”
I am resentful each day when I have to break away from work to attend to physical needs, to fetch towels, to watch that they are not wasting too much water, to ensure that they are wearing weather appropriate clothes.
A part of me wants to let go, to let them struggle. There is a part of me that realizes that “normal” is a funny word. Things that work with one child do not work with another. Some days, I dream of taking a break from it all. I dream of waking up sans alarm without the crushing weight of expectations I set on myself.
I want to spend days luxuriating on things that have nothing to do with anyone but myself. I want to selfishly guard my person and my time and cherish the glory of nothingness.
Yet, I know as Mother’s Day rolls around, I will get caught up in appreciating the things I do have. I will wallow in the love that is painstakingly handwritten and colored in. I will stand for hours in front of the stove, meticulously fold clothes, shop online for more clothes and order multiple sizes in shoes to account for the ones that do not fit. I will fill those water bottles, pack those lunches, charge those damned devices and fill in reams of forms each year.
I will do it all. Over and over, until I am no longer mothering in the active tense.