Following are some of the many things that only those who had a working mom while growing up will relate to.
1. You learned the value of staying disciplined like no one else
You never asked for ‘2 more minutes’ when she woke you up in the morning for school. You always greeted guests with a respectful ‘namaste’ and never back talked. Yes, good manners are innate in you. So much so, that the words ‘sorry’, ‘thank you’ and ‘can I’ are always resting on the tip of your tongue, ready to tumble out, the moment someone does the slightest of favour for you.
2. You were always independent at heart
You ironed your school dress by yourself, did your homework by yourself, and had independent opinions.
3. You know the importance of family
You made the most of the little time that you got to spend with each other. It was those little times that made for memorable moments. And it was those memorable moments that kept your love in the family strongly intact.
4. You had no other option but to be tough
So you fell sick in school and they sent you back to home. Your mom spoke to you on the phone to say, “It will be fine and I will be home soon.” Meanwhile, you took care of yourself, on that day, and on many other days.
School days were always hard. One time they pestered you to the extent that it broke you down. But she could not show up to sort your issues. So you solved the issue by yourself, on that day, and on many other days.
But do you regret it now? You have grown up a tough person. You can handle the worst of problems without needing your mom’s help.
Now, you save her help only when it comes to oiling hair.
5. She taught you to fight, in just the right manner
For you, being a rebel was not about wearing the virtual armor that automatically deflected the stones that were thrown at you. It was about finding reasons and reacting accordingly.
She taught you to speak up when it was not your fault. She taught you to accept and learn lessons when It Was your fault. She explained that in order to be tough, you never have to be harsh. She urged you to raise voice for whosoever or whatever demands it. But, also to be nice everywhere else.
It was something she practiced very well at her workplace and passed on the wisdom to us.
6. She made you fix your mistakes by yourself
She never stood by you when you made blunders. She made you repent and learn and improve, all by yourself. And this practice of blundering-learning-improving helped you develop a clear view of the right and the wrong.
7. You learned to be responsible
Your mom held the responsibility of two jobs. The job that she worked for strangers facilitated her second job of putting the food on the table for the family. And mothers are humble. They will never let you acknowledge the hard work with which they raised you.
But, making your favourite kadhi-chawal while your dirty clothes happily spun in the washing machine and doing all this while pleading you to quickly change, is quite a task that deserves applause. And more so because she multi-tasked with absolute precision. Rice never burnt (okay most times at least), you never wore dirty clothes to school, and you always quickly (after a lot of yellings that is) changed!
And seeing her manage double life so smoothly made you grow into a responsible person. Now don’t you hate it when you get late from home to work and from work to home? Don’t you hate it when your friends borrow money and never return? Don’t you hate it when work does not get finished? Don’t you cry a little INSIDE when you lose your belongings?
Yes, you do!
8. You feel very strongly about gender equality
Growing up under the shade of a working mom, you could never really understand the whole deal about women being inferior to men, or women hating men. The outside world said it a lot, but our moms juggling double lives and our fathers supporting them in every which way they could; made us believe in gender equality.
9. You gained a better perspective of the ills that continue to thrive in society
They told your mother that she did a mistake by working when you were a kid. But you know your mom more than they ever did. She is a super mom who followed her heart and did what she wanted to. But what she never did was compromise on her love and attention for you irrespective of how much insane her work drove her. She was always interested in your report cards, she was always interested in knowing what’s going on in your life. She was (and is) always there for you.
Thanks to your mom, now you know reaching for stars is one’s personal wish. You also know about the importance of hitting the success mark without leaving your close ones behind. And about the society passing judgments, you never give a tiny rat’s ass.
10. She is your inspiration
If you are a working person now, you will know this. It is not easy sitting through the office yet sustaining the sanity of mind. But she did. She was an iron lady who inculcated all the things mentioned above (and many more) in you while battling work stress all the time. And today, you are proud of her. And not because she managed to stuff poha in your tiffin box while giving Mrs. Gomes directions to the Goddamn file in her office, on the phone. But because, despite all her crazy work-home lifestyle, she managed to raise you right!
It goes unsaid that life of a working mother is no cakewalk but definitely, praiseworthy. She was not always there to give you shade when the Sun scorched you, she was not always there to hold your bicycle from behind when you first learned to balance, but she was there…
…To let the Sun kiss you and teach you, it is okay to suffer once in a while because only then will you learn to carry an umbrella;
To let you fall because how else would you have learned to get back up and ride away, all on your own and without support.
She was there to make sure that’s how you grow! And now you are a perfect mini version of her.