While the one-day celebration might be a special thing to few moms, there are few others who maintain that it’s a commercial gimmick.
The Mother’s Day concept will be turning 99 years old since American President Woodrow Wilson signed the petition to bring it into effect in 1914. In modern times, the day is engulfed with a clout of new age consumerism where the day is just incomplete without greeting cards, chocolates, flowers or even spa indulgences for moms. Ironically, the inventor of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, was in favour of honoring mothers and not buying things for mothers. It is said that she regretted having this day as it went beyond her capacity and became a commercialized observance.
Media buzz has made Mother’s Day a chosen date for gifting as a thanks-giving activity. Adding to the popularity are enterprises that are cashing in on the hype – florists, restaurants, jewellery stores, activity centres, maternity hospitals, online shopping sites, baby stores, health products manufacturers and surely a few more will contribute to the glitz with their activities for moms and even would-be-moms.
But did our moms know of such special days when we were young? No, this is the celebration of new age moms in urban India. Though, of course, my mom and her peers in the last few years, have asked me how I felt on Mother’s Day and I wasn’t sure whether it made me happy or ignore it altogether as just another trend.
Says Nandini Hirianniah, an entrepreneur and mom to four year old Sanaa, “I think the mother-child relationship is beyond any of these marketing exercises. My daughter’s smile is an acknowledgement of my being. Her shaping up to be a confident individual who can make the right decisions for herself is in itself my celebration of being a mom. She is unaware of the concept of Mother’s Day right now. But when I see the love and gratitude in her eyes every day, that becomes the most fulfilling aspect of my being a mother”.
Echoing a similar view, says Roopa Rangaswamy, mom to ten year old Khushi, “The challenges faced by today’s kids are varied and far too many. Mothers have to be equipped to play the role of a friend, teacher, mentor and many roles rolled into one. In my opinion, Mother’s day is a big hype as you do not need a specific day to communicate your love to your mother. Relationships are built, managed and communicated on a daily basis and I think such single-day celebrations are a sham.”
But not all moms are against the celebration. Says Leela Gaur Sharma, a financial analyst and mom to six-month-old Tanya, “I am glad we celebrate it, even though it has traditionally not been part of Indian culture. I think people in India are less expressive. So, if this day is made to celebrate one of nature’s most beautiful relationships, why not? It was on one such Mother’s Day that my brother got a perfume for my mother and it made her feel really special. It gives people opportunities to express their love. Regarding the hype over a specific day, why complain when just about everything is marketed today? And as it is, consumers, including growing kids these days, are mature enough to understand what is suitable for them.”
Dr Bhavana B, Corporate Relations Manager, a mother to growing sons Vivikth and Vishnu, feels glad about the day being marked as a recognition for mothers’ unconditional love. Says she, “The word ‘mother’ is often the first one to be used by most of us during happiness, sorrows, or any other emotions involved. Being a mom to today’s Gen Y kids has taken a new meaning unlike the earlier times. Today, one needs to stay updated and match the expectations of children. If we have a dedicated Mother’s Day celebration, it definitely adds value and cheer.”
A visibly hands-on full-time mother Geeta Chopra, a mom to three daughters, Sonali, Sejal, and Diti, who are triplets and are a little over two and half years, says, “Nature blessed me with three kids and that too together! I really understand how challenging, every minute, it is to be a mom. Occasions such as Mother’s day are good as it makes me feel very special. We have our own celebration at home, with the kids and my husband, and it definitely relaxes me”.
A lot of internet sites are brimming with content on what gifts to choose for moms or ideas that can make your mother feel happy.
Growing in parallel are opinions from moms and bloggers who reckon pre-packaged days are a passé. Many believe that if you want to express your love to your mother or wife, there is no need to hold on until Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Rather, gifting and celebrating on personal occasions like your wedding anniversary or your mom’s birthday would be more natural.
It’s also that due to the hype reflected through mass media like television and nespapers or magazines, a lot of teenagers get fascinated with the Mother’s Day concept.
Defending her stance, says a thirteen old Harshita, “I love Mother’s Day. Mothers around the world are always highly stressed and do so much for their families. Occasions like these make them feel special. So why not take it in the positive spirit? But yes, there’s no need to be upset if your son or daughter didn’t wish you on Mother’s Day, it’s no big deal.”
In all the glitz and celebrations that will be held tomorrow across the city, perhaps you can think of celebrating the day in a unique manner that can make you and your mom feel happy. No matter what age you are, many of you are lucky to have a soul who understands, accepts, and lends a shoulder whenever you want.
So in case you want to make your mom feel good, here are some gestures she would appreciate:
* Write a personal letter to your Mom. (Anna Jarvis – the founder of modern day Mother’s Day wanted children to write letters and not really buy cards or flowers)
* Spend the Sunday with your Mom, helping her with the chores. This would be a great gift as her daily routine is otherwise taken for granted.
* Sit down to talk to her to know what makes her happy and try to bring one change in yourself that can make her feel good about you.
The article was published in Living supplement of Deccan Herald on May 11th 2013 (on the eve of Mother’s day).