HOW WE CAN HELP MAKE OUR MOM’S LIFE A LITTLE BETTER
My mother is going to have a school reunion this week and I have never seen her happier. As I was having a conversation with her about her school I saw her eyes beaming with happiness. She kept talking about how she and her friends were free as birds back in school and they did what they felt like without thinking of any circumstances that would follow up. Taking a pause she told me, “You know you should write about us, we’re important and we deserve to be heard too. So write about us.”
I wondered how we actually do love our mothers but how little attention we pay to their mental health or make efforts to make it better. We flood the internet with pictures on Mother’s day but what do we actually do to make her smile?
Our mothers have given up a lot for a lot of people, have gone through a lot of pain,
physically and mentally. They have learnt the art of concealing their pain with their beautiful smiles.
They are going through a stage which is explained by Eric Erikson’s Psycho-Social Theory where they juggle between generativity and stagnation. They might also be going through something called ‘mid-life crisis’ and not find anyone to talk to about it.
Watching their kids grow up into adults and leave the home to settle into their own independent lives might be the reason for a lot of separation anxiety for our mothers.
Mothers who have stayed at home taking care of us from the beginning might not be able to cope well with loneliness.
Biologically too, they will be going through “Menopause” which results in a lot of mood swings and difficult thoughts. Understanding this could be difficult for the person who is going through this and the person who might be living with a person going through it.
She’s your mother, you know her. You have grown up under her wings, you have seen her smile and seen her cry. You know what makes her happy. Even if you live far away from her, if you want, you can bring a smile on her face. Few things that you can do to make her smile are:
1. Talk: There is almost nothing on earth that talking cannot solve. Take time out from your busy schedule and make that phone call or just drop a surprise visit back home, she will acknowledge your efforts. Little things can make mothers happy, make efforts to fulfil those little wishes. Talk to her every day, listening to your voice every day will make her satisfied. Share your problems with her and make her feel included in your life. Even if she cannot be of help there, she can surely hear it.
2. Encourage: Mothers are precious and they are selfless enough to have sacrificed their dreams and aspirations for us. But make them realize that things aren’t over yet and their dreams, not dead yet. Encourage them to continue whatever they left, help them, encourage them to do what they love to do. Talk to them about giving time to themselves and nurturing herself as she nurtured you. Do as much as you can to fulfil her dreams just like she did for you.
3. Be patient: Remember, “Menopause” plays tricks on women’s’ bodies. From mood swings to handling difficult emotions, they’re living with chaos in their bodies. What can you do to comfort her? Be patient. Listen to what she says, talk to her, calm her down and refrain from answering back at her. Keeping her self-confidence up by helping her do what she loves to do and giving her an immense amount of affection, should make her feel better.
4. A dip of nostalgia: Take her back to the old times, help her reunite with old friends or cherish the old memories by flipping the pages of the photo album together. Take her back to the days she had nothing to worry about, nothing to be responsible for, nobody but just her. Nothing is as soothing as listening to your mother and her friends savour those memories from school. Let her laugh and cherish that laughter.
5. Breaks: Encourage her to take breaks and explain to her the importance of taking breaks. Years of handling work and home can make them workaholics, hence persuade them to go on that “All Girls Trip” or just enjoy a few days without any work alone in peace. They deserve it. Let her wander peacefully in her comfort zones or encourage her to step out of it, whichever brings out the most happiness in her.
Always remember that little things matter. A phone call, a surprise visit, a small word of appreciation, a warm hug or even a delivery of love, everything matters. Each of these things can make your mother’s smile and her soul rejoice. So pick up that phone and talk to her, tell her how much you love her. Compliment her on the food she made for you, or tell her to organize a school reunion with her friends, and then what you’ll see will be magic.