Sorting out what’s important to us is such a challenge. Look at any stage of your life, at any time in your life, and look back on your life, and you will realise just how difficult it is to know, and have clarity in life, yet one thing never changes. Just think about it. When you are a newborn baby, the things that are important to you are Mama, Mama and Mama. Mama is the source of food, warmth and comfort. At best, Baba can only satisfy two of those needs, and there can never be any substitute for a mother’s love can there? You can imagine it……. Baby thinking, “Mama, I’m cold.” Or, “Mama, I’m hungry.” Mama, “Oh baby, come to Mama.” While Baba will simply take the baby to Mama.
When you are toddler stage, and early childhood, it’s all about wanting to do things, but those little arms and legs won’t work the way they should, and there are falls and disappointment, maybe even skinned knees and elbows. Baba will say “Get up, it didn’t really hurt,” and “you’ll learn.” Providing practical life support, and life lessons, but it’s Mama who cuddles you and makes you feel better about yourself. Baba’s words are for the reflective time, later, but Mama is the now.
Childhood and adolescence morph together so quickly, and while maybe not seamlessly, are redolent with one very key, global element, as the “Can I?’ and “I want to…” questions take on a dominant perspective in parent communications, and these paragons of youth embark on a policy of asking Dad first (about anything). Boys ask Dad first because they want to be recognised as equals, while girls ask Dads first because daughters can twist fathers around their little finger. But both have Mum as a ‘surefire’ solution if ‘Plan A’ doesn’t work.
By that time, your children have grown up, have independent thoughts and opinions, have rationalised their religious and academic perspectives, and have a significant focus on very different life sectors. Most of the young men will focus on phones, football or cars, while the young women will become devotees of phones, fashion, labels, brands and style. The latter not out of vanity, but wishing to present themselves as a credit to their family, especially their Dad.
Also maybe, “because they deserve it.” These are the very same young women who will wake up one day and think, “My goodness Mum, you were right about everything.” These young women though, at this age, still know how to manipulate their Dads, comfortable in the knowledge that Dads will treasure and protect their daughters always, and woe betide anyone who upsets that dynamic. On the other hand, the young men, having established themselves in their father’s eyes as the ‘next big thing’, are content to play football, or cruise around in their cars.
So now, anything daughters want, they go to Dad, who, have you ever noticed they still call Baba when they want something? Meantime, the boys go to Mum, because Mums know their boys will leave them soon to go to ‘another woman’. She may be the perfect ‘other woman,’ that daughter-in-law, but she will always be the one who took ‘Mama’s little boy’ away.
And we wonder why Mums sometimes deserve flowers or chocolates. The reality which we men should recognise more often is apparent every evening. Mums will: Pick up the kids toys, clean up the empty chip packets, put the cups and glasses in the dishwasher, pick up stray clothing lying around, throw them into, and start the washing machine, make sure that the whole household has clean clothes for the morning, brush her teeth and prepare for bed, fold down the bed and, saying a brief prayer, will retire till tomorrow.
Dad, he will go to bed!
Food for thought huh!
Mums aren’t only for Mother’s Day.