I read a newspaper article with the title 'You need to be a mean mother'. My immediate reaction was surprise. Mean! How can a mother be mean? But as I went on reading, I slowly began to reconcile with but many facts given therein. The only difference between now and then is that I am a mother now. And now I have understood what it meant.
When it comes to the word 'mother', synonyms like love, patience, selflessness etc. come to one's mind automatically. Even if her child is at its worst childish behaviour, a mother is supposed to be calm and loving.
But is it the same when a child is up to risky activities and unhealthy habits? Yes, she is supposed to react calmly and sternly.
Saints have said that they regarded women more than man because women can be mothers, capable of giving birth to life. And I would invariably think of my mother, the most patient women I have ever met in my life. She would run miles after me if I forgot my lunch pack while I hastily left home. And she was the only one who would curse the weather if I got drenched in rains while other people were busy taking me to task for being irresponsible and not carrying an umbrella.
And yet, despite all this, sometimes mom would behave very strictly with me over some very unimportant things, or so I thought, without giving any explanation. More often than not, I would be shocked at her 'un-motherly' behaviour.
Today I am myself a mother; and there are many times when my infant prefers playing at meal time while I insist feeding her food anticipating her hunger and end up force-feeding her. When she is sick and does not want to take medicines, I coax her into taking them either by being angry or pulling her mouth open. And I feel paid off when I see my kid fully recovered and smiling!