What it Means to be a Supermom?

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“Definition of supermom: an exemplary mother; also :a woman who performs the traditional duties of housekeeping and child-rearing while also having a full-time job”

 

Last month a wonderful full-time mom of a toddler was sent this excerpt from Merriam Webster Dictionary because she chooses to call herself ‘a supermom’ despite being a ‘stay-at-home-parent’ and hence, the sender wanted to educate her better on the definition of ‘supermom’.

 

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Now the mom in question; she is kind of mother who spends hours playing, teaching new things to her baby. Literally! The toddler who has just turned three is almost ready to start reading (that tells extent of her involvement in child’s life). She’s educated, a professionally qualified woman who choses to sit at home and be there for her child instead of leaving him to servants/day cares.

 

Being an only daughter of her parents, she was spoiled rotten while growing up and wouldn’t even pick a glass of water herself to drink. But as a mom, she cooks homemade puddings and soups, has shifted her routine, changed her life style to suit that of her child’s. And she’s not someone who enjoys sitting at home and just taking care of a child. She has aspirations. She has ambitions to fly and do stuff of her own. She would like to pursue her professional career. She would like to go outside and make a mark of her own. But there is this child who needs her more. And she is happy just being a mother at the time. The initial years of a child’s life are so crucial. Those are the years which form child’s basic character.

 
“It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters. We become enamored with men’s theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother’s influence. Too often the pressure for popularity, on children and teens, places an economic burden on the income of the father, so mother feels she must go to work to satisfy her children’s needs. That decision can be most shortsighted. It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness. How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!”
― Ezra Taft Benson

 
The biggest sacrifice is the one when the best thing a woman could do is to go outside in the world and do wonderful things of her own but instead, she chooses to sit at home and gets another human being ready for doing wonderful things. As an educated, a professionally qualified person, I understand how hard it could be for an educated woman to choose that path solely for well-being of a tiny new life.

 
I’m also a full-time mother and I love being a one. I have Masters in Business Administration, have B.Sc. and also B.Ed. But I love staying at home and just being lazy. I enjoy cooking and baking, keeping my house clean, be there for my kids when they come back from school, and I’m addicted to words, to books and sunny days; the simplest things as I’m a simple person and for which I have been taunted, laughed at. Did those taunts make any difference to me? No, not at all! Because the people who utters those things, I understand, are definitely narrow…sort of pig-headed (Guess what? They are raised by a full-time mom!What a shame!).

 

 

Now I don’t think I’m sacrificing anything by being a stay-at-home parent because I take comfort, take pride in being the one. But I know there are many others who would rather go outside and pursue a professional career. And those full-time moms are the ones who make the biggest sacrifices when they choose to sit at home, take care of their children and be happy.

 

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Now if we come back to earlier definition of ‘Super Mom’ in Merriam Webster Dictionary, a thing to note is that all Merriam-Webster dictionaries trace their lineage to Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, which is an American company that publishes reference books.

 
In 1960s, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) had gathered increasing support with the rise of the women’s movement. ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters (*source wiki). It was reintroduced in 1971 and passed both houses of Congress in 1972. That’s when it was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification.

 
The word “supermom” was used for the first time in 1974. Its origin in post second-wave feminism society of 1970s United States at the time when women’s career-oriented way of life was trending, was not merely a chance occurrence. The majority of the women in those times viewed the pursuit of a professional career along with managing traditional homemaker’s duties as a challenge.

 
According to Collins Dictionary, the word “supermom” stands for an extremely capable and busy mother.”

 
Definition of ‘supermom’ in Collins is more in context with today’s times. The pressure on women- to prove themselves professionally no longer exists (superwomen squeeze), especially, in developed countries nor does the ‘superwoman syndrome’ and ‘superwoman complex’; where a woman has high expectations from herself that she can and should do everything.

 

But sadly, the closed-minded people out there lack the ability to understand this kind of concept; the very simple fact that every mother: working or not, is indeed a ‘supermom’. Poor bigots!

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic poems under her pen name Avira N.

AVAILABLE AS E BOOK & PAPERBACK ON

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“We Need to Talk About Kevin” – A Powerful Book About Ugly Things

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“You can only subject people to anguish who have a conscience. You can only punish people who have hopes to frustrate or attachments to sever; who worry what you think of them. You can really only punish people who are already a little bit good.”

― Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Those lines summarize the whole personality of Lionel Shriver’s protagonist Kevin in We Need to Talk About Kevin.

“Had I catalogued the downsides of parenthood, “son might turn out to be a killer” would never have turned up on the list.”

What happens when you give birth to a child who doesn’t have any conscience, any emotion to speak of, and who is downright evil? You got to recognise the abnormality and get medical help (that’s the best one can do as a parent). But, in ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’, Eva Khatchadourian despite recognising the tell-tale signs, failed to do anything about it and lost everything that was life. Franklin, on the other hand, seemed blindly oblivious to his son’s faults and failed to see the things shaping toward a doomed end. Kevin, he was evil: born that way. Some kind of medical help could have helped him (or may be not). But Eva, I disliked her as a mother: for being so cold and aloof; for seeing Kevin for what he was and not doing a single thing about that. Although, in the end my heart cried for her as well (what else a mother could have done?).

 

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If you are a parent, do read it. Once, at least. But I warn you it is a powerful book about ugly things – difficult, depressing, dark, and soul-dampening. It will stay with you for a long time.

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic poems under her pen name Avira N.

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Thomas Hardy – The beauty of his writing and the gloom

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My first book by Hardy was Tess of the d’Urbervilles and the last one Jude the Obscure and then I knew I wouldn’t read another Hardy for a long time.

During late 1800’s, Thomas Hardy was the sole British author who dared to tackle several sensitive issues in his novels like sexual morality, legal status and holiness of marriage, the loss of religious faith, a person’s lone struggle to fight the isolation when he/she choses to go against the larger, accepted social norms (Sue in Jude the Obscure). I admired Sue Bridehead in Jude the Obscure for her unconventional ways but that was the extent of my admiration. His protagonists are born with bad luck and they carry it throughout their life with them like a lucky charm. In normal stories, some bad happens and people learn from their failures and rise again. In Hardy’s books, if something bad happens, you got to keep a box of tissues ready because that’s just the beginning. The worst is going to arrive soon and Hardy wouldn’t stop at that; Hardy is not the type of guy who would just stop at the glass half empty. He has to empty the glass completely.

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Despite loving his writing, his honest elucidations on things, I couldn’t just take anymore of his gloomy reflections on life, on love, on everything. But his poems…I love these. They are lovely. Maybe because a poem is so short and in a few, plain words explains all that which seems totally inexplicable!

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Here are three of my favourites.

A bleak take on love and a doomed relationship, Neutral Tones is a Thomas Hardy in every way —beautiful and soulful.

Neutral Tones

We stood by a pond that winter day,

And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,

And a few leaves lay on the starving sod,

—They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.

 

Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove

Over tedious riddles solved years ago;

And some words played between us to and fro—

On which lost the more by our love.

 

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing

Alive enough to have strength to die;

And a grin of bitterness swept thereby

Like an ominous bird a-wing….

 

Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,

And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me

Your face, and the God-curst sun, and a tree,

And a pond edged with grayish leaves.

………………………….

‘Thoughts of Phena, At News of Her Death’

Not a line of her writing have I,

Not a thread of her hair,

No mark of her late time as dame in her dwelling, whereby

I may picture her there;

And in vain do I urge my unsight

To conceive my lost prize

At her close, whom I knew when her dreams were upbrimming with light

And with laughter her eyes.

 

What scenes spread around her last days,

Sad, shining, or dim?

Did her gifts and compassions enray and enarch her sweet ways

With an aureate nimb?

Or did life-light decline from her years,

And mischances control

Her full day-star; unease, or regret, or forebodings, or fears

Disennoble her soul?

 

Thus I do but the phantom retain

Of the maiden of yore

As my relic; yet haply the best of her – fined in my brain

It may be the more

That no line of her writing have I,

Nor a thread of her hair,

No mark of her late time as dame in her dwelling, whereby

I may picture her there.

……………………..

The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate,

When Frost was spectre-gray,

And Winter’s dregs made desolate

The weakening eye of day.

The tangled bine-stems scored the sky

Like strings of broken lyres,

And all mankind that haunted nigh

Had sought their household fires.

 

The land’s sharp features seemed to me

The Century’s corpse outleant,

Its crypt the cloudy canopy,

The wind its death-lament.

The ancient pulse of germ and birth

Was shrunken hard and dry,

And every spirit upon earth

Seemed fervourless as I.

 

At once a voice arose among

The bleak twigs overhead,

In a full-hearted evensong

Of joy illimited.

An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small,

With blast-beruffled plume,

Had chosen thus to fling his soul

Upon the growing gloom.

 

So little cause for carolings

Of such ecstatic sound

Was written on terrestrial things

Afar or nigh around,

That I could think there trembled through

His happy good-night air

Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew,

And I was unaware.

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic love poems under her pen name Avira N. The book is:
AVAILABLE AS E BOOK & PAPERBACK ON

 

My Father – A Poem

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If I have to write a poem about my father

it has to be about integrity

and kindness —

the selfless kind of kindness

that is so very rare

I am sure there will be many people

living somewhere who must be as kind as him

but what I mean to say is

I have not met one yet

 

and when it comes to helping others

he always helps too much

and as the saying goes —

help someone, you earn a friend.

help someone too much,

you make an enemy. —

so you know the gist of what

I’m trying to say here

 

anyways I was talking about the

poem about my father

it has to be about

passion

and hard work

because you see

you cannot separate these

things from him

they are part of him as his two eyes and

two hands and his heart and his soul

and his whole being

and you cannot separate

wind and waves

or living and the universe

or earth and heavens

and although he never got any

award from bureaucracy

the students he taught ages ago

still touch his feet and some

of them are the people

you have to make

an appointment to meet even if

it is for two minutes of their time

and that’s a reward for him

bigger than any other that

some of his colleagues got

for their flattery

 

and also I have to write about

reliability as well

as the sun always rises

and the snowflakes are always six-folds

and the spring always comes

and the petals of a sunflower and every flower

follows the golden ratio of symmetry

my father never fails to

keep his promise

 

I have to mention the rage as well

that he always carries inside him

like a burning fire

for wrongdoings

for injustice

 

and now

he carries a bitterness too

for people-

who used him good

and discarded-

as it always happens with every good man

in our world of humans

 

and you must be thinking he has

learned his lessons well

you go to him —

it does not matter who you are

if he knows you

or you are a stranger from

other side of the world —

and ask for his help

he will be happy to do so

 

as you must know

people

never change

not their soul in any case.

– Neena H. Brar

(Copyrights Held)

 

 

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’ , a collection of 61 famous classic love poems. The book is:

AVAILABLE AS E BOOK & PAPERBACK ON

 

The Stories That Left Me Exhausted: Say You Are One of Them.

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There are stories you read that make you aware that you’ve known nothing, you’ve experienced nothing, you’ve suffered nothing. The stories that make your own sorrow look so meagre you feel ashamed to have named those feelings ‘sufferings’ at all. When you think your heartache is biggest of all, you come across a book, a story, a piece of writing and it makes you aware that your misery is nothing at all. There are people who have suffered more, suffered greatly, suffered ceaselessly, and have suffered pure evil.

Say You Are One of Them was one of those books that changed my whole perspective about life. This was the book that changed my thinking, taught me to differentiate between the real SORROW and a mere DISCOMFORT. This was the book that taught me to appreciate my life — as it was, as it is — a good life. This was the book that taught me to be happy because I had so much to be happy about.

In each narrative, each told from the perspective of a child from a different African country, Akpan: intense and vivid and yet simple, portrays the terror, the fear, the dreadfulness of the mundane details of everyday life. Say You Are One of Them is a collection of five stories — two of which are long enough to fall in the category of novella — of family and friendship, of betrayal and redemption. Akpan simply and straightforwardly emphasizes the tenacity and perseverance of fragile children. The horrors that each of those small children go through exist outside the realm of anything logical.

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All five of book’s stories are captivating, but “Fattening for Gabon” is the one that left a lasting impression on me. It’s one of the longest as well: over hundred pages and resembles a dark fairy tale in its slow and sinister build up toward an evil climax. The protagonists, a 10-year-old boy who, along with his 5-year-old sister, are sent to live with their uncle because their parents are dying of AIDS. Uncle makes a deal with devil and sell them to become merchandises in human trafficking network. Since an emaciated body will not achieve much at market, both of them are fed on feasts for the slave trade. Akpan uses a first person narrative in it; the story is told from the perspective of 10 year old boy and that’s where it drives its power as well. There is a strong disparity between the child’s utterly dim perceptions of what awaits them and us readers’ adult awareness that something evil is lurking in the shadow.

I read this book before I become a mother. And I’m glad for that. There’s no way I would pick a book where small children are sucked down into horror of pure evil and the evil triumphs.

It left me depressed — for weeks. It left me exhausted and spent. I remember finishing it and then I went on to read Mists of Avalon which was equally exhausting but in a different way. I remember I was in this gloomy mood for weeks. I don’t remember how I came out of that melancholic slumber. I must have read something funny like The Princess Bride or something utterly sweet like Anne of Green Gables. Be careful if you decide to read this book. You will not forget it for a long time and you’re damned to remember it.

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic love poems. The book is:

AVAILABLE AS E BOOK & PAPERBACK ON

The Things Do Change

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It does not matter what the people say

the time changes and many things change

the weather for example

and flow of a river

the months and the years

the flowers die

and the dreams too

the love does not last forever

and the people change

it does not matter what the people say

the time changes and many things change

Neena. H. Brar

Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets two legacies:Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous classic love poems. The book is:

AVAILABLE AS E BOOK & PAPERBACK ON