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Family Gardener

Mother in a family is a great pillar for the children, playing the pivotal role of nurturing them, surrounding them with immeasurable love, warmth, kindness, and bringing them up, guiding them to know the right from the wrong, ultimately molding them into good, responsible and reliable citizens for our country. As the saying goes: “Mothers make hearts bloom”, it is indeed the mother who makes the kid’s heart grow full of positive attributes like love, passion, empathy, leaving no room for negative feelings that normally lead to hatred, jealousy, vengeance and the like. In Fact, the hand that rocks the cradle poses as the true gardener for the children in the family.

In general, mothers are making tremendous sacrifices round the clock in every home for their kids, during pregnancy, after birth, infant stage, toddler’s days, from childhood to adolescence, and even after adult life particularly in Asian families. Unlike most western cultures where children tend to start living on their own after 18 years of age, mothers around the eastern communities usually continue to spread out their protective wings except in nuclear families.

It seems like we are “in the age of the involved parenting”. But parents especially mothers who are closer to the kids than the fathers need to be careful not to become “over involved”. It is quite acceptable to follow the theory of attachment parenting that espouses sleeping in the same bed with the baby for early bonding. Yet mothers should behave themselves properly so as not to be complained as “hovering helicopter Moms”, a label that some proudly wear.

In any family, mothers always think of the kids and their interest normally comes first as top priority with that of the husband. If a kid falls ill, mother gets worried and in no time gets him or her to the clinic. However, if something happens to herself, it’s the natural reaction in a mother to put it off, usually, to the last minute until she can no longer endure the pain, Mothers are really key-persons in families. The absence of a mother figure even for a short period of time can lead to a variety of ill effects resulting from mismanagement of the family affairs, let alone the house chores, she has been undertaking all along. This being so, it stands to reason that mothers also need to take care of their own health and well-being at all cost. It is alright to give priority to the kids and the husband but mothers should not ignore the fact that with her fall, it is certain, to expect the leakages and misfits that might follow subsequently in the lives of the family members.

Parents including both father and mother are regarded as the first teachers for the kids and home, as the first school in their lives. In olden days father alone works as the bread winner in the family while the burden of managing the household, looking after the house as well as the children entirely fall on the mother who stays at home without any outside job. Even in modern times with working mothers, despite the hot issue of gender equality, most of the house chores still have to be undertaken by the mothers in addition to caring of the kids.

Modern Parenting stands as an extremely delicate, complicated task, covering a variety of dimensions. In view of the advancement in medical field due to science and technology, most mothers these days have the opinion that childbearing and child delivery are far easier than nurturing and up-bringing job from birth onwards. School education can be provided for through governmental and private schools with the help of tuition, guides and other appropriate supports each family thinks possible with in their strength and financial framework. However, the most crucial task in parenting lies in the molding or up-bringing of children in order to help them mature into good, responsible, and reliable citizens.

In a family, a mother tends to be warmer and closer to the children than the father and in many cases, it happens to be the mothers who train and guide them with tenderness, love and soothing words to win their sides. According to Karen Springen (Reader’s Digest May, 2001), a good kid means one with high moral values. In fact ‘morality’, actually an elusive character trait, needs to be instilled in children, as early as possible in their life. Tufts University Psychologist, David Elkind has said: “The way to raise a moral child is to be a moral person yourself. If you are honest and straight forward, decent and caring, that’s what children learn”.

It follows that as mother’s we need to instill morality in the little brains of our children, which we believe will certainly pave the right ways for them. One dictionary meaning of morality defines it as the quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct. Generally morality is born out of a person’s inherent character and in the upbringing, in fact an attribute unique to each individual.

Practically morality does not appear over right; instead it slowly emerges over time, Particularly in today’s fast-paced world full of greed and dishonesty, the quest for morality or the quest to raise a moral child takes on new urgency. Some might argue that however hard a mother tries, she cannot force her child to be moral. I totally agree with that argument. Nevertheless, at least she can send him in the right direction.

Lord Mahavira has clearly stated that with the right faith, the right knowledge and the right conduct, a person can never go wrong in his life journey.

Nobody will deny that only mothers as “consummate teachers’ who dedicate their whole life to educate their kids can perform those crucial tasks.

Snatching up the availability of a proper chance, taking advantage of teachable moments, mothers are ready to instill the right values in their kid’s heads gradually over their growing years without any payment or applause and they do so willingly and selflessly.

Many say motherhood and teching are not disparate vocations, forming “the rhythm and harmony of a single symphony”.

The great American orator has said:

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.

A hundred volumes could not say more”.

Let me conclude my essay with the short verse I have copied down in my teengage notebook long ago without any source of origin. It vividly portrays mothers in general:

Patience is her pastime, Vigilence her virtue,

Kindness her calling card,

Encouragement her trademark, and

Love her stock in trade. With their unconditional love, care and nurturing, mothers are real ‘family gardeners’, who help children bloom into beautiful flowers of multi-colours.