Friday, June 01, 2007

Give the Spouse a Break

Is it just me or has anyone else ever wondered why we need to celebrate every Mom and Dad on the face of the Earth on Mother's Day or Father's Day, irrespective of who's Mom/ Dad they might be? I mean I do understand the purpose behind celebrating 'Motherhood' or 'Fatherhood' and I am totally with you on the fact that we should celebrate our folks for everything that they have done for us and keep on doing whether we want them or not. But what I don't get is why I need to celebrate someone else's Mom/ Dad considering that I have my own set of parents or in-laws to take care of anyway?

You know what I mean, right? Take for example this Mother's Day that we had a couple of weeks back. I was talking to my cousin who said he was taking 3 generations of 'Moms' out for dinner. His own Mom, his Grandmother, and his wife. And this was after he had got each one of those Moms a present. And I was left wondering what the poor guy had done to deserve this. Shouldn't someone else be taking care of the other 'Moms'? I understand that they are all related, but shouldn't his 'Wife' who is most definitely not his 'Mom' be getting the cards and presents and dinners from someone else? Her own children for example? Yes, yes, I know they are still children and cannot afford to go to a store and buy things for her. Yet. Because they are only babies. But how does that transfer the responsibility on to the Dad who ends up footing the bill for the next 15- 16 years until the kids grow up and earn enough dough to buy Mom a present?

Am I the only one who thinks this is unfair? I mean 'Dad' already buys 'Mom' a present for her birthday. And then there is this other day earmarked to celebrate the spouse bit. That's called an 'Anniversary'. So there's enough celebration already. Why does anyone need another day that requires you to buy gifts and cards on behalf of some underage offspring for the next 20 years or so until the kid grows up and assumes responsibility?

I think the people who have newly acquired the roles of Mom/ Dad need to realize that they have to wait a reasonable amount of time until their offspring is at an age where he/ she realizes how important the parents are and can work enough to celebrate Mother's day/ Father's day. And that they should not be laying guilt trips on their spouses to buy them the Every Kiss begins with Kay pendant or the 18 volt Hitachi DS18DMR cordless drill. And that if they need any celebration from their kids they should brainwash their kids to get self sufficient as early as possible. Drill it into their tiny little toddler heads that Mom/ Dad is very important and that they need to find a way of earning money to go buy them a present that says how much they love their folks. Because that's the only way Mom/ Dad will be able to tell that they mean so much to their kids.

Coming to think of it I think that is a brilliant idea. Not only will we have more motivated kids earning their keep by mowing the lawn and doing chores and working at MacDonalds, but it takes the pressure off the spouse while teaching the kids that it is not okay to sit around and have Mom/ Dad do all the 'celebration' that they were supposed to be doing in the first place. And it also teaches the Moms/ Dads that they need to live through years of Motherhood/ Fatherhood, survive endless diapers, sleepless nights, constant attention seeking, rowdy and out of control behavior, tantrums and all the other shit that comes with having kids before they are allowed to have a day earmarked to celebrate everything that they have endured and lived through.

Becoming a parent is the easy part. It is being a parent which calls for special skills. And I think everyone needs to earn the right to celebrate being a parent through years of patience and endurance.

Post Script: For my Bong readers/ if you're interested in reading a post laden heavy with Bengali and sepia tinted memories of Calcutta, you could also check my other post on the Calcutta Blog (which by the way was badly in need of a new post).

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