Monday, August 29, 2011

Do you still feel "at home" at your mother's home?

Mother's home. Mom's place. Tavaru maney... These are phrases that really hold a deep-rooted emotional umbrella of feelings over your heart. They shade your heart from the rest of the world.

Yet, its so ironical how you feel so out of place in this same home you grew up in all your life, once you move out and have your "own" life. The umbilical cord connecting you to that distinct world "before marriage" gets stretched and strained in unimaginable ways.

No, I'm not in distress or anything...I just got thinking about it a few days ago, when I made a comment to an aunt of mine. I was visiting her. Hubby was on tour as usual. "So will you stay back at mom's tonight?" she asked casually. "No, I'm going back...I just feel more comfortable there...." without realising the horror of what has just escaped my lips. But my aunt, a decade older than me, completely identified with that and said she feels the same way too...we swept over the issue with an understanding smile for each other.

But, it is true...for me at least. maybe it is too for some other women.
My mom has always been a very strict disciplinarian, and post-marriage, the freedom from that I guess makes me feel this way. Even now when I go back to mom's I hate being whipped by her -- put the glass away after drinking tea- don't let it dry up, don't enter kitchen till you've brushed your teeth, "go, go have a bath fast", make the bed as soon as you get up, don't keep the oily ladle on the kitchen counter, don't drop food on the stove while serving yourself dinner....
I know, small things...still, no one tells you that in your home! (It's a different matter that you're saying all that to husband and child perhaps, in your own role as mother...) Sometimes I feel miserable that I take this home, these people and their presence in my life for granted. My friend who recently lost her mother always points out in times of distress "But at least you have a 'mom's home' to go to....." Oh how miserable I feel for her at such times.

I don't know if it's age, but every conversation with the parents is no longer a conversation -- it's an argument, very often a fight. Because we disagree on most things. How and when did I grow so different from them, and they from me?
I don't like being told what to do. I never liked it, but I was never so vehement in protesting either, earlier. Perhaps then, I didn't have some place to "escape" to. No "escaping to husband's" when parents piss you off.

But it's amazing how I'll still run to mom's when I'm sick, when things aren't smooth with the in-laws or hubby, when I'm just feeling low, when I don't feel like cooking. It's still a place I go to seeking solace, comfort, food, love, and the familiarity of all things childhood and growing-up. But then, there's a point when I want to return.

Whenever I point out to mom "My pollen allergy always gets triggered in YOUR house," in between my allergic sneezing bouts, it gets her all teary. "MY house..? You grew up perfectly fine here all these years..."

This thing of yours and mine, mom's and mine, parent's and husband's ... how easily we cross over, leaving behind more than two decades of what shaped us. How casually we sift and separate, distinguish and compartmentalise. How foolishly we claim what we have now is ours.


Uma said...

Hi FM,
SO good to see ur post..
I so agree with you..The other day, hubby was booking my ticket to go to my mom's place. He insisted I stayed longer for the much needed rest while I insisted on returning soon!
Actually, I cannot place a finger on the why's. I do feel perfectly at home but somehow I start to miss hubby and my routine that I have at my place. So selfish and funny too..

Sweety said...


U dont know that you have touched a million chords by writing this :) Seriously, i was also thinking of writing the same for myself... I feel such a strong urge to go to my mothers place but once i am there, it feels that home (the hubby one) is the best place to be. I guess its a matter of routine..Though where else i will get food served in bed except at ma's place :)

Aparna said...

As usual you put into words what many of us may think but never formulate :). I feel like some of those sentences have been transplanted from my head !!

I had quite a tempestuous relationship with my mom especially in my teenage years, so sometimes while interacting with her I feel like I've gone back to that age again !

Other times I feel like i've become the mom when i try to argue and convince her about something :).

Garima said...

Very intresting food for thaought. This time I went to 'mom's home' after four years and parents have moved from the home I grew up in. But, i did feel at home. Mum nodded when I wanted to sleep in and she would take the kiddo away for a walk so I could snooze longer.
Mom's home felt home, but at the same time, now that I am back, I am happy to be in my home. Can iHave two homes- one where I get pampered for everything and one where I have to pamper everyone else!


Forever mother said...

Hi Uma, Sweety, Aparna, and Garima
Sorry I'm really doing a bad job of replying to is a killer...and I admit I'm lazy ;-)
U.S.and A -- thanks for pitching in with your thoughts. Yeah, as you guys point out, it may be our sense of what is "our routine" that makes us happier at "our" home.
G, I think ur experience is different becauuse u've been away from mom's for too long. Wow four years! How did u do that? That's what I mean when I say I take my mom for granted. I never went I don't know her value I guess.
And G I think ur appeal is universal. Can we all pls have our two homes? Yes, I need it tooo, as much as I bitch and crib about my mum :-)

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

What a beautiful post! It's so true. Whenever I want to totally relax, let go of worries, I just want to head to my parents' home which I consider as mine still. I guess its a matter of routine that we get used to our marital homes as our own over a period of time especially when we have kids of our own.