Next week, Thailand will celebrate Mother's Day, which has somehow become the day when we are compelled to buy a jasmine brooch, a gift and a meal for our mothers, then upload said treats to Facebook to prove we did it.
This is followed by posting mandatory throwback pictures of when we were young, processed with so many photo filters that our mothers hardly recognise themselves. And let's not a forget long, emotional Facebook status praising our mothers. (Nevermind the fact that our mother does not have Facebook, much less the difference between Line and Facebook.)
Cynicism aside, I am forever thankful for having an amazing mother by my side for all my life. I can't even begin to fathom how difficult it must have been for her to raise her kids without those "useful" tidbits passed around the internet, with which mums today are blessed. Nor do I understand, without Line groups, how she kept in touch with other mothers. And imagine -- she had to carry an actual photo of her kids to show others, as she couldn't simply post them online with a hashtag-cluttered caption.
You would think modern mums have it easy, with all the tools and technology readily available to make motherhood a bit less stressful. Just go to the Baby Best Buy fair and take at look at how many products have been created for mothers and babies. Think BPA-free, anti-colic feeding bottles. No one knows if they work, but if I had a colicky baby and a bottle could offer a glimmer of hope, just shut up and take my money.
I think the most frightening part of being a 21st-century mother is that there is just so much information, most of which is complete BS. Unfortunately, mothers around you go crazy for it, meaning you sometimes have to play along, lest you be branded ignorant (and subsequently become the subject of gossip in a Line group). For example, they'll be telling you how letting your toddler use an iPad, even for a second, will give him or her autism. And you're like "OMG", when secretly you're thinking, "WTF".
It's hard to define what makes a great mother. Certainly, you have to be loving, kind, patient, dedicated, strong, reasonable -- the list goes on. But as a mother myself, I think one of the most important qualities is the ability to not easily be swayed by what "they" say. By "they", I mean those parenting Facebook pages, which are managed by mere mortals like the rest of us, people who often don't know any better than all the other mothers out there.
The bottom line is, as a mother, no one loves or understands your child more than you do. Mother Nature gave us maternal instincts for a reason. Just take it easy and let your gut tell you what's right or wrong. And if you need a bit of reassurance, Mother Nature (or Mark Zuckerberg) has also invented Facebook for a reason. A few "likes" here and there never hurt.
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