Most modern women would call themselves `good mothers` and respect their kids as much as they love them. The modern mom is a devoted and involved parent. She frets if one of the kids is sick or hungry. She has time to play hide and seek with them and does her bit with genuine warmth and dedication. She prides herself on knowing pretty much of everything about them (at least as much as a mother can reasonably know). When the kids reach adolescence, the friendship equation blossoms, with communications touching just about everything under the sun.
She pats herself on the back on being a good friend to her children. All very well. But then she hears of her child getting a new age hair cut (all green and spiky) or a boy friend from another cast/creed/religion and suddenly all hell breaks loose. The professed equanimity does a double take and flies neatly out of the window. She is visibly shocked and indignant when she discovers a side to her child`s personality that clashes with certain values and beliefs of her own. The modern mom steps back into time and asks herself a question an important philosophical one can a mother even be a friend to her kid?
Sarita, a friend`s daughter, had a child out of wedlock. Her mother needless to say threw a fit. And suddenly a relationship based on mutual respect turned upside down. "Where has all the friendship gone?" asks Sarita perplexed. And her mother`s take on the issue is "How can you be so ungrateful after all the freedom I have given to you?" It is back to the primal power equation again. And though it may start with "I am just helping you see sense", it is prone to end with "while you are in this house you better learn to live by its rules".
The fact is the mother-child relationship is not in the least a simple one. And while the relationship between friends is not simple either, it hardly compares.
Mothers will be mothers
The dilemma here is whether the terms `good friend` and `good mother` are mutually exclusive. Although there are some lovely moments in every mother`s life where she finds true camaraderie with her kids, true equilibrium is difficult to maintain.
And though the modern mom allows her child to go partying late, she still keeps awake at night for though she trusts her child completely she is still fearful. Try as she might and despite her best intentions, mothers will after all be mothers, whether modern or traditional.