Becoming My Mom


By Arathi Devandran @miffalicious

Youth Talk Columnist

Youth Talk Columnist

You know how They (yes, Them, They who apparently know everything) say that we always end up like our mothers, no matter how much we think we won’t? In my younger, more naive days (when I was about 10?), I used to be absolutely appalled at this thought.

What, me becoming like my momma? My momma, who cleans about 563 times a day, 365 days a year? My momma, who is stricter than all the adults I knew put together? My momma, who has a crazy obsession with all things leafy and green? My momma, who is clearly not cool because she is Much Older?

Pish posh. Never. No way. Nuhhuh.

Fast forward to about 10 years later, where I catch myself talking to the myriad of plants littered around my living space. Where I have instilled the same type of fear in my students that my momma instilled in me, (when I used to teach). Where I hover my room at least 3 times a week minimum, because the sight of anything suspicious (read: dirt) frustrates me.

So it was happening then. I was becoming my momma.  And you know what, it doesn’t seem all that bad. Actually, it’s pretty brilliant.  Because as I grow up, as I become A Proper Adult, I realise that it’s not all that terrible being like my momma.

In contrast, now I have a different type of fear. And that is that I won’t be half the woman that my momma is. This is the woman who worked round the clock for me when I was younger. Who taught me that being a woman was never anything to be ashamed of. Who couldn’t cook very well, but made sure I had the best food in the world anyway (we used to go over to my grandmother’s place, and be filled with home-made goodness). Who wouldn’t appreciate my papa giving me money on the sly to get yet another book to read (“why don’t you just go to the library?”), but would slip an extra tenner into my pocket anyway. arathimom

This is the woman who battled with cancer and never lost her spirit. Who shaved her head and still strutted down the streets of my very conservative city completely bald, proud and triumphant. Who didn’t gawk when vein after vein collapsed from continuous chemotherapy sessions. Who warred with pain, who hid her watery eyes and grimaces behind smiles, and who never complained. Ever.

Yep, that’s my momma. Can I be half the woman that she is? Frankly, I don’t think so. I personally don’t think I can ever reach her standards, and in a way, I’m thankful for that.

Thankful, because that means I constantly have something to work towards. That there’s always room for improvement. On the days when I don’t think I can do something, or on the days when I get too consumed by my Trivial Young-Adult Problems, I remember all that has happened in her life, and know that there is much, much more for me to experience out there.

Thankful, because as her daughter, there are certain expectations of myself that I want to live up to.  So momma, if you’re reading this (and by momma, I mean to all the lovely mommas out there), a very happy Mother’s Day. You are the reason that as a daughter I (and I presume, many others) have hope for a better future and greater growth. Though you may be annoying in some occasions (let’s keep things real, here), there’s really no other way that I’d have it.

So thank you for being you, and thank you for giving me an important facet of my identity – of being your daughter.


Thank you, and Happy Mother’s Day, again.

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