Dearest child, I love you like I hate you and hate you like I love you



Mothers are often painted as saintly martyrs who are oozing with selfless love. And, it is so tough to break away from that unrealistic stereotypical ´Mother in the box´ syndrome. We, mothers cannot be put in a box that paints us all pretty and sweet round the clock. That´s simply not us.

While I do love my child unconditionally, there are times when I want to tear my hair out of frustration, throw my hands up in the air out of defeat, genuinely wonder if this overgrown baby will ever shed her baby ways and learn to listen without arguing. No ´ifs´and ´buts´. Only ´Ji! Mummyji!´ Wishful thinking, eh?

I am certainly no mother with a saintly halo around me. All I know is that while I love my child immensely, my feelings for her are not always immaculate white. There are shades of intense black, fiery reds, the blues, cloudy greys, cheery yellows, rosy pinks, serene greens and more.

I am not always loving, kind and patient to my child even though I intend and try my best to be. It is a tall task filling in the divine shoes of this godly perception of mothers, who will take any arrow shot at them by her little monsters, without as much as a murmur. I lose my temper and calm and get irritated with my child´s antics. There are several frustrating moments as a mother some of which I regret today.

My daughter is more than my child.

She is the sister that I never had who loves fiddling with my clothes and jewellery and whining how I have all the better stuff in my wardrobe than her. Yes, we duel over our wardrobes. Thanks! But no thanks for ransacking all my baubles right from my favourite pair of studs to the pricey danglers, my make-up box for creating the most ghoulish makeovers with me as the guinea pig, each and every piece of clothing tried on and flung upon the floor. Welcome to blissful motherhood, people!

She is my grandmother rolled into my mother-in-law who loves nitpicking and preaching my own sermons back to me when I fail to practise what I preach. Hello, I´m human, child!

She is my most difficult student who loves challenging my knowledge and expertise with her never ending questions. Thank your stars, you have a mother who patiently teaches you everything at home.

While I certainly have to give credit to my child for trying her best, shouldering more responsibilities and fulfilling them, there are some instructions that still fall on deaf ears and needs constant reminders.

´Can you lower the sound of the TV, please?´

´Can you eat without playing with your food?´

´Can you read where there is proper light?´

´Can you stop doing this or that?´

´Can you stop crying for the littlest of things? 

´You´re not a 2 year old anymore, you know!’ 

Yes, I need to develop more patience and a thick skin. But, I´m human too and not the divine incarnation of God on Earth as popular folklore tells. I wish I never said some of those words to you out of anger. I wish you would understand that my intentions for you are always good even though my words might seem to suggest otherwise. I wish you would grow up emotionally so that I can take a breather from playing the perfect role-model for you.

There are times when I´m dead tired, zapped of all energy and the last person I want to see is my child. Yes, I said it! Sometimes, I need a break from all my motherly duties and playtime as much as I love doing them on most other days round the clock for my child. But, I need my space too at times just as I´m sure she needs hers as well. A break from her Mummy at times!

Let me admit it! I´m flawed just as you are..probably more than you are. But, somehow, I am the mother who´s showing you the light towards that narrow path of  good and righteousness. As we´ve both discovered in our relationship as mother and daughter, the good can be perfectly imperfect. And, thats what makes us relate to one another, connect, bond and love each other unconditionally despite the obvious differences and occasional clashes.

Maybe God brought us both together for a reason to teach and learn from one another. For me, as you continue testing all the possible limits of my patience, I learn to listen to you, even the things that you don´t necessarily say. I learn to read between the lines, the ears and the deepest cores of your heart. When you find me impossibly stern as a mother, you learn that love can be tough and not gentle all the time. You see in time that my wisdom comes from my own misgivings and failures in the past and it is my protectiveness that shields you from treading down the same tempestuous road I travelled long time ago.

I´m sure to hear the words ´I hate you, Mom´ especially during the adolescence years but I know the feeling too well, my child. Because, I´ve been down that path and I know that the hatred is stemming from a strongly rooted place of love. I am prepared to face it all – both the love and the hatred in equal measure. After all, aren´t they two sides of the same coin!

Go ahead, my girl with a few ground rules to bear in mind such as the follows:

My belly is your punching bag as well as the kissing pillow. (Just don´t tickle me too much with those endless kisses.)

You are free to raid my wardrobe and try anything that your heart desires as long you clear the mess. (*Devil grins*)

Everything that I own is yours of course but not when I am trying to exercise in peace on my yoga mat. You can emulate me and use my mat after I am done. (No compromises there, sorry!)

More ground rules to be followed but we´ll take that offline. Psst!


Your imperfect Mum.

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Tina Sequeira
Tina Sequeira is a marketer and moonlighting writer. She is passionate about tech, creativity, and social justice—dabbling in and writing about the same.

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