We hear a lot about mental health these days. It needed the tragic suicide of a gifted Bollywood actor to bring it into public discourse.
It can be said with certainty that the basis of a healthy life is a healthy, well-cared- for childhood. And the most important ingredient of a healthy childhood is a loving, caring mother. Believe me, nothing on earth and in heaven can replace a loving, caring mother.
It takes a mother to initiate a child into this big, unpredictable life, and to support her like a cushion when she falls. It takes a mother’s loving hug to build a child’s self-worth. Children who grow with a neglecting mother will not form healthy attachments as adults.
Have we heard of criminals who have had a loving childhood? Or psychopaths who had been lovingly nurtured from childhood? A child who have an an adequate degree of love and care from her mother will not become dysfunctional. It is the mother’s unconditional love that gives the child the ability to give love abd receive love as an adult.
It is true that not all mothers are true ‘mother material’. Some women truly do not have the mental make up to be mothers. Believe me, motherhood is not for every woman.
As a society, we need to take the vocation of motherhood and parenting very seriously. Women should have a choice whether to get married or not. Once married, they should have a choice whether to have children or not. And once a woman becomes a mother, society should support her in her calling to mold a healthy and wholesome human being, who will be an asset to society.
In these times when as a society we think about mental health, let us remember that the most important condition for a human being to be mentally healthy throughout life is to have had loving, caring mother in childhood.
Most of the time when we think of a mother’s love, it is just sbout giving food when hungry. But that is just one aspect. There are so many more things mothers have to do, like giving emotional support, molding the right attitudes, and guiding through difficultues.
Taking mental health seriously is also about taking parenting, especially the mother’s role, seriously.