Mothers are like shadows. In good times and bad times, they are with you. On the eve of Mother’s Day, Neeti Sarkar finds out what mothers mean to us

She is our first friend, the truest friend we have for as long as she lives. When trials come our way and we find ourselves in the midst of adversity, she is our anchor. When friends desert us, she still cleaves to us. When clouds of darkness surround us, with her wise counsel she dissipates them. A mother is surely her child’s friend for life!

Tomorrow is Mothers Day, and MetroPlus finds out if today’s mom is more a friend than a parent to her children.

Shilka Bhoopal, a collegian says: “My mother is my best friend. She’s always the one I go to with my problems. She is the one who is happiest for me when I’m happy and cries with me when I cry. She executes her role as a mother just as well but what makes her more of a friend is that I can talk to her about anyone and anything and she listens to me, gives me advice without judging me.”

According to aspiring model Priyanka Datta, “Most parents don’t encourage their daughters to get into a field like modelling. However, I faced no such problem simply because my mother was also a model before she got married. She understands how the industry works, what my schedule would be like and my need for independence. I didn’t even have to worry about getting my father’s permission to start modelling because my mother advocated on my behalf.”

Given that social networking forums and smart phones are indeed parent friendly, children today seem to think it’s cool to have parents who keep abreast with the changing times and trends, making them more of friends. These are the kind of mothers who “like” the daughter’s pictures, ask their son on his “timeline” whether he will be back for dinner and perhaps post pictures of her and her teenage daughter dressed alike in skinny jeans and similar tank tops!

Some feel age plays a huge role in determining the relationship mothers share with their children. “When kids are young, mothers are playmates and disciplinarians. As children enter their teens, mothers become advice givers and even confidantes, but I think now when I’m 40 and my mother is 63 that we are best friends simply because our relationship has matured with time,” opines Radhika Shetty, a software engineer.

While a large number of children like that their mothers are more of friends to them, there are those that dislike the trend. Rahul Diwaker, a marketing consultant says: “These are wannabe moms who don’t realise they aren’t going to get younger if they dress up like their daughters or allow their kids to live foolishly without rules at home. Also, this kind of relationship becomes precarious when mothers get too close that they become emotionally dependent on their children.”

Giving the ‘My mother, my best friend’ trend a thumbs-up is counsellor Shireen Sait who pontificates: “It is good for mothers to be friends, maybe even best friends to their children. It really helps when children don’t need to think twice before sharing their innermost feelings with their parents. But there is also a potential danger this kind of relationship poses. Moms who are excessively close to their children often forego rules and let down their guard in order to seem fun, young and understanding. Given that the kids may not know any better, chances are they take advantage of it and exploit their freedom, don’t really feel they need best friends their own age and worse still come to believe that there is no need for boundaries or walls in a parent-child relationship. It’s really up to the mothers to strike the right balance at the right time between being mother and being a friend.”