Did you just read that, frown and curse me? What kind of a bitchy mom is that? A mother- the epitome of sacrifice and here is one who defies that. Do you doubt if I am that evil stepmom?
I read a quote by an actress and Mom whom I am an ardent admirer of. She said " The good thing is that I have never made any sacrifices for my children. Because when you put 'sacrifice' as an element, you tend to let the child feel the pressure of " I did this for you". Accolades to this woman for she spoke what every parent should.
I believe the decision taken to have a child is because "WE" desire to be a parent. By bringing a child into this world, we are not doing the child a favour, but we are fulfilling our wish to become Mom and Dad. Yes, I know all about pregnancy, labour, the long sleep deprived nights, feeding struggles and not having a life for ourselves once a child is born. I have gone through it infact with a one year old I think its still a long way to go. But wasn't this because we decided that we wanted an offspring?
One such gloomy afternoon, a newbie Mommy Me was complaining to her hubby " how precious this gift of sleep is, I know it now. Not a wink have I slept the whole night, my body aches and the little one looks at me with innocent eyes "pick me up one more time, I am hungry". And I think -once you grow up, you would probably not even need me . Give me some space Mumma I need privacy you may say. And I will then think- you are blissfully unaware of how many sleepless nights I have spent when you were a baby, when you grew up and fell sick, tending to you. I forgot I had a life of my own, I gave up the things I used to love indulging in- those late night movies at PVR, leisurely dinners, the afternoon siesta, my best friends - books, the back to back episodes of How I Met Your Mother and 24, and most of all my sleep. But how would you know the sacrifices I made for you. And when I said that- he stopped me and said- But she may just say "Mumma did I ask you to bring me into this world? NO. We wanted to experience the joys of parenthood and that's why we took the plunge, It came without the statutory warnings and its been a roller coaster. The good and bad days co exist but never ever do we want our child to think that we made sacrifices for her. Thinking of it I feel it's important we change our mindset and do away with the thinking that we are sacrificing s much for our kids and they need to be indebted to us, always be in awe of us. Are we extracting our pound of flesh here from our own kids?
I left my job and decided to be a Stay at home Mom just because I did not want to leave you with a Nanny or at Day care where they would ill treat you. That's why I sacrificed my career for you.
I decided to continue working as I had no option, financial needs required me to continue with my job, but I decided to put my child- my family first. I gave up my promotion, my aspirations and so much more so that I could get back home in time to be with my child. I sacrificed my dreams for my child.
Raising you into a confident, well educated young woman has not been an easy feat. Waking up in the wee hours, cooking the best of food for you, taking you to school, helping you with your studies, revising with you, then taking to to your basket ball and chess classes, the years just passed by, I never lived for myself. My hobbies, giving time to my friends, waking up late, lazing around, I did none of it because I was toiling for you, I sacrificed my youth and my life for you.
When your father passed away in an accident, everyone said "You are so young , you must consider remarriage. There is a whole life ahead of you". But I refused, because I did not want a step father for you, I was not sure he could love you like your own father, I sacrificed companionship for you.
When a Mom decides to work or not to work, its a matter of personal choice, And so is deciding what importance one wants to attach to professional growth and family. A woman who decides to work (with or without financial compulsions) chooses for herself. If she is not comfortable leaving the baby in daycare, its her wish. Not every child who grows without his mother is ill treated, beaten and abused. Things are changing these days and with more and more working Moms, day care facilities have transformed, Its a change for the better.
A mother who makes it her goal to see her child grow and wants to extend her whole hearted support to him is also choosing here. if she did not support him or rather decided to pursue her own interests, would that imply he would be any less successful?
A decision to remarry no doubt would be greatly influenced by kids, but there again its a choice made here, One cannot use the bait of sacrifice here.
Maybe its not always choice, sometimes it maybe due to circumstances beyond our control, nevertheless we cannot place the child at at the altar for what was once not in our hands.
What happens when we think too much in terms of sacrifice? We start putting pressure on our kids, knowingly or unknowingly, As they grow up and want their space, we cringe. Now you want your friends, your GF/BF, your spouse, you have forgotten what your parents did for you . And the child has no option but to keep quiet as he feels that indebtedness and he may have to go against his wishes at times, at the risk of shaking the balance of relationships, letting his own dreams take a backseat just because he does not want to upset them.
Is that why we brought them into this world? This is definitely not the reason and by feeding them this time and again we are only causing damage and creating an unseen distance between them and us. Becoming a parent is no doubt a life changing event and it alters the very course of life, but that does not mean we kill our dreams, put a full stop to our aspirations as an individual and live only for our kids, If a mom decides to leave her baby in a daycare because she has career aspirations or a couple decides to go for a movie and spend sometime by themselves by leaving the kid at their parents place for a night or a parent wants to nurture his dreams along with those of his child, take the plunge. Do not use the term "sacrifice" so liberally that by the time you realise the damage its caused, its probably too late to mend it.
So yes, I love my daughter to bits, but I also care for and love myself (nay I am not a narcissist!) and while I would love to be a part and live every dream of hers, I would also want to fulfil mine and by doing this I would teach her the important lesson of learning to love and value oneself, Only a happy and content parent can raise a happy and confident child, So yes my dear child, you are free to choose. You do not need to make sacrifices for your child, Do make a choice, but not a sacrifice.
Now let me confess- I am really NOT someone who loves watching
daily soaps. I know reading the tile you thought- what the heck, if it’s a
daily soap on TV it is bound to be stereotypical, full of nonsense and drama
and if you watch such stuff why complain, and if complain why watch? There was a
time when I was in college, all naive, and this was when internet was all about
going to the cyber cafe and getting all excited about entering the chat room
and typing asl (age ,sex ,location) and talking to strangers. At that time, the
only source of entertainment for young people like me was the idiot box so I won’t
lie- I used to watch the Ekta Kapoor soaps and probably even like that at that
point, that’s why I use the word Naive. As I grew up, met
diverse set of people, read and experienced new cultures, my thought process
changed. With a hectic job, I hardly found time for any TV watching. My Mom who
is also a working woman used to watch a few Marathi soaps. She always told me
Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
As Aesha tapped her heel restlessly at the Visa Consulate, one
might just think of her as yet another young woman who has set her heart on an
overseas dream, a future in the greener pastures and she is probably nervous if
her visa will be stamped or not as her fate can either be made or broken by
this one seal (or the lack of it). But for Aesha , her tumultuous mind couldn't
be tamed today. While she was at
the cusp of an important milestone in her career and getting the visa would
mean she inches one step closer to her dream professionally- somewhere she
shuddered to think of how it would impact her love life and the very foundation
of her marriage. It seemed like
yesterday- Aman and Aesha met at a sangeet and got talking. They hit it
instantly and never realized where time flew. They would always chuckle when
they got to know later that this had been set up by their parents. Aesha was a young, dynamic, super smart, intelligent woman who was
a great fan of Sheryl Sandberg and truly…