The newborn is important, yes, but the new mother who has just gone through labour is just as important. Why do we take her for granted?
My morning newspaper reading sessions often evoke varied emotions. Sometimes I am elated with the news, at others seriously disgusted, and at yet others, totally frustrated! Today – unfortunately – I am feeling totally frustrated! The newspaper screamed (I am sure with glee!) – “Baby born on board: Woman gives birth on plane, newborn gets free tickets!” For a minute, I was flushed with irritation at the choice of the ‘claimant’ to the freebie.
Can anyone please explain as to how it was the baby’s achievement in ‘getting delivered’? Can anyone please justify what was the amazing feat performed by that tiny newborn who has no clue as to how he even got into this world?
Because according to me, if there was anyone who deserved the free lifetime tickets, it was the mother! The mother who endured the labour pains at that unearthly hour. The mother who braved the process of giving birth in an apparently peculiar high altitude external environment. The mother who exhibited immense emotional and physical strength and did what she had to do at that time. The mother who successfully delivered the child bringing immense joy to the family! Isn’t this but obvious?
I have not an ounce of doubt in asserting that when a woman delivers in a hospital, she goes through an excruciatingly intense activity that cannot be matched up to any other, whether physically or psychologically. And hence, when she goes through the same mid-air…well it is nothing short of a miracle!
Then why is it so difficult for an airline to see the pain and sweat of the mother and shower her with a gift akin to free air tickets for the rest of her life? I have no qualms with the newborn getting a share in the goodies too…but how can one absurdly leave the mother out?
To my mind, the root cause for this prima facie insensitivity is our society’s deep seated tendency to always somehow sideline the mother from all opportunities of accolades and recognition. Since forever, a mother has been glorified for being all sacrificing…akin to a big fat sponge that can effortlessly soak in all the pain, cheerfully meet never ending requirements and patiently deal with the silliest of tantrums (mind you – of the child and the husband both!). She is judged on the basis of what she does keeping in mind good for ‘others’ and never for what she consciously does for herself.
And that is why, it is so simple for institutions in the society to unassumingly and nonchalantly overlook the mother’s apparent role in the successful delivery and instead, raise a toast solely to the newborn!
People say that times have changed. Yes they have. From being a housewife, the society now calls her a homemaker. And if she is working outside home as well as playing the ‘mother role’, it is an obvious expectation (almost an unwritten rule actually!) that she has to make her career moves in consonance with ‘the family’s interests’. In other words, over time, society has allowed a mother the grand liberty of being deeply contented with the status of being a ‘shadow achiever’.
In this state of affairs, dear mothers, I have one ardent heartfelt request to you all. Please give yourself more credit than what you currently do. You are a far more amazing human being than you think you are! While fathers, brothers and husbands will take their own time to mature, your self-worth need not be dependent on their coming of age, because no one owns you. Because before anyone else can lay claim on anything that is a part of you – your heart…your mind…your time, please remember – You are your own master…your own person…your own lover…and your own best friend!
So whether you are already a mother, or whether motherhood beckons you in the next nine months – be sure of one thing – the hero in the flight or the hospital or the ambulance or wherever – is only one – YOU!
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