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The first thing a would-be mother hears is that she now has to sacrifice a lot for her child. It belittles a mother’s love and her being human.
Let’s go back eleven years, and visit the day when it all started. The two lines appear on the pregnancy test kit, and you know that things are going to change for you in a jiffy.
After showing that strip to my husband, I rang up my mom. It was the obvious thing to do. An ecstatic would-be grandma immediately rattled a long list of dos and don’ts. I was confounded a bit; was she more worried or happy? After everything, came the last line, “Everything is going to change for you from now on. Be ready to sacrifice. Motherhood isn’t easy!”
A strange pang of fear engulfed me, partially shadowing the thrill of an impending motherhood. Sacrifice, really? It felt as if I was a goat that someone was tying up and dragging to sacrifice. When I sat down and recalled the list of instructions my mom just given me, all of it could be summarised in one word: ‘SACRIFICE’! Just that.
Unfortunately, my mother was right to a large extent. All throughout my pregnancy, childbirth, and all the years till now, sacrificing my own self on several grounds has become a norm. A norm that was expected out of me as a mother. You put the child first, the family first, and goddamn forget yourself! Everywhere, I got the same messages.
No matter how sleepy you are, stay awake because the child is awake.
Feed the child and then feed yourself.
Forget everything you loved to do, just concentrate on the child.
And even if you have to pee, make sure the child is taken care of well.
“He is my child, and I know how to go about things. I am not a puppet, but a human being. And I have right to live the way I want to,” is something I often wanted to scream my lungs out, when the word ‘sacrifice’ held me by my throat every now and then.
I have huge problem with this term ‘sacrifice’. Not only do I find it obnoxious, I find it rather unwanted too.
I don’t want to sacrifice things in order to bring up my child as a mother. And, if I do, I would never call it a sacrifice. It would just be the need of the hour, that I need to give in and adhere to. This is something that I realised over the years. I need to happy first. Every relationship demands a certain protocol. And, a child mother relationship demands it too for that matter.
Understandably, most moms know what and how much they need to “sacrifice” to make it happen. And, trust me they all do. But, making it a barometer to measure the intent of love and commitment towards your child, is absolutely bullshit.
Let’s not forget that a mom is a human being first in flesh and blood. She has her own aspirations, dreams and ways of life. She didn’t nurture herself to become a ‘mother’ alone. She had her dreams too.
Bringing up a child is definitely a priority. But, not necessarily one that should be done by relinquishing everything else in life. That would be a tad unfair, isn’t so? She has every right to live and enjoy this phase, and certainly not burden it with all the uncalled for expectations that brings her to an irreversible brink.
Understand that what you don’t have in you, you cannot give others. If a mom isn’t happy with her own life, she can never raise a happy child! She needs to be what she is. Don’t burden herewith unreasonable expectations. Sacrifice or no sacrifice, she will be wonderful for her child.
Published here earlier.
Image source: shutterstock