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Is Motherhood just one part of the journey called life, or every woman’s ultimate goal? Can women who are not mothers be equally happy?
Before I get any brickbats or anything, let me tell you that I love R more than anything else in the world….this is just a thought in process. Sometime earlier this month, it was a friend’s birthday. I called to wished her and then enquired what her plans were for the evening.
Friend: Nothing rey…with a 1 year old baby, what to plan?
F: Things really go for a toss na after a baby…
RM : Yes, that’s true. You can’t just go out when you want and do what you want after a baby…and no, I do love my child, but I do feel the need for some space at times.
F: And that too we are working moms, we do have ‘space’, but imagine a stay at-home mom…would it be really difficult for them?
RM: I really don’t know…but I can totally understand your viewpoint about needing that space
F: It’s like a constant thing in my head RM…like I get worried all the time…or may be because I am a new mom
RM: yaa, but it’s like a responsibility right…you can’t take it lightly
F: Sigh! I sometimes wonder what if I didn’t have my daughter…I do love her, but then I think everyone just over rates motherhood, you know, “get your child before it’s too late biologically” etc etc
RM: Now that’s a thought! Is mommyhood over rated?
And that is why this post, Is mommyhood over rated? Are people who are not parents, not happy? Do they really want kids or are they happy as they are? Is motherhood the ultimate goal for any woman?
I don’t know…I am not instinctively maternal, if you know what I mean. I can’t hold crying babies and make them stop…or give baths to the very chotu ones without the fear of them slipping from my hands. In fact even with R, I used to be terrified of holding her till her head stabilized. I don’t hold babies whose heads are not stable even now and people laugh at me asking what I did with R, but I don’t…I get too worried and worked up thinking what if and all that.
But I do know of some people who do all this and more…like my MIL or my bhabhi. They can make any child stop crying and hold even a one day old baby…anyways I digress…
If a woman doesn’t become a mother, is she missing out something? Is her life incomplete? I wonder if it’s true…I know most women undergo fasts and pray like crazy to become mothers, and in my friends’ circle most people I know are mothers…and those who were not have adopted…
But is motherhood the ultimate goal for a woman? If you ask me personally, I think it’s just a part of the journey, like marriage. I have R, so obviously I can’t talk from a ‘non-mother’ point of view, but I don’t take it as an ultimate goal in life. I do think at times that motherhood is over rated, you know like how people tell you, “you will be 30 next year, have a kid” or “you are missing out on such fun by not being a mother”, or that “you will never understand what being maternal means until you have your own child..it means total selflessness” etc etc etc.
I don’t deny all of it but what I am trying to say here is that I think women who don’t have children can be equally happy. They can always enjoy surrogate motherhood by having fun with their nieces and nephews or their friends’ children. I don’t know, that’s just a thought I have…
I started out this post with something and then it turned out to be something else! In a nutshell I have these questions:
1) Is motherhood the ultimate goal in a woman’s life? Or can it be just a part of the journey?
2) Are women who are non-mothers unhappy and feel they are lacking something in life?
3) Am I wrong in even thinking such things now that I am a mother?
R’s Mom is a working mother in Mumbai trying to balance work, home and baby. Learning the ropes of new motherhood and wanting to spend more time with baby. Running to catch up with read more...
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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