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Motherhood needs to be an option, not a compulsion. Marriage is not a legal license from society to become a mother. Don't women deserve to make that choice?
Motherhood needs to be an option, not a compulsion. Marriage is not a legal license from society to become a mother. Don’t women deserve to make that choice?
Our Indian society seems to have a set timer for us. When it clicks, we should have done the thing they consider the right time for. For example – graduate by 23, find a good job by 25, get married and have kids before 30.
But what most people forget is that the couple, and especially the woman, has a choice whether or not to have a baby. To become a mother is the greatest feeling ever, but it needs to happen because the couple chooses it and not because society expects them to have a child.
Once you’re married, the society and your family almost forces you to have children. According to them, it is necessary to become a mother before a certain age because after that, carrying a child might be difficult. And they will start comparing you to other couple who have kids soon after their marriages.
People will say things like, ‘It’s been a year to your marriage, and you’re still not planning to have a child?’ or ‘Do you even want to be parents?’ They might even go as far as saying either ‘Are you both happy and satisfied with your relationship?’ or even ‘Once the baby comes, your bond will be stronger and your relationship better.’
The couples are rarely given the time to choose and think and figure out when they are ready to take the responsibility of a child. And today, having a child out of wedlock is not really a surprise. It just shows you to become a mother, marriage is not necessary. At the same time, being married doesn’t mean you should have a child as soon as possible.
In olden time, men used to go out, work and earn while women handled the household work. They weren’t allowed to go out to work. However, times have changed and women are working while managing household chores. Thus, for a woman to become a mother comes with a lot of sacrifice or even a halt in their career. Some of them may even have to end their careers to take care of the child.
Which is why, women need to have the right to choose if and when they want to take the responsibility of a child. To carry a child and bring it up is a big thing for any person. It comes with a lot of responsibilities and sacrifices. This is should be a choice and not a compulsion by the society or the family.
Even today, in this educated society why can’t women take their own stand in their life decision. Motherhood needs to be an option, not a compulsion. Marriage is not a legal license or an approval from society to become a mother.
Women have all the right to say no till they are ready to take the responsibility. Their partners also needs to understand their points of view.
But often it becomes difficult for women because according to society, women need to do things in a bound time frame. Education, job, marriage, motherhood all comes just like between the age of 20-30.
And coping up with all these predefined norms of the society lead to a lot of difficulties for women. So, shouldn’t they at least have some time and authority to make decisions on their own? At the end of the day, it IS her life and she has every right on it!
Picture credits: Still from Amazon Prime series Made In Heaven
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
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