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I have always given up my wishes for the comfort of others; something I do not want my daughter to emulate as she grows up.
A remark that my soon to turn 7 year old made just after the day she lost one of her milk teeth was flabbergasting to me. While petting the little one and lovingly claiming that both of our noses look similar I was immediately thwarted by her disapproval. I was quite intrigued and hence asked her sheepishly, “Don’t you wish to be like Maa or Papa when you grow up?”
Pat came the reply, “I want to be like myself and not like anyone else!”
I won’t lie; I was quite impressed with her prudence at such a tender age! And why not? Why do our children need to become like us? The fact that we eventually become like our fathers or mothers is now just a cliché!
I would be quite content if my daughter does not turn out to be like me; I am not really an ideal role model, to tell the truth. There are times when I cannot even break an egg perfectly for an omelette. I also find it overtly difficult to wake up early, besides messing up other things as well.
Now these might sound hilarious/ stupid/ insignificant however aren’t these deemed as the real qualities of a woman?
Isn’t she supposed to churn out the perfect ‘rotis’ for her family? Isn’t she supposed to remain the most ideal individual despite being surrounded by the most non-idealistic circumstances? The answers to both these questions and many like these would be unfortunately “yes” in Indian society. I really wish that she grows up to say “no” to people or situations that make her uncomfortable or cause inconvenience to her. Thus it stands imperative that my daughter does not take after me.
Also, when my daughter refuses to grow up to be like me I really wish that she becomes assertive, calmer, and would want her to develop the attitude of taking life with a pinch of salt at times.
I really foresee her having more accomplishments than regrets as she ages. I wish that my daughter handles her younger self better than her mom. I really wish she does not have to have greater trade offs in a bid to fulfill her aspirations. And I honestly do not see my daughter as a mere agent of fulfilling my unfinished dreams and in the process compromise her own!
My daughter’s remark also makes me look forward to a life for her that’s less complicated than what I have been through. The issues in my life have mostly been due to my inability to prioritize myself over others.
I have always been too engrossed in making others around me happy, and in the process found nothing for myself. So if my daughter thinks she would do otherwise I am completely game!
Another reason that would gratify me if my daughter doesn’t become like me is that she wouldn’t have to hear, “it’s in the genes!” Who says that? And why should even someone say that?
More often than not my sister and I are/were reprimanded for our errors as being behaviour that is “genetically derived” from my mother! And this is not something I would want my daughter to hear from anyone.
Thus if my daughter refuses to take after me I would be the happiest mother. A mother who would want her next generation to chart out a path that’s truly not been travelled upon before!
Image source: shutterstock
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