The Romanticized Concept of Motherhood
We all have heard the famous line, “Motherhood completes a woman.” This article tries to break this romantic concept and to make the world see the true desires that blossom in a woman’s heart and I say this without generalizing.
Motherhood means: 9 months of pain and dependency, pain of child birth, sleep deprivation, stretch mark and in most cases a life time of low self esteem because of body dissatisfaction. Dealing with all this, women are expected to take care of a baby: for others is the most wonderful creation of god but for the mother the child’s constant wailing, hair pulling, peeing and shitting, drooling and constant need for attention leaves her exhausted and no time for herself.
Next time you see a new mother, notice her dark circles and half smiles which say that ‘I want to stay away from this child for once and yet I love him’. In the movie “Riding in cars with boys” Drew Barrymore, a 15 year old mother, tells her friend that at times she thinks that she does not love her little boy and even the viewers might blame her for being so careless. But, beside all the things in the movie what comes out explicitly is that all her dreams to study English literature from an Ivy League college and write novels are shattered for life.
Women have been giving up on their professional dreams since decades because hardly would any man leave his job for his child and even if he does, how can a woman reach the top ladder in the corporate arena with a lag of months and years. In India a 9-5 job of a teacher or government servant is what appeals to the women the most. Why? Not because they do not want to enter the corporate or multinational but because she knows that motherhood is her ultimate achievement and that glass ceiling would never let her rise.
If ever a woman speaks against being a mother or loving those adorable toddlers she is looked down upon or people smile in disbelief because they know it is not possible- nobody will let that happen as Marriage and Motherhood is something only lucky women can choose to reject.
Everyone has babies both the rich and starving. Ever thought why the concept of nannies came into being? Nannies came as a relief for mothers from the constant crying and diaper changing. But what of the poor who cannot afford a help, their lives are without ambition. Talk to a new father, he’ll dream of achieving a business deal or a new job or the like but talk to a new mother and you will not hear a single dream which does not have her children.
If a mother gets an opportunity to travel for her dream job her heart flies with pleasure yet soon it weighs down with the realization that she cannot leave her child behind. She becomes no different than a tied up animal with the grazing area proportional to its rope. I am not against having children but the idea of it being the magical state which every woman desires and that a mother’s life is bliss.
Being a mother might be what many women want but yet there are dreams of having a perfect growing career where she is on the top, a body she is proud of, the feeling of being equal to men in everything and nothing to hold her back. We need a society which supports a woman’s decision to have or not have a child because frankly speaking, no man would barter with a woman’s life.
About the Author: This article is contributed by our intern, Utpala. Utpala finished her English Honours and is doing her Masters in English from Delhi University. She writes because she believes that written words never die and pen is mightier than sword. She has joined hands with Respect Women to speak out the thoughts she has during the vacuum hours of her days.