Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Something to Think About

I don't generally read 'mommy blogs' (for obvious reasons) but I came across this post by Parul Sharma. I'm sharing the link because I think it's a topic that a number of women struggle with post-motherhood, and also because I think I've done a post on this topic earlier (I'm too lazy to dig it up so just take my word for it, will you?)

In her post, Parul puts across her point of view on the issue of stay-at-home moms vs. working moms. She talks about how women who give up their careers to look after their kids feel responsible towards their parents & their efforts to give them (the women) the best education they could afford, so they could be financially independent. On the other hand, working moms suffer tremendous guilt for not being able to give sufficient time & attention to their child(ren). And there are some women who're lucky enough to be able to work from home, and while it may seem that they have the best of both worlds, the flip side is that people often don't take their work seriously and trivialize it.

Parul also goes on to say that when it comes to deciding whether to be a stay-at-home-mom or a working mom, there's no right (or wrong) decision. That we have to respect other people's choices, and if we feel we're superior to them because of the decision we've made for ourselves, then we're probably just trying to hide our own feelings of inferiority and dissonance with the choice we've made.

My favorite paragraph in the entire article is this: ".....tough as it sounds, that we cannot turn on our babies and burden them with accusations. Here, I did all this because of you, gave up so much because of you, made so many sacrifices to give you a good, better, best life. Nobody asked you to. So just shut up already, yes?"

I see this happening all the time, particularly when it comes to the child making a choice of career his parents might be opposed to, or in our great Indian society, the choice of a partner. And I think it's completely unfair on the child.

For all the talk about how people want to experience the miracle of creating life, it can't be denied that people have kids for very selfish reasons. They want a child to carry on their family name, to inherit and tend to their assets after they're gone, and most importantly to take care of them when they're old. So they really do need to remember that they have no right to emotionally blackmail the child into doing what they want him/her to do by counting the number of things they've done for him/her and the sacrifices they've made. No one asked them to have a child and do any of it; they did it all completely out of their own volition.

Me, I have taken the easier way out and decided I don't want kids. But for those of you women who are/plan to become mothers, hop over to Parul's blog and read her post.

There. My good deed for the day.


Moonshine said...

Just today we were talking about something.. on very similar lines.. at the end of the day, its all about choices.. and we make them and we better live with it!

Scarlett said...

@Moonshine - It's human nature to doubt whether we made the right choices b/c we are always faced with what could've happened if we'd chosen something else for ourselves.

In this case, women who gave up their careers to become stay-at-home moms are surrounded by those who continued w/ their careers, and vice versa. Both these groups must have moments of self-doubt when they wonder whether the choice they made was right. All I'm saying is, hopefully every woman makes this choice after weighing the pros & cons. And she really has no right to blame her frustrations on her child later on.

aspriha said...

I think we should only do things that would make us happy and not leave us feeling sad about the "sacrifice". Anything done in the spirit of sacrifice can hardly make us happy ever

Scarlett said...

@Aspriha - I agree with you 100%