Mother-child, the bond so precious. It is considered to be the purest relationship of all. One that begins with conceiving the baby and stays till eternity. Mothers play a very important role in our life, she is a creator, nurturer, mentor, guide, and teacher. Before becoming a mother, I had to just think about myself but, since the time I have become a mother I have to think twice- once for myself and once for my child. She is the epitome of selfless care in spite of the challenges that she faces every day. Her problems and worries are often overlooked. In addition to this, the typical and traditional mindset, no matter how modern we claim to be, often adds to her worries and troubles. She is expected to be a perfect mother. Does she succeed? Read on.
In today’s modern era motherhood has become an art form that every woman is expected to master. The mother is expected to be a so-called perfect mother, she has to cook well-keeping nutrition as her top priority, she has to nurture and imbibe good values in her child, she has to keep the house spick and span and on top of that, she has to do everything with a smile on her face. Now that is some pressure don’t you think?
We often see around us on television, social media or for that matter in our own neighborhood how mothers have it all. Spotless house, wonderful meals, great jobs, disciplined kids, and a very happy life, plus they are never whining how the other moms don’t have time for them. Well, we are left to imagine if these moms can do it then why can’t I, right? No, I would say this is wrong.
In fact, when my daughter was born back on 2013 I also dreamt of a perfect motherhood. I would make food from scratch keeping the nutritional needs in mind, bathing her in a perfect manner, giving her massage thrice a day to singing a lullaby religiously for her to sleep. I thought I would pass the exam and get a certificate of perfect motherhood soon. Over a period of time, I found myself drowning in the pressure of being a perfect mother and of standards that were not easy to meet on day to day basis. In the race of being a perfect mother, one tends to lose themselves by making various sacrifices from not going out with friends, avoiding invitations for the party and much more in order to be with your child, to loosing very good friends as you can’t give time to them.
Here are some situations that create a sense of demand and pressure in the mind of Indian women making them try hard to be a perfect woman and a mother.
Be a perfect mother- As if our life didn’t have enough of stress, we are loaded with another duty and we are expected to meet becoming a perfect mother. We are expected to maintain a work-life balance, follow traditions, never make a mistake and just be available all the time. In spite of doing everything and trying to meet the expectations at the end, it seems like a futile effort. It leaves us tired and depressed feeling lies a failure when we are actually doing everything to the best of our capabilities.
Fulfilling all the responsibilities of the child- We women are often expected to live and adapt to the new life and family members completely after marriage. Once they become mothers, they are expected to take up all the responsibilities of the child without a single complaint. Most of the time families expect the mother to leave her job, her career, social life and every other thing that used to make her happy earlier. In most cases, there is very little help from the family but only advice and recommendations. The child is often considered the responsibility of the mom. From bringing them up to giving good values is all her responsibility.
Giving up social life & friends- Most of the times after marriage Indian women are expected to dedicate themselves to their family completely. Similarly, after they become mother they are required to focus all the energies on their child. Families would often showcase that they are modern and hence they are allowing the women to work and continue with the career. But, these families do not allow them to spend time with friends on trips or have night outs. It is strictly considered a no-no.
Juggling work and family responsibilities alone- Marriage is a scared constitution and is a partnership between two people. Unfortunately, wife alone is left to deal with everything alone from family to a child. It is often frowned upon if the husband helps out at home in the kitchen or taking care of the baby. As a result, the women if the family begins her day two hours before others. During pregnancy and after the birth of the child, we are often made to choose work from home or give up on the job and give complete attention to the baby and home. We either take a sabbatical or we give up job to be a perfect mother. When we invest in good 2-3 years for our child and think of returning to the work, our mommy guilt and a sense of criticism from the family holds us back.
No time for themselves-Last but not least. They have no time for themselves. Before getting married women take out time out to do things that will give relief and distress them. After marriage, they still try to manage and find the balance between family and social life. However, once they become the mother, it becomes nearly impossible for her to find personal space and time for herself. Even if the poor soul managed time for herself she would die of the societal pressure and she will end up feeling guilty about her baby endlessly.
Also, Read- Being a mother without a mother here
Last but not least being judged by fellow moms- Can anything get worse. A woman is judged by a fellow woman. Working mom is judged by a stay at home mother and vice versa. The one who stays at home gets to pick their kids from school, take them for recreational activities, play in the park and have fun at home. Whereas the one who works and has a full-time career has to give up on all the above that a stay at home mum gets to live. A working woman might judge the one sitting at home for doing nothing but cooking and cleaning and managing home. The stay at home women will judge the working women for leaving her kids along and at daycare or with the nanny and not being able to attend the parent teachers meeting always.
Well, my parting thoughts to all those reading this is that its high time to put our foot down and stand up for what we think is right for our kids and ourselves. Let’s stop constantly struggling to meet the impossible standards and definitions that the society inflicts upon us in disguise of mom’s duty and being a perfect mother. I have personally taken an oath to do what I feel is best for my child and for me. I don’t want to be a perfect mother. I am happy with the imperfections. Remember that if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to take care of your baby to the best of your capability. So, relax, don’t over-think, and follow your heart.
All of us have a different approach towards parenting, child-care and life in general. The small little things and the unique touch that we lend to our child is what makes the difference. There is no right or wrong way of mothering your child. What you do basis your instincts and your knowledge are best. Just trust your instincts and be the real mom for your child without getting bothered about being a perfect mother.
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