14-year old Sheela said – “Mom, why don’t you start doing something?”
(Confused) Her mother replied – “Why do you ask me now? What should I do?”
Sheela – “When my friends ask me what you do, I have to tell them that she is a house-wife. But all my friend’s mothers are working or have started something on their own. Why don’t you also do something instead of sitting at home?”
Mom – “Beta, what can I do now? Who will give me a job? I can’t start something on my own alone without support.”
Dejected, Sheela left. The awkwardness was subtle but evident. For the first time a mother felt that her life was worthless. Doing the household chores & taking care of every need of the family members was her DUTY; rather every mom’s duty. So, she was not doing anything extra-ordinary. Or was she?
Sheela was a topper at school – smart & vivacious. Little did she realize that a lot had gone into raising her to be who she is today. Dedicating hours of hardwork to ensure she liked studying & got good grades perpetually. To enroll her in extra-curricular activities through-out the week to give her the exposure & opportunity to learn new things & shape her personality to outshine in this excessively competitive world. And to make a diamond shine requires time, dedication & SACRIFICE. Suddenly all the sacrifice that she had made for her child had lost its sheen.
Her mother left her well-paying corporate job & career so that she did not have to be left at the mercy of a nanny or a day care centre who had little or no concern for the baby. What they do is their JOB, what a MOTHER does is her AFFECTION & LOVE. Shuttling between extra classes after school, making a different variety for every meal, teaching new things at home to engage the curious mind was her SACRIFICE of her ‘Corporate Dream’ & professional growth .
I am a mother of a 1-year old princess. Despite being a doting mother, I can vouch – “I WON’T make all the sacrifices for my child”. Really? Did you just read that? Are these the words of a MOTHER? Can’t be. Don’t be judgmental & curse me. A woman, especially a mother, is an epitome of sacrifice for the family. When you put ‘sacrifice’ as an element, you tend to let the child feel the pressure of “I did this for you”. So, you expect your child to highly appreciate the efforts, pay-back for all that you have given to your child.
But, why should you not sacrifice everything for your child?
When you make a sacrifice for someone, you let go of something you like/love. It could be sacrificing a late night movie that you always enjoyed with your husband or an evening walk with your colony friend or even reading a book. Knowingly or unknowingly, we start applying pressure on our kids, and let our own dreams take a backseat just because we choose to SACRIFICE EVERYTIME. If you do so liberally, by the time you realize, the damage caused becomes irreversible.
Although, “sacrifice” comes naturally to your parent. And here we are not referring the sleepless nights, changing nappies & diapers, endless tantrums of a picky eater or the pain you go through during labor. Those are inevitable and are things you are more than willing to do happily. Because to give birth to a baby was your choice. It was the desire to become a mother/father and to cherish the journey of parenthood.
What parents forget during this journey is “Themselves”! They forget to enjoy the little things that make them happy. Like choosing to take your child to Fun City in a mall instead of enjoying a VadaPav occasionally at your favourite joint. For new mommies, it becomes a Hercules task to attend a school reunion. Correct me if I am wrong! I’m sure I’m no exception. So much that we do for our kids, only to realize after a decade that they don’t really need us or depend on us. And not long from now you will have your child demanding “their space” or “their privacy”. It may be convenient for them to overlook how much has gone into nurturing them & shaping them to become independent individual.
So, I have taken my stand. I will not fret! I will continue to enjoy my desi music while cooking, fortnight movie time (evening show if not for night show) & definitely my Zumba classes. Because I do not want my child to tell me – “Mom, I didn’t ask for it! You did it because you wanted to.” Or probably “Everyone does it Mom, what’s the big deal?” It hurts. Hurts real bad!
I LOVE MY DARLING ANGEL! AND I WILL DO ALL IT TAKES TO MAKE HER A HAPPY & HUMBLE PERSON EVERYONE WILL LOVE TO LOOK UPTO. BUT NOT AT THE COST OF LOSING MY OWN PERSONAL LIFE! AND BY DOING SO, SHE WILL LEARN AN IMPORTANT LESSON IN LIFE – LEARN TO LOVE & RESPECT YOURSELF. A VIRTUE EVERY CHILD SHOULD BE TAUGHT.
I think it’s time for change. It is essential that we understand that our children may not indebted to us. Life is a vicious cycle. Be good to your kids. They will be good to you (life sustains on hope). Should children payback to their parents for raising them? Click here to read more & share your opinion.