I met an old school friend today, after 17 years, and the last we met, she was working at an MNC. A bright and intelligent girl whose confidence was unnerving, of anything short of winds blowing on the Mt. Everest, if not, then Mt. Fuji definitely. She was one woman I expected to do wonders in life. She was someone who had no room for failure, losing for her always meant that a new window has opened somewhere in a maze of closed doors. To my utter amaze, she gave everything up for motherhood.
True, motherhood is a glorious gift, beyond expression by words. Categorically speaking, so must be fatherhood, but that doesn’t stop ‘a father’ from being a full person. Why do we women then have to define ourselves solely in terms within motherhood? If I am a full person, a homemaker, who works, shops, exercises and socialises too, won’t my offspring get benefit from this? We women focus so much on what our jobs take away from us, that we forget to quantify the confidence and self-fulfilment it gives us that our child too will benefit from. Not to mention the double-income that is an added boon, considering the materialistic benefits that come from that.
Society will choose the word tradition to justify anything. Women are asked to give up careers in the name of family traditions, asked to drop out of school under the name of religious traditions, and the list is never-ending. But have we ever wondered what do these ‘traditions’ ask men to give up? Everything a man does is justified in the line of work.
Us mothers are so conditioned to ‘do it all’ by ourselves that we forget ‘doing it all myself’ actually just leaves us with doing, and in this race, myself is lost somewhere far behind. When we venture into the late stages of our life, we become so robotic in our actions that caring-doing becomes inherent to us. But I rarely have come across women who care for themselves, their care only evokes for others — the husband, children, grandchildren and relatives. If we don’t start equating all genders and understand the verb ‘doing’ is same for all genders, we won’t be doing justice to our future generations.
All that one should do for their child is teaching them to ask questions when something doesn’t sound right. Who made the phrases ladki jaise rota hai, ladki jaise chalna, ladhkiyo ki tarah behave mat kar (Don’t cry like a girl, don’t walk like a girl, don’t behave like a girl)? Tell your children that real equality starts from home. Teach them to treat others as fellow humans.