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Much before we had thought of having a baby, I was always obsessed with having a baby girl. And I remember from the time I conceived I was probably far more obsessed. So much that- at times I was advised by my younger brother and doctor friend- what if it is a boy? Would you love him any less? No. So stop obsessing for you don’t want to subconsciously end up being biased.
My joy knew no bounds when I first heard “It’s a girl just as you wanted”. But as days, months and years fly by, I sometimes wonder if the life of a woman is easy. Hell no. Its laden with more barriers and thorns than one can envisage and that sometimes makes me wish – if it were a boy, his life would probably be easier, wouldn’t it?
1) Right from the time you are born, people judge you by your appearance- Angel has big and beautiful eyes just like you but she looked very fair when she was born, now she is getting darker. Take care and apply channa powder, that way she will be brighter. And don’t let her watch much TV as she grows up else she will have to wear glasses like you. And I wonder would so much of judgment have poured in if you were a boy?
The woman in me says- well it doesn’t matter, physical appearance was never something I would have wanted you to obsess over anyways, irrespective of your gender and I would have always encouraged you to develop qualities which will make you a worthwhile person
2) As you grow into a young girl, running and playing, laughing and throwing up your head in the air, some of them might tell you- “Hey girl don’t laugh so loudly, that’s not how girls laugh, don’t sit with your legs wide spread, don’t talk back, don’t argue, don’t play in the hot sun. And you may wonder why these are not being told to the boys around?
The woman in me says – these misogynistic beliefs are hard to wipe out- they told me, now they tell you and tomorrow it will be your child. Turn a deaf ear and run as much as you want and laugh as loud as you can.
3) You grow older and enter the storm of puberty; you get your first period. I on my part will make sure you are well equipped to deal with it by imparting the right information to you at a much younger age, the facts shall not be hidden so I would not expect you to be taken by shock and a sense of confusion like I had faced due to lack of knowledge that such a thing even existed. No I will not do that to you. But I still can’t control the cramps, the back aches and the discomfort that you might have to endure. I fervently pray that you go through none of these and have a pain free period , may it be nothing like the nightmare I suffered month on month which made me tear my hair and at times wish I could give anything to take away this pain. Not everyone has it and I hope you are one of those lucky few. At times I think why is it only women who need to go through this? People sometimes use it as a bait to deny us equal opportunities saying you are physically weak and at times our own kin (women) look down upon us saying we are faking it, someone who has not endured it would never how bad it is. I wonder what right they have to levy these accusations. I point a finger at God and say ” this is not fair, whatever happened to balancing the scales”
The woman in me says -As painful as it is, God has somewhere given us the strength to endure it and I am certain you will as well, for the bad days cheers to the hot water bag and some painkillers
4) As you grow older, and new people enter your life, “friends” who might be of the opposite sex. No I won’t frown at that cos I have a few of them who are my besties, so why should you be denied the right to explore this awesome relationship whose boundaries are not defined by gender. But I also worry at times about how unfairly you would be judged, whereas the guy friend will not be. You would be termed by some as “too open”. Isn’t this unfair you may ask me and I hate to tell you yes honey it is – “It’s a man’s word”
But the woman in me retaliates- You make a choice- society or your life, you can’t have both. I encourage you to choose the latter and give a damn about the former
5) I love dressing you up in shorts and a tee and when you are a big girl and if you still feel at home in these clothes, as much as I would want my daughter to have the freedom to choose what she wears, you may find me stopping you from wearing these when you go out. I don’t know how the world would be 10 years down the line but as a parent I would always worry for your safety.
The woman in me nods her head and says – But I cannot restrict you your freedom just because some maniac on the road would hit at you. As a woman, I should coach you to become strong enough to fight up these hooligans and not hide your body for you have done nothing wrong.
6) Your safety being forefront in my mind I may stop you from staying out late, attending parties and the reason is not because I don’t trust you honey but because I don’t trust the world and I fear they might harm my princess.
The woman in me smiles – but you mom still trusts you with 1 am parties, so why won’t you trust her?
7) As you embark on a new journey in your professional life, you would be full of aspirations and would want to conquer the world. I would stand by you my love, but I know there would be people around who, rather than boosting your morale would ask you the question that every young woman is asked- “so when are you getting married?” Career and all is ok but don’t get too immersed into it and miss out on marrying at the right age. I know you would be strong enough to pay no heed but at times when you look around and see your friends tying the knot and as you wait for the right man, the wait may probably seem too long, I hope you stay strong and don’t let these deter you.
The woman in me knows that you will wait for the right one and not compromise on this important aspect of your life.
8) You meet Prince Charming and though your wedding day would be the happiest of my life, it would also be a sad day to see you leave this home where we have built so many beautiful memories over the years, makes me think why do daughters have to leave? I do hope and pray you get a good life partner who respects you and values your dreams and you have equally supportive in laws who treat you as their daughter, but I do worry what if this is not true? What if you are not treated as an equal? What if their expectations are that you be the good homemaker and they judge your goodness by the rotis you make instead of your intelligence and other qualities?
The woman in me retaliates- If such unfortunate circumstances do arise, I know you will not compromise your self-respect and I shall stand by you my love
9) Then starts the wish for a baby and God forbid the good news takes a tad longer to come, it is always the woman at fault. Either for waiting too long or her sedentary life style and age preventing her from conceiving. How do we jump to such illogical conclusions I wonder?
The woman in me know you will take the plunge into motherhood only when you are fully ready
10)Ah there is a lovely baby – but rather than asking about your health and the baby’s, they would ask if this was a normal or C -section? Did you take epidural? (No capacity to withstand pain) Are you breastfeeding? If not, this is blasphemy? You will be labeled a lazy and selfish mom.
The mom in me laughs it off – as a Mom you learn to get thick skinned and I am certain you will master that too
11)And then starts the years of raising a child which would be truly taxing although very wonderful too. You will be judged for everything right from the child being too thin/ fat, to not intelligent enough, rude, noisy, and not good at sports, silent, and so much more. The finger always points at the mother first. You will be called the working mom who doesn’t have enough time for her child or the stay at home mom who sits at home whole day and her child is still not up to the mark.
The woman in me knows you shall be the best version of the mom you can and a happy one
12)The sunset of life- can you live these golden days per your wishes? I hope so or maybe not. For you may be called upon to fulfill your responsibilities as a grand mom and I really hope you do it only if you truly wish to do it. If you have other plans for yourself, don’t hesitate to say no.
The woman in me hopes that you think of yourself, it’s not selfish trust me.
Life is never easy for a woman- The expectation that she is a super woman who should deftly handle everything right from cooking tasty meals, to taking care of the kids, to being the career woman, the trophy wife, the ideal daughter in law, the perfect mom, the doting daughter, the good hostess- Unrealistically high expectations these are. And yes she is expected to be in shape; fit and healthy else she wouldn’t be that epitome of perfection. Menstruation which could be extremely painful for some, child birth, menopause – they say these are borne by women because they are strong but at times I really wish men got a fair share too.
Life is not going to be easy but being a woman and having seen my fair share (I am certain there is so much more to come) I would raise my child as a strong and confident girl and I wish she sails through all that life dishes out with vigor and only emerge stronger.
Linking up with #WomenOfBlogging
Linking up with #WomenOfBlogging