Is Motherhood A Compulsion?

We love our kids. But this mom feels that some are pushed into it by people around us and don’t have really have options to make a decision since she is a woman. This is her viewpoint.

Did you ever have this thought– “Motherhood is not for me”? At times I realize this “not so acceptable” statement and I have no other choice than to ignore the realization. Our society has its never-ending expectations.

When you are at 25 years and you just start thinking about your life’ s wishlist, your relatives ask you about marriage. When you fulfil their expectation of “getting married”, they start suggesting that it's about time you start planning the first kid. Mind it, family planning is always a suggestion and a one-way lecture session with no opposition feedback being entertained at all.

A large part of Indian women are raised with motherhood being their ultimate goal in life. I have been raised in a similar fashion wherein motherhood referred to an accomplishment. I never got a chance to even give it a thought whether I wanted to be a “mother by choice”. Societal pressure blocked my thinking process and I became a mother. 

Happiness ruled my emotions until I realized the magnitude of sacrifices, I need to make after being a mother. But does our society or family bother about our sacrifices? Of course not! The only monologue you get to hear from them is “now that you are a mother, you have to do it”. So, there starts the realization phase when you start asking yourself “was I ready for these sacrifices?” Alas! At this juncture of life, you will find no one to share your woes. That’ s when many women go into depression after motherhood. The harsh reality of motherhood is often “forcibly ignored” by us and we assume that “motherhood is inevitable”. 

I am a working mother but when I have to rush from the office to pick my kid from daycare, I often end up questioning myself –  “was motherhood my choice or compulsion?” When I see my peers going for solo trips or catching up with each other frequently at some coffee shop (and me packing the school bag or preparing kid’ s tiffin), I end up asking the same question again. But does that give you the allowance to ask me “whether I love kids?” Of course, I do until I have fewer sacrifices to make.

Our society and also, we must understand that there can be no timeline for being a mother. I might choose to be a mother at the age of 21 years or 38 years, or I might choose not to be a mother at all. But that can’t be stereotyped as “the couple has problems in conceiving”. Having a huge friend circle, I end up seeing couples who choose not to have kids at all and also couples who have 2 kids under family pressure. 

Pause a moment before choosing motherhood and ask yourself- “are you choosing parenthood or are you giving in to societal pressure?”



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