Don’t you sometimes feel smothered by unsolicited opinions hurled towards you by people, friends or at times even random strangers?
Don’t you feel appalled when people find it’s okay to advise you on your own life, even when you haven’t asked for any?
Everyone seems to know, no actually, everyone believes they know better about how to live your life than you yourself do. What you should wear or eat, where you should study or work, what kind of person you should be, they assume you are doing it all wrong and must listen to what they have to say. Tell me this, haven’t you wished this cacophonous buzz to just stop once and for all?
Well, I have. And more so in the past few days.
Everybody seems to have an opinion on the kind of mother I should be, now that I am one.
The advice just keeps pouring in.
I like to experience life by myself. I need to do my own learning and make my own mistakes.
I don’t need any Tom, Dick or Harry, rather any Tara, Diana or Heather telling me what kind of mother I need to be.
That’s just how I’m wired.
But that doesn’t stop people from overstepping, does it?
From whether I should use Pampers or cloth nappies for my daughter to which creche I should put her in. From why I’m using Pampers and not cloth nappies to why I’m not using kajal on her. God! It just doesn’t stop.
Everything I do is wrong, apparently. And I’m not saying I’m all perfect but can’t I learn how to be a mother to my child on my own. I’m sure I’ll do just fine.
For the record, I’m not a person who oversteps her boundaries. I never force my opinion down someone’s throat. Never. So, when my personal space is breached, I just can’t handle it.
Why can’t people just respect boundaries?
Sometimes I just want to tell them that M is my and S’s responsibility and, thank you so much but, you needn’t worry about her. Yes, we are new to parenting but we’ll manage.
Nobody is born a parent, right?
And it’s not only about the how-tos, mind you. You are scrutinized for every statement you make.
When I wrote that delivery was one of the most painful experience in my life, I apparently should have added that M makes it all worth it. Because, without that explict statement, I 'm just a sefish woman, a bad mother. Which I certainly don’t understand because isn’t every mother a good mother?
To say I miss work is apparenlty the same as saying I don't value the time with M. As if I can’t be a mother and an individual at the same time. As if yearning for going back to work or simply going out on my own is wrong.
It is like I have become a walking, talking example of terms and conditions applied. So, if I say something which, God forbid, sounds sacrilegious to the mommy brigade, the asterisk at the end would signify that M does make it all worth it.
Are we really that harsh on mothers? I didn’t know. I mean I did to a certain extent but it is very overwhelming to live it. What’s hurtful is that mothers do that to other mothers. Yes.
I remember reading how a stay-at-home mom thinks that working mothers are being unfair to their children. I remember specifically one such mother commenting on how someone can leave their child in the care of some unknown person. Of course, the other way round is not rosy either. Working mothers judging stay-at-home moms for giving up their careers is not unheard of.
Actually, you can pretty much just say that any mother judging the parenting methods of another is a norm.
Why can’t we keep our views to ourselves? I get that we can’t stop judging people, especially those who make life choices in complete contrast to ours.
But do we really need to make it a point to throw our views out there when we clearly know it’s not the right thing to do?
I know this post sounds like a rant and maybe it is. I just want to tell those nosy people, as good as your intentions are, please back off. Let me be the kind of mother I want to be and if I need to change let M be the one to tell that to me, not you.
Well, I’m not going to ask if you have experienced this because I’m sure you have. So, mothers just go on and tell me your stories of being judged for your parenting and life decisions? I’m all ears.
Labels: MommyTalks, Motherhood