To Be or Not To Be A Mother !

To become a mother is a dream that almost all women nourish and cherish. From the day of conceiving to the day of delivery to being a first time mother to nurturing a baby to a fully grown person, motherhood is an experience which gives a woman sense of fulfillment. Eastern culture of Western culture, the joys, sorrows and struggles of motherhood remain the same.

However, we also keep on hearing about incidences of abortions, or leaving a baby just after birth and even neglecting a child’s upbringing. There might be several reasons for these incidences, though they are unwarranted. Patriarchy, caste and religion and segregation of people due to them, play a significant role in many such occurrences. Sometimes some unavoidable circumstances also lead to termination of pregnancy, but we are not going to discuss them in this post.

This post is about my friend – a friend who wants to be a mother but is facing opposition for no apparent reasons. My friend married her boyfriend after courtship of nearly 8 years.  There were hiccups regarding the marriage, but their love for each other and their will power had the last laugh. It’s been two years now and they have understood the real meaning of ‘married life’. They never had problems with each other, but things were made difficult by the people surrounding them.  My friend, though somewhat unhappy with her life, found some happiness from the fact that she is going to be a mother. Here, again, she faced the opposition from none other than her in-laws. They are against her pregnancy, for no apparent reasons and even asked her to undergo MTP. This friend of mine, already facing health issues, spent a week or so crying and sobbing, not knowing what to do. Finally, everything was solved when her husband and brother-in-law intervened.

My question here is when everything is fine, why do others tend to destroy the happiness?When a husband and wife does not have any doubt of giving birth to the baby, why are the parents-in-law interfering? The decision of having a baby or not should entirely depend on the partner or the would-be-parents. Nobody has the right to interfere in their matters by bestowing unsolicited advice and making things complicated.  Marriage, as it is comes with its own set of pros and cons. For a girl things are much more demanding as she enters an entire new family, away from her comfort zone. When a girl becomes pregnant, she undergoes a lot of hormonal changes. That might make things quite difficult for her. In such a time, what she looks forward is a bit of love, care and understanding from her near and dear ones. Isn’t it desirable to provide her with some extra support and care rather than marring her happiness?

We, in India, consider family to be an important part of our lives. Family is where the heart is. We respect our elders and give love to those who are younger to us. While making important decisions we take the advice of our parents. For me, all these thing are fine as long as we draw a line. There are things which are decided best without the parents meddling. Parents must also understand when and where situations and relationships can turn sour. Giving advice is fine, but asking your daughter-in-law to abort a child, just because you feel they are not ready for parenthood! Really, are we living in the 19th century?  The decision to be or not to be a mother is first and foremost a mother’s prerogative. It should be the partners deciding and no one else has the right to get involved in that!