Mommies, why do we like to pull each other down?

woman by the water


I have a neighbour who is a Deputy Director in a reputed womens’ university in Mumbai. Before you roll your eyes and say “what’s the big deal?”, let me tell you something about her. She pursued her doctorate at the age of 45…! She got married early, had two daughter one after another. She concentrated on raising her daughters well. And, when the daughters became independent, she decided it was time she did something for herself.

Well, she decided to work in her 40s. But, not all mothers want to wait till then. There are mothers who prefer to take a shorter break for kids before resuming work. Then there are some some who never take a break even after having a child. And, then we have mothers who don’t work but decide to stay at home to look after their family.

Whether you are a working mother or a stay at home mother, there is nothing wrong. You are a good mother, and don’t let the world tell you otherwise. Mothers are questioned for every action. If you work and leave your children to nannies or in day care, there are people who ‘oh-oh’ it. You are a negligent mother. If you don’t work and look after your children all day, you are looked down upon.

If it only stopped here…

If you are a woman who doesn’t want children – People understand and sympthasize with you if you are unable to bear children. But, tell them once that you are child-less by choice and then see all the hells break loose. Eyes roll and tongues wag. You are too ambitious! And God alone save you if you prefer pets to children.

Let us understand these three things FOREVER:

A woman is a woman first, and then a mother.

A woman is free to make her own choices: whether she wants to work or not, whether she wants to have kids or not.

A woman can be a mother to a human baby, a pet or nature. She is still a mother!

Friends, there is no winning with the world! So let’s stop making the effort! Work for yourself and live for yourself! Let the world do what it does best – bitching!

At least, let’s stop questioning each other. We are, were or could be in the same position as others; let’s sympathize with other women even if we don’t fully endorse their idea.

Let’s not pull each other down – we have others to do it for us 😉 and seriously, it’s NOT FUN!!


I Let My Maid Cook For My Daughter Sometimes, and Hey, It’s Okay!

My mother’s life revolved around her kitchen. She was the Queen of her kitchen, and felt at home whenever she was working around with her pots and pans feeding one child or the other (we were three, you see!)…

Those were days when my father had set up a new business and he would regularly come at midnight or even later than that. But my mother never kept rotis for him. She would make fresh chapattis for him whatever time of the night it might be. As far as her kids were concerned, she never let us eat junk. If we were hungry at 7 PM, she would give us our dinner then.

Growing up in a house where my mother placed her kids and husband’s meal before everything else left a mighty big impression on me. When my daughter was born, my mom told me one thing – “Take good care of her!” Knowing her well, I knew that she was asking me to feed my daughter properly and not take any shortcuts when it came to her meals.

I started with breastfeeding my daughter. When my daughter was ready to be weaned, I made her homemade cerelac of rice-dal, nachni-dal and wheat flour-dal. When she grew big enough to eat normal food, I still would separate her dal and sabji before adding spices, and make fresh chapattis for her.

But the real trouble began when I resumed work…

When she was 5 months old, I started working from home. I started working for longer hours when she turned 1 year old. Soon, my work became demanding. Still, I made sure to feed my daughter myself. However, there were times when I would get an unscheduled client call (they always started with a request for only 5 minutes and then stretched to 20 or 30 sometimes). By the time I finished the call, it was way past my daughter’s lunch time. Also, time for another call! Though most clients sympathized with a work from home mother, it was not professional to expose them to ear-splitting shrieks from your daughter because she was hungry.

I was going through a really tough time. Yes, I was a mother now. But I also wanted to reclaim my life. For three years, I had ignored my friends. I could not meet them because I was afraid of who would do the cooking on those days.

How my husband helped me find a solution to the problem
I realized this could not go on. I didn’t want my daughter to suffer. “Kids should always come first” – I remembered my mother saying once. I thought about quitting my job. That’s when my husband told me something I have never forgotten:

“You are not your mother. So don’t try to imitate your mother. What your mother did was commendable, but what you are doing is equally remarkable too.

Your mother’s life was her kids, while yours is your daughter plus your work. You are a working woman and there’s no harm in letting the nanny cook for our daughter and feed her if need be!”

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I am a guilty mother


Sometimes I feel that my second name should be ‘guilty’ because I am always guilty for something or the other. And it all started as soon my little daughter was born. From this perfectly happy-go-lucky affable girl, I turned into an emotional mess overnight.

So if I wanted to visit the washroom or sleep and my baby cried, I felt guilty. If I went out for grocery shopping I felt guilty. If I slept while my baby was awake, I was guilty. There was no end to it.

But I hadn’t realized the extent to which this guilt could play havoc on my life. In my previous blogs I have written about how I desperately want to resume my career. Every day, I feel ‘why I am wasting my life like this?”.

Then the mother in me argues, “you are not wasting your life, you are investing it in your child’s future. Is this why you brought this child into this world, so that you can put her in a day care?”

But there is a sensible voice that says “you can’t spend every minute of your wake up time with your child. It’s impossible. Instead of quantity, spend quality time. Work toward your goals too. Your child will appreciate that.”

“What if she gets hurt or falls sick in my absence?” or “Won’t my daughter miss not having me around?”

I argue, “Come on, woman, your daughter has fallen a hundred times with you around. How did it help her?” And also, “Kids adjust. She will miss you for a few days, and it’s not like you are not coming back in the evening?”

The questions are galore, so are the arguments. In spite of reasoning with myself every few days, I am still not able to make up my mind. Because I feel guilty. Again, that ‘g’ word.

I know I am a mother. But why do I forget that I am first a person. I have my own needs and wants. Somewhere, being a mother, I have forgotten myself. I love my child to distraction, but that can’t make up my whole life. I need to be myself, and less guilty. And I need to keep telling that to myself every day till the time I can live with the guilt.

This is what I have been doing to cope up with my guilt. Hope it works its magic faster.

  • If her father can work guilt-free, so can I.
  • My child needs my love and presence. But she needs money too. And extra money doesn’t hurt anyone.
  • There is no substitute to self-sufficiency and independence. Who doesn’t like to see money rolling in?
  • If I am so happy staying at home with my child all day long, then why do I feel so empty within?
  • My daughter is not content with playing alone with me. She needs her friends, classmates etc. After a few years, she would need less of me and more of them. What will I do then?

What are your thoughts? What has been your experience?

  • I spend reasonable time with my daughter, but the times when I don’t I start questioning myself. Is it so wrong to have sometime for myself?

What are your thoughts? What has been your experience?