Growing up I had no special status for women in my mind, though I was a girl. I saw women around me toiling hard to lead their lives, compromising everything…. And moreover, all I heard was how being a girl is such a bad thing because you have to endure so much pain your whole life. Even just the physical pain from menstruation to labor to menopause… I felt that nature was biased and gave all the pain to one gender. But there came a point in my life when this whole perspective shifted. It went from cursed to blessed. And that happened when I got pregnant. Through my pregnancy I felt so much respect for the female gender - not just human. I have never looked down on any woman after that. Being pregnant made me realize how special I am because nature has given me the boon of creation. Giving birth without caring for yours - nothing can be more blessed than this. It was the first time, I felt so close to nature... as if I were one with it.
As if the whole universe was thankful because I was contributing to the process of creation.
I am not going to categorize moms here based on any of the statuses our world has created so that it can divide and rule us. We are all mothers and we all share this responsibility. Being a mom is the most blessed and the greatest thing on this earth. But I often keep beating myself up thinking that I am not doing my best for my kid. I look at other moms and think I still need to do better. And the train of thoughts starts running….
Immediately, as if to stop the train of these thoughts, my guiding voice responds: “It doesn’t matter if you haven't done anything great so far for you or your child or the society. Now is the chance.
You have the responsibility of raising this kid and if done right so that he/she grows up to be the person who can impact the whole world and becomes one Mahatma, one Subhas Chandra Bose, one Bhagat Singh, one Nelson Mandela, one Marie Curie, Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln, Vivekananda, then you have done your contribution to mankind.”.
In “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life” Tom Corley mentions that parents are the biggest influencers, for kids. The majority of habits get formed by the time a child reaches 9 years of age. And we live most of our lives with these habits and changing them in later life needs effort.
If you also look at the biographies of a lot of the people who made a change, you will notice that very early on they were influenced by someone who dreamt of it. Who planted a seed of truth, courage, patriotism, etc… And many times it’s the mother who has had an everlasting influence on them.
I would like to give a shout out to all the wonderful moms out there who are doing an exceptional job... Trust me. You are!! Doesn't matter who you are and what you do, there will always be someone who thinks they know better than you. In fact, they might know it better than you, but only you will know what's good for your kid. Dint you bring out that giant watermelon-sized creature out? The society we live in is not very nice to women… and most of the time the bias happens from another woman. At least that's what I have seen.
After settling in Canada we went to India for the first time after 4 years. The first question I got asked from the majority of them was “when was I getting pregnant?” and they were not strangers but the so-called family - who come in all shapes, sizes, relationships, and women. I was not even asked how I was… but it was different for my husband. Nobody ever asked him ‘when are you becoming a father?’ Aren't we all educated enough to know who is the one responsible for getting a woman pregnant? But my mom never asked me this million-dollar question, so I asked her one day ‘why did you never ask me about my pregnancy or suggest anything?’. She said: “You went to a totally different country and set up your lives. You got jobs and did everything for yourselves with no interference or help from us. If you could do all that, I am sure you would very well know when to be a mom. To give you an idea of my mom, growing up she was the most critical person in my life. Very hard and rigid in her ways. I used to think ‘can’t my mom be nice like other moms?’. Maybe because of what she had to overcome she wanted to make it hard for her daughters so that when they went out to the real world they would be ready for it.”.
As a mother you will be constantly compared, controlled, and complained about. Don't pay heed to it. Here is this clay that can be molded.
You need to have just one vision in mind - He/She will be the best person the world will get to see. He/She is the change the world wants to see.
And you are definitely not on an easy path. If you have people who constantly encourage you and agree with you, good for you. Lucky you! But if not, don't compromise on your kids. Very early on in my motherhood I realized that it doesn't matter what I do, people will always think that there is a better way to do it. And theirs is the better way to do it.
Just a simple funny story: After feeding my son - he might have been 8 months or so -
I'd wipe his mouth with my hand. People who would see it would say ‘oh no no, you need to wet a cloth and wipe his mouth with it’. So I started doing it. The next time somebody saw me do it he’d say ‘oh no no, you need to do it with your hand. That reminded me of the old fable “The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey”.
I also understood very early on that it doesn't matter what you do, people will have their better versions of ways to do everything. I decided to raise my kid my way. Well, you do need suggestions time and again. I am not against them. All I’m saying is that I need to have the choice to choose. At the end of the day we are all doing our best for our kids. Some things work, some things don't.To all the people who think that they know better because they have raised 3, 4, or don't know how many kids... please! Your turn has passed. Please step back gracefully and give others a chance to raise their kids.
Moms, this is your last chance to do something incredibly great for the community, society, Mother Earth, creation, and yourself which you can be proud of. Don't let people’s voices and judgments get to you. You know what's best for your kid. We will constantly be faced with situations and challenges. Choose solutions that will make sure your child gets to the greatness you dream of.
Let there be a vision in their minds, dreams in their eyes, courage in their hearts, strength in their arms, fire in their bellies, a go-getter attitude.
We need a better world where everyone is encouraged, we need a world where everyone can be happy, we need a world where everyone is loved and accepted. We need a world that runs on morals and ethics. We need a world of visionaries who can put humanity ahead of themselves. We need people who have the courage to stand up for what they believe in. And YOU are the pioneer of this wonderful future.
The Guiding Voice