No, the title is not self-explanatory!
A few days back, I was doing a media story about the changing roles of motherhood, more precisely, how being a mommy today is different from being a mommy a generation back. While most of the emphasis was on the juggling of roles and the good and bad of it, there was a big segment that dealt with the issues that a mommy of today has to face, and the hazaar expectations and areas she absolutely needs to be a master at.
Let’s face it – becoming a mommy is no kid’s play (pun purely intended). Especially in today’s time. And one of the biggest reasons that mommies find it hard to cope up is that society, and that too, ladies, sadly, pile up this huge amount of responsibility and expectation on a new mother – keeping her under scrutiny from the time she starts showing the bump (or the news is received) and not letting go till the time she is a mother (read forever).
While it may still be a bit easy for a second-time mom, for first-time mothers, getting into this new role in life is quite daunting. While pregnancy brings with it a rush of hormonal changes and mood swings and fears and confusions and what-not, it also brings with it a bunch of additional problems in the form of relatives, family and friends, whose sole motive suddenly becomes coaching and advising the mother-to-be and watching her each and every move.
Have I gone through this phase myself? Of course I have. Have you? Well, if you live in India and have an Indian family, I believe you did too. If you didn’t, I must say you were quite lucky!
From what to eat and how much to eat and what time to eat to when to rest, what side to turn, what kind of clothes to wear, to how much you can travel, what movies you can or cannot watch, what time you sleep, what you do or don’t to even how much weight you have gained or haven’t and how much your belly is showing or isn’t to basically almost everything – forget about the fact that you do have a capable gynae who is already telling you all this, or maybe you’re also reading up and interacting with other new moms – suddenly, the entire world becomes an expert on pregnancy and child-rearing.
And most of the time, the ones who are giving you all this advice are ladies who’ve had kids ages ago, and who are now in the grand old age of being grandparents. While it’s understandable that these moms from the past generation did raise kids, there’s a lot that has changed now. Today, moms-to-be and young moms have a host of other areas to manage as well. Agreed that many or some mums back then were also working and were handling the pressures of living in a joint family, but the fact that bringing up kids today is a different ball game altogether is something that needs to be understood and appreciated.
With schools, society and the media playing a big role in the life of kids and families in general, there’s quite a lot that a mother these days has to focus on. And with information and accessibility getting better and easier, the moms of today know for a fact that quite a lot of stuff that was being taken as a fact of motherhood and child-bearing earlier is in reality, a myth, and to be avoided.
So how does a new mom cope? She copes better with a little support and understanding, by being told that motherhood is one of the best things to happen to a woman, that having a baby does not mean the end of the world, that it’s in fact a new and happier beginning. And how can you help? By giving the mom-to-be or the mom a break and not judging her each and every action.
Debolina Raja Gupta loves being a mommy and best friend to her 5-year old princess. A working mom, voracious reader, social activist, photographer, poet, travel freak, beauty writer and an everything-of-sorts. Best fun is story time and our fashionista time together. My blogs: The Book Worm, A Few Thoughts Here And There, My Little One And Me, Beauty Makeup And More.