The motherhood challenge.

A  few days ago, a dear friend of mine wrote a touching post disapproving the ‘motherhood challenge’ that has been going viral on Facebook. Motherhood challenge is all about women posting pictures with their children and tagging other women, who according to them, are ‘awesome mothers’. But, my friend felt that by adding the words challenge and dare,  they were drawing a divide between themselves and others who weren’t blessed enough.  I was touched by her views that defended women who might feel marginalised by such a challenge, although that might not be the motive behind it at all.
Wonder how many women would feel the way my friend did! How many of the ‘blessed ones’ try and understand that behind such decisions might lie a reason, a helplessness that gives a woman endless pain? We haven’t chosen to stay childless because of a lack of fondness for children. There were reasons and circumstances that stood in the way of us holding our babies in our wombs, in our arms. We do not lack the compassion, the patience, the love required to bring up a child. Oh no, we don’t! We have been blessed with enough of it all. But, we chose to shower all of it on someone other than our own flesh and blood because that’s how it was destined.
Some among us lavished it all on children who were not born in their bellies, but were born in their hearts. Many, like me, bestowed it on adorable little furry beings, inviting them into our families to fill the vacuum that we sorely felt for a long time. And, mind you, doing it all wasn’t easy, to begin with. These special babies weren’t ours. We made them ours. We did have numerous teething troubles, but we surged ahead to make them a part of ourselves.
Believe me, it has been a fight all the way. A fight we know we won when we see the love in those eyes that now shine brightly for us, making us feel all warm and mushy! Today, as many of my kind look at our special babies, we realise how blessed we have been, for we were chosen to give our love to those who needed it the most. So, if that is not being blessed, I don’t know what is!
There are some, who have consciously chosen to stay childless, for reasons best known to them. Shouldn’t accepting their decisions whole-heartedly be a duty of the others?  Isn’t it their life to do as they please? You really know nothing about the battles they fight, do you? Why not give it a consideration before passing a judgement? In fact, why pass judgements at all?  Why make them feel side-lined by starting such challenges? Isn’t there enough sadness in this world already?

Motherhood is, indeed, a challenge –  experiencing labour pains, delivering a baby – it needs superhuman efforts to go through it all. And, of course, selflessness and unconditional love. I was fortunate enough to witness a delivery, although not as fortunate enough  to bear the pitiful moans of the mother, or the sight of all the blood after the delivery. I have seen the amount of hard work it takes to bring up a child and to mould him into a loving, caring human being. But, isn’t it also a challenge living with the knowledge that one’s womb isn’t blessed enough to carry in it a life that would one day make a woman complete? Isn’t it a challenge holding another’s child in one’s arms and bringing him up as one’s own, knowing that at the end of the day one won’t be addressed as ‘mom’?
If facing the blows that life deals and accepting  destiny bravely fails to make one an awesome woman, then I would like to know what does!

19 Replies to “The motherhood challenge.”

  1. This is so beautifully written, Shilpa. It moved me.

    Indeed, people must be more compassionate and reasonable before sharing a status on social media – they must think what the implications will be on others. Lovely points raised.

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  2. I appreciated each of your points. I have been on both sides of this issue — told I would never have children and struggled with this for 14 years before giving birth. Adopting a child and having it taken back by the birth mother after a year. Then after having children and going through all those challenges that motherhood brings, wonder if I was ever “up for the challenge.” Having many friends who made the decision to not have children. The bottom line is to be content in whatever state we find ourselves and not judge those who chose another path.

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  3. Beautiful post. Life is a challenge for men and women. For mums and dads. All of us. I just feel that many times these challenges are just for fun and people dont think too much like your friend and you thought about it.

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  4. Thank you, Vishal!
    I agree, that people need to be more considerate about others' feelings while sharing such things on the social media. But, I also know that such things are to be taken with a pinch of salt! There are so many people out there with their own views and opinions and the freedom to put it all out on social media. How we choose to react is whats important. Having said that, this particular challenge, or other such, can be avoided, so as to keep additional stress at bay!

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  5. I feel some women get carried away when they post pictures tagging other women. One has to realize that the frequencies might not match and that everybody has their own views about anything and everything.

    And you are right about the pain one suffers even otherwise.

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  6. True, Alok. I think being considerate about others' feelings has become a thing of the past in today's very selfish times! Maybe we could bring about a change, beginning with ourselves!

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