The first word that comes to mind when you are in trouble, when you want help or when you want to talk to someone!!
My sympathies to the working mother who when you look at it has already chosen her career over her child. The increasing trend for an Indian working mother is to have her mother come down to look after her child. Grandma looks after child while mommy darling rushes off to work early in the morning and returns late at night. Father dear tries to involve himself as less as possible except to play with baby for half an hour or so. A different maid each quarter of the year..sometimes every month too! And then what? Grandma comes to the rescue once again!
Now, I am NOT one of the exorbitantly wealthy and neither am I uneducated. But, I have always believed that when I give birth to a child, it is MY responsibility to look after him, feed him, bathe him, sing songs to him, play with him, educate him and so on…And I have stuck with my principles too. That does not mean I do not want a career. It just means that I have prioritized my life the way I think is right for the time being. [My husband helps out as much as he can too. Thank God for that!!]
But, I know of so many friends and friends of friends and even some relatives who are doing the parenting with-the-parent thing. I mean, don’t get me wrong. If you want your parents help, you should ask for it and they WILL help. It is not wrong. It is not incorrect. But I strongly feel that the one who needs help must go to the person who can help you. Not vice versa.
When it happens vice versa is where it gets all wrong. There are those mothers who has her mother staying with her in a foreign country while her father is in India. There are those who have their ailing mother staying in places with harsh climates to look after their children. There are those who even have their moms travelling up and down, back and forth between their own homes and their children’ homes!! I just find it so UNFAIR! It is the time for our parents to relax and do whatever pleases them..to be able to rest and enjoy their peace. But these days that seems to be a rare luxury…[in many cases, only enjoyed by a boys parents!!]
That brings me to the next topic of why the boy’s mother is never being pushed around and it is always the girl’s mother??! Maybe it is the saas-bahu thing (which is a topic for later someday) That seems to be the only answer there.
I grew up in a joint family. But now, I have my own nuclear family..the way I have always wanted. When you live in a joint family, there are a lot of benefits but you have got to look at the other side of the coin too, right? A joint family pretty much has three generations living under the same roof! Now, how is that going to be? Think about it. The first generation thinks of themselves as the ultimate parents always ‘parenting’ the second and third generations. The third generation is easily pampered by the first generation and gets their way most of the time.
Now, the second generation. The middle zone is who gets stuck. They can’t diss their parents. They can’t diss their children. They don’t get their way and their voice is not heard most of the time. It is a horrible thing. I never realized that until I became a parent. But the good part is that you can get lots of help and advise. Most times, too much advise!! Also, when you try to parent with your parent around, there’ going to be a LOT of difference in opinions and lack of control.
In the end, after all that the grandparents have done for them, children still look upto their parents for approval and once they become adults, most side with their parents. Then what about all the grandparently love that was lavished on them throughout their childhood? Isn’t it a sad situation for our old parents?
OK.. Taking a step back.. I just want to let you know that I do realize that parenting is huge work and hence easier with familial support. Hey!! Many times I wish my mom were with me.. but then like my Dad says.. Parenting is the one job in which there is no right or wrong way. Everybody learns to be the best they can.