Parenting is anything but easy. Especially if you’re a first-time parent. But, you’ll eventually get the hang of things. You can take it easy. You are not expected to know everything. That is, if you are lucky to be the daddy. But what if you’re the mother? What about you? You must already know everything. You can’t afford any mistakes, can you?
So, what happens if a mother makes a mistake that puts her child’s life at risk? She feels responsible, guilty and apologetic for the unforgivable mistake she has committed. Talking of guilt, where does this guilt come from? Why is she the only one feeling responsible? What does she fear? Yes, she fears losing her child. But there’s more. She fears being judged. She fears being blamed. For not being a good enough mother. For not matching up. For not meeting the expectations. Because she should have known better. It was her job to know. She is a mother after all.
Right from knowing when, what, and how much to feed the baby to why the baby is cranky and how to comfort and put the baby to sleep. It starts at birth and almost never ends. The expectations from a mother are endless. She should know everything. No excuses. Otherwise, what kind of a mother is she?
Yes, parenting is tough. Probably the most difficult of all jobs out there. That’s perhaps the reason why a man and a woman, only together, can produce a child. And raise one, together. At least that’s how it was meant to be. Because a man and a woman, by nature, have complimentary skills and strengths. Yes, we are neck to neck in many ways, but can we really outdo the law of the nature? Doesn’t a child need both the parents for a happy and healthy childhood? We all know how incredibly insane it is for a single parent to raise a child, all by themselves. It gets all the more difficult with a living, reckless, indifferent partner.
Parenting is best done together. There aren’t just responsibilities to be fulfilled, but so much more to being parents. Parenthood is an experience like none other. It is many things, all at the same time. It is the joy, the worry, the peace, the panic, the duty, the completeness, the happiness, and much more.
Unlike to what should be the case, the reality is quite different. We don’t expect fathers to change diapers or comfort a cranky child. That’s a mother’s job among other things, of course. But why just the mothers? Why are the mothers expected to be always prepared, always vigilant, always available? Why are the mothers expected to know it all? Why can’t the mothers learn as they go, just like the fathers? Oh wait, do the fathers ever even learn? Or are they even willing to? Sadly, the patriarchal grip on our culture has not dissolved completely and it doesn’t allow men to partake in the household work, let alone the raising of children. The children are still considered the duty of the mother.
It’s about time that changes. It’s time the fathers take equal onus of raising the child, besides just financially. It’s time they break the shackles of social stigma holding them back. Its time they are as prepared, as vigilant, as available for their children. It’s time they learnt that nobody is a perfect parent, that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s time they themselves made some mistakes and acknowledged them. It’s time they experienced the real parenthood. It’s about time.
If you are a mother who agrees or a father who’s already breaking stereotypes, please let us know in the comments section.