I felt compelled to write about motherhood and achieving goals because I believe a major shift is needed in our society. For many years, mothers are usually the ones “working behind the scenes”: attending to the children’s needs, doing most of the household chores, some of them working full time, part time, or running their own businesses, while others prefer to stay at home full time. In some cultures, it’s even to the point of being submissive to one’s husband, never giving her opinion on important matters as the man is usually the one making the final decision, and doing everything she possibly can to keep the family happy, while she’s last on the priorities list. This view of a submissive wife can actually be misinterpreted. For example, some men may use this view to abuse their wives and children, manipulate them perhaps.
But as divorce rates and the need for freedom increases, many more mothers realize they want and need to do the things that invigorate and excite them, simply because those things they love to do make them happy and motivated to live life to the fullest.
Recently I read this article about an Indian mother who divorced her husband after many years of striving to be the mother whom society expects her to be in order for her to be happy. I also watched “The Theory of Everything,” based on a true story of the life of world-renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking and his now ex-wife Jane. In the movie, Jane placed her dreams of studying literature on hold so she could take care of him and their kids. It got to a point where they could no longer stay married.
Now I truly understand that the man’s primary role is to provide for the family financially while the mother’s primary role is taking care of the household. I’m not asking to reverse the roles, only suggesting that women be given the opportunity to do the things that they placed on hold, the goals they wish to achieve, and the means to achieve them. Although some husbands have started to help doing housework and taking turns with putting the kids to sleep, diaper duty, and many others, other cultures must follow suit. I want to understand why other cultures prefer to treat women as second class citizens. Otherwise, at some point the women will always find ways to be free to do what they want.
I can also understand why many single women choose to either focus on their career first before having kids, or have a childfree life whether single or with a partner, because there are indeed challenges that come with it. However, understand that there can be joys too, in those moments with the children that cannot be replaced. What I can say for sure is that don’t let motherhood stop you from doing what you want to do, especially if at some point you yearn to pass on what you’ve learned, if you want to leave a legacy. Children may or may not want to take care of you when you get too old to take care of yourself, so accept that as a possibility starting right now. If you’re ambivalent about having children, talk to someone about it. Take time to think and imagine yourself with kids and without kids. Take time to read books about it, what to expect when you have kids. You have to be realistic about it and not leave anything to chance. If you have to ask your partner to take the time, then do it. Otherwise, make sure you will definitely be happy living a life with no kids, because there’s no point regretting.
Any thoughts and opinions on this topic, feel free to write your comments below.