Why Mothers are supposed to be Selfless?
During the high wave of covid in India, someone shared a picture of a women cooking while wearing a nebulizer attached to oxygen support. The picture triggered debates on twitter.
Our culture sings of mothers thus they possess the highest esteem a woman may ever have. Goddesses are worshipped as mothers on a huge scale. But the same culture and the people associated barely give support to mothers in the practical ways.
It took long for our government to realize their sexist policy allowed only women employees of the central government organizations to avail child care leaves. The idea of motherhood implying to adjustments and sacrifices has been reinforced generations after generations in some form or the other. While women are the birth-givers naturally, the idea of women and especially mothers being the exclusive caregivers is just a widely accepted social norm. The idea of caring and nice women is so intense that most of the girls are socially engineered to be convinced that caregiving is their highest moral duty.
While caring and sacrificing for another makes us human and this needs to be cultivated but not when they are expected exclusively from one gender in service of the other. Also childcare and domestic duties which are often seen as ‘women’s duties’ should never be carried out at the cost of their own aspirations and freedom. The traits of being nice and caring are not a part of the female DNA but they are developed knowingly and unknowingly by the society. The society requires all girls and women to be feminine. But neither all females are feminine nor all feminine are females. Women are praised to be feminine so that they can be feminine. Every mother might not be convinced to be the only caregiver for her child. A women may not like to take care of the family’s domestic chores. And these ideas need to be normalized.