Hi, Mira Rajput! Here’s what the Puppy of a Working Mother Thinks
Can you tell me what the weak point of any person is?
It’s either what defines them or what they have created and put a part of themselves in their creation or both!
I think you’d know that for mothers, it is the third thing i.e. both!- their children is their weak point.
And it’s disheartening to see you, a stay-at-home mother- intentionally or unintentionally- criticize working mothers and target the weak point of mothers in general.
At first, I myself was a little skeptical about the headlines making their way around social media platforms- I mean, if you take words out of context, sometimes things turn out to be quite different than what they originally were. But soon, I couldn’t stop myself from going through all these articles to see if you really said those words because throughout my childhood, I’ve seen people point fingers at my mother- a working mother- for any and every decision she’s made and it was impossible for me to internalize those words without reacting to them. You see, you are under scrutiny of the media and the common people because of your husband and my mother and a thousand other working mothers like her are under scrutiny of the society because they work- what an audacity for a mother!
And now before anyone who reads this or you protest, “FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION!!!!! IT IS AN OPINION!!!!”, I’d just like to get over with that and let everyone know that yes, you, Mrs. Kapoor are entitled to your opinion as much as I am to mine and you putting your opinions out for public makes it completely normal for me to share my opinion on your opinions. Opinions are not out of reach of critique, especially the critique of the people you’ve shared your opinions on!
Now let’s get to the point, shall we?
I am a homemaker and I wear this label with pride. I had a tough pregnancy and I went through those difficult five months to bring my daughter into this world. And now I want to spend every moment I can with her. There is a set of responsibilities that are on my plate and I feel at my age I have a lot more energy. My future is ahead of me. I can finish all my responsibilities and then I will have nothing in my way. I can raise my daughter, be a good wife, and set up my home the way I like. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Up until this point, I was actually alright. Because it is your marriage, your daughter, your household, your wishes and your rules. I do not think it is right for people to tell you what to do with what are yours. And I’m glad that you are happy that way. But then, you kind of lost me at
I wouldn’t want to spend one hour a day with my child and then rush off to work. Why did I have her then? She is not a puppy. I want to be there for her as a mother. Seeing her grow up can not be quantified.
Here, you kind of mixed up your choice and opinion. You have the choice to do and say what you like, of course. But you also put out some opinions in the course of explaining and trying to maybe justify (?) your choice and as I’ve said earlier- whenever you express or imply your opinions on someone, that opinion suddenly turns out to be in the league of critique. Surprise!
Now by saying “She is not a puppy” right after describing how you wouldn’t be okay with being a working mother will definitely offend people. My mother has gone through days when she’s felt insecure only because she felt like she wasn’t being a “good mother”, because there were stay-at-home moms, “ideals and traditions” of the society itself, making her feel bad for her decision. There was a point when I’d had lots of pimples on my face and my best friend didn’t and my mother was convinced that if only she had had stayed at home and forced me to apply all those face-masks and stuff on my face, I wouldn’t have had such problems and I’d had to tell Ma a thousand times that I like how Ma can buy me things on her own that my best friend’s mother cannot and I was more than fine with her choice of working. I love that my mother works, I love that my mother teaches, I love that she came from nothing and now she doesn’t have to worry about price tags, I love that my mother has a huge part in making my family fall under the socio-economic class my family is under now, I love that her old students sometimes get so emotional they even end up crying when they come across her on streets because she’s inspired so many people and taught so many people so many things and been so many people’s favorite. It is one of the first things I tell people when I talk about Ma. I cannot even begin to describe how proud she used to make me and still keeps making me when each day, she gets everything needed for my father and brother and me done and heads out for work at 9 o’ clock every morning only to come home late and still manages to do everything a “good wife and mother” is supposed to do before going to bed. She’s shaped me in the most wonderful ways possible. My only fear is that I’ll never be as good as her- as driven, as fulfilled, as bright, as hardworking, as brilliant as her!
And no, that doesn’t make me feel like a puppy (as you’ve assumed puppies do not take much effort to raise). She was there for me as a mother as good as one you will be- I’m sure- to Misha.
She brought me up- from a tiny little baby who had a severe case of asthma and kept her awake almost every other night even though she had to go to work the next day to a 9-year-old who liked to dance, sing, draw and my mother- that busy working mother- never missed any of my performances and never missed a single tuition I needed to go to, from that 9-year-old to a 15-year-old who learnt to get what she wanted and it was that working mother who’d taught me not only to excel at academics but also to be a human being I’m proud to be, from that 15-year-old to now, this moment, the next moment, every moment of my life till she’s no longer on earth, she’ll be physically here, right next to me- treating me and raising me, ironically exactly like a tiny little puppy that needs attention and love and care and support.
I know too many working mothers like her and unlike her.
I know working mothers like her who can choose to leave work but do not because they’re satisfied with what they’re doing and their kids do not have any problem with that.
There are working mothers unlike her who cannot choose to leave work because their husband is dead or doesn’t work or isn’t providing for them and their children and thus, they’re the sole bread-earner of the family.
There are working mothers unlike my mother who do not have the support of their relatives and in-laws but still choose to work because if they keep working they’ll be able to afford that extra ceiling fan or maybe that fancy TV or maybe that tutor who will help their children and put a smile on their faces.
And I am so proud of them- their strength, willpower, patience. I am so proud of each one of them.
So, no, it is not appropriate and frankly, it is kind of nasty to say working mothers’ children are like “puppies” who need only that “one hour”. I am happy that you brought up the topic of how some stay-at-home mothers may get criticized for not working- but that should not and cannot be an opportunity for you to put a particular group of mothers ahead of the other group at the expense of motherhood itself. Let’s remember this:
Because I also noticed how you’ve had to say some things on feminism too:
Feminism isn’t woman VS man. It’s about equality. A new wave of feminism has come that is aggressive… I feel it’s destructive. There’s a new term called ‘feminazi’, which is the female equivalent of a chauvinist. I think there should be harmony between the two sexes and an equilibrium.
You know what is more “destructive”? Women looking down upon fellow women. You could have left at saying every mother makes her choice but no, you made the same mistake many people make- you had to say something condescending towards a group of people regarding their choice.
And yes, you might say people say careless stuff or loose words they don’t mean. But that might be okay only for the people who do not get a platform or have an audience they can influence. You- whether you want it this way or not- are a public figure, you have an audience and a platform and you owe it to that very power you have now which is allowing you to speak up for the stay-at-home mothers to use your words and form your statements carefully. You know how Richter scale is a base-10 logarithmic scale and thus, a slight difference can have unequal and therefore, huger impacts as the scale progresses? Words can be measured with the same scale! A slight difference or a different tongue or a slight difference of place and time and circumstances can have impacts way bigger than it would have been in some other circumstances.
So, next time, use your words more carefully.