Acquaintances and colleagues feel that I have restricted myself as my world revolves around my child. Here's what I've to say.
I was the first one to get married in my friend circle. Clearly, I was not able to spend as much time with my friends since then. It was more a choice than something thrust on me. Since mine was an arranged marriage, I chose to spend more time with the man I married within three months of having first met him. The lets-unravel-this-mystery was absolutely worth losing out on all the pub-hopping’ and mall-shopping sessions with these friends. Then I had my child.
I was also the first one to have a baby. You can imagine, how much lesser time I could ‘cull-out’ for my friends. By now, I was almost getting used to snide comments on how I only have time for my child and how I need to get a life. It took me a couple of years and some shrug-ignore-repeat practice sessions to get over the hurt.
As my child turned eight last November, I had more friends in the single-and-happy category. Good for them, I say! But hey, don’t wag that uppity finger at me for playing a mother to a young child. I’m not going to be apologetic about it. And here’s what else I’m not going to apologise for:
- Having a baby: Why should I be answerable to people about deciding to have a baby early on? My husband and I hadn’t exactly planned to have a baby so soon. But the day I realised I was pregnant, that’s the moment I knew I wanted to have her. And have her so bad! At 25, instead of discussing vodka shots, I was planning my baby’s vaccine shots. No regrets there.
- Not having a ‘social life’: Since I have had my child, I have not had the time to attend every house party or outing that you may have planned. No amount of sarcasm is going to make me feel guilty about prioritising my baby’s ‘tantrums’ over your DJ-drinks-dance night. Nope!
- Change in taste: These days favourite films usually have talking animals in it and my favourite books are filled with rhymes. So?
- Taking phone calls from home, when at work: As much as I believe work is worship if it’s a call from home, I will answer it. It may be just that my child wants to whine about her broken crayon. But it’s important to her, and hence it’s important to me.
- Being the first one to leave the party: The fact that I made it to the party is a big thing. Expecting me to stay back till the wee hours of the morning is a problem you will have to deal with. As for me, I’m just wondering whether I have missed out on any important baby milestone in these few hours.
At the risk of sounding like a holier-than-thou mother judging all women who chose 'socialising' over their kids, that's not the intention. All I am asking for is some patience, understanding and a broader frame of mind to accept mums, who like me, seem to have created a world around their children. I won't judge you. Could you bother doing the same? Thank you.
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below.
Be sure to check out ParentTown for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike.