Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why was I raised like a daughter-son, only to be expected to behave like a daughter?

It's strange, the way I'm feeling these days.

I am an only child. That in itself says a lot about me to a lot of people.
My parents let me have such a great life -- they let me make all the big decisions in my life, I had my own room on the terrace with an independent entrance when i was in high school (can you imagine?!), i was riding the bicycle to school when i was know.

I always was the centre of all attention. I lazed on the sofa watching TV or reading and things were brought to me. I was pampered silly. I was taken on lovely vacations, i was bought things. I decided what clothes i got on my birthday and what clothes i got on my parents' birthdays. I WAS BOSS.

I got to choose my career, my husband, ....i mean almost everything i wanted i had it before i could say yes. My dad even bought me a car when i graduated! And i didn't even want one.

And now, I'm expected to naturally be so responsible, running my house smooth as silk, juggling my career, hosting parties, taking leave for poojas, taking ma-in-law shopping, keeping tracks if parents are going for their blood tests. I'm expected to keep tabs if things are there in the fridge, keep a tab on all groceries, stock up when husband comes back into town, keep tab of his vaccinations and doctor's appointments, clean the floor of crayons, lock the windows when hubby goes out of town (i run away to mom's!), know which medicine to give Sonny Boy for what, always cut his nails, tackle his tantrums, ....jeez. These are things i never did.

How am i expected to make this transformation so easily, like it's the only natural thing to do. In fact I've my older sisters (cousins) have always preached: "Necessity is the mother of invention...when the pressure falls on your head, you'll do it all." I mean, why do WE have to? We women?

Why can't men also easily make these transitions? It's made out to be like we have no choice but they have. It's ok if my husband still throws wet towels on the bed, but not if I did it. NO SIR. then i would be setting a bad example for the child, and who will pick up after me anyway? It's ok for him to come home straight from work and plonk in front of the TV, but I have to first run to the kitchen, put out the food, get dinner going?

A man can pick up his life at any point and at at any time and just move on. While i have plodded through pregnancy, delivery, post-partum, motherhood and working mom, husband just gets to live the life of a man. Life's unfair. So what's new?

But then, why raise me like a son? Really? Only to be reminded by the people and things around me at the end of the day that I'm after all expected to be just the daughter, and not the daughter-son I was raised to be?

PS: My dad was so busy celebrating his grandson's birthday he even FORGOT to wish me on my birthday.


Garima said...

I dont know what to say.....I cant say, ti will get better, since you and I know.. it will stay similar in the long run.
I guess, drawing limits helps. You can list a few things that are not accpetable and a few things like helping you in the kitchen, clearing up etc should be started.
Yes it is easier said than done.
For being a girl, yes, there is more responsibility being a woman. I guess, setting realisitic examples is also a start. Its okay, if the food is not home cooked. On the real tired day, just order in! Its okay if the floor is a bit dirty, it can wait until tomorrow.
Just small steps for more mental peace!

Aparna said...

Some parts of your post are so eerily similar to my life that I just had to leave a note to say "I know just how that feels!". I too am an only daughter and though I have been married 10 years now, still feel like I am still making the transition !!
Keep at it and i'm sure we'll get there :). Hopefully with some support else on our own if we have to.

Forever mother said...

Hey Garima, yes, i must make a beginning. I love teh way you think so practically about things. I'm usually fuming or raving from my heart.
I've tried...maybe not hard enough at drawing limits. The Hubby's enthusiasm lasts two days, maybe three...then tapers off. The thing is teh difference in attitude -- when you do things around the house because it's your home and you like it pleasant, and when the Hubby treats it like another chore. And chore becomes bore ;-)
I hate it that women do things automatically, to a point robotically. But men must be TOLD to do these things. And that's called nagging!

And Aparna, Thanks. Join all of us in transit...forever. You know I used that name Forever Mother for the first time and then the "foreverness" of it struck me. The transition is no easy deal and yes, I guess ultimately we have to go on our own to "get there".

Anonymous said...

Hai Garima,

Can we look at bringing up our little ones to be more open and not daughter-son. Maybe the environment at home must change now, so that the tradition of mother is supposed to do everything fades of slowly and things become easy to change for our little ones and us too.....

Forever mother said...

Yeah, Anonymous, completely agree, though I'm not Garima. ;-)
I'm sooooo praying I don't raise my son that way...but that's a difficult challenge