Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Crystal Ball.. every mother wants one.

A friend talked about mother's dilemma and  decision to let our kids have their own wings.
This conversation made me write today. We have been talking how it is difficult to let go of our dreams and wishes for our kids. Some times we forget those are OURS not theirs. They have their own dream and wishes.
The conversation took me back 22 years. When as a young 23 yrs old girl I questioned the system, rituals, customs and even my parent's thinking. I couldn't disregard the values but sure questioned their validity and way of thinking. I questioned the way a girl has to get married, how the choice of choosing a partner some times felt like a business decision. I so believed in love and respect not caste, socio economic status, education or money. I have come a long way and can see the value in every parents's dilemma but at the same time remember what it was to be 23, in love and ready to disregard age old traditions. I am so glad that I did that, That one event changed so many lives.
I argued, cribbed and fought over many traditions but in the end we found a middle ground and agreed upon. I am a mother now and I see the same struggle in my own life with my sons. It is such a difficult path and no-one can suggest you anything. Parenting is just made for you and you have to learn to deal with consequences of decisions you took.
Going through the discussion of a daughters marriage what parents imagine and think, no-one else can feel. We wish the best for our kids. but do we really know what is the best for them? We come from two different generations and yes the "best" changes every five years I think. I surely know for fact what was best or important for me 20 years ago that doesn't hold any value anymore. How can we expect our kids who are a world apart from us to expect that best? But here we are, as grown ups we have seen so many ups and downs in life and we learn from them. We want to save our children from that hardship what we went through, want to give them the "ready-made" solution we learned with difficulties. We want them to get the outcome of our experience and knowledge. We so wish we knew 20 years ago the stuff we know now. We would have made different choices and would have led different life, but those decision and hardship made us what we are today.
Thats what I told my friend, we just need to let go, let our kids grow and just trust our parenting skills and keep our fingers crossed and hope that things will turnout the best in the end. We just need to stand next to them, let them know we love them and no matter we will value and appreciate their way of life. what if they are not living our dream they need to live their own.
For my story I know there are some things worth fighting for. I know for sure that we need to endure some pain so get something beautiful like this.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Parenting.. always a "what if"

Watching “Dangal” today was an experience. It is a very well made movie with everything perfect. It defines feminism to another level. My non-Indian friends may not understand but any sports for women was never a choice (even now that is not every parent’s dream for their daughters), wrestling .. absolutely no no. On top of that a small town in North India. Everything about this is beyond dream for women.
I was spell bound, not just because of story or acting. More than that it was so close to home. For me it is not only about the real life story of Phogat sisters, It is about the definition of parenting. The father in the movie raised four daughters and made them believe in themselves, how wonderful is that.
We are four sisters and I am the oldest one and have seen everything very closely they have shown in the movie. The social pressure of having a son, the disappointment of not having one, not able to fulfill the dream of our own, the expectation or no expectation from daughters. How their courage troubles people all around, how everyone is just watching for just that ONE mistake, how everyone in society expects girls to get married and have kids, how the girls are told to do whatever they want in their husband’s home not at father’s. How father and mother are not the one to decide, the whole neighborhood and relatives have a say in every girl’s life. How no one cares to help the girls dream big, beyond measures and let them do whatever they want to do in their parents’ home. No one understands (even women in the family) that a girl is never allowed to do whatever she wants in her husband’s home, she should have the right to live her life in her parent’s home. I can go on. Things turned out differently for us, all four of us. But it could be better in many ways. I wish every daughter's parents could get a manual to raise independent and strong daughters.
Don’t get me wrong, parenting is hard either boys or girls, but daughters need to be treated differently because in future they will raise  sons. How a woman is raised decides what kind of mother she would be.
I have two boys and I think I treat them differently because I don’t want them to a biased father. I make them do chores around the house because I want them to NOT only believe in equality but live it. I want them to be a father, a partner who believe in treating women better.
It’s all about the choices we make as parent. If we want a better world we need to be better parent for our daughters. We need to believe in them, we need to give them a safer home where they can dream beyond the sky, we need to give them tool to make their dream a reality.
Its interesting how a movie can open old wounds, heal some and make us think differently.