A Woman Just Like You

I write this in the hope that there comes a day when a mother isn’t poorly judging another mother based on her different choices. As long as those choices aren’t harming anyone, we should make a promise to ourselves that we encourage another woman’s courage to be herself.

I know a woman just like you.
She smiles warmly at you every time you see her.
She doesn’t always tell you about the sadness she is hiding inside.
She braves each day with struggles that are only her own.
Only her own – she feels.
Little does she know she’s like every woman I know.

I know a woman just like you.
She is a mother of an 11 and a 2.
Her friends ask her why the gap, did you not know better than to allow that?
Was this always your plan? Was it an accident?
I’m sure you love it because it must be an easier way to parent.
Sometimes she answers them, sometimes she just smiles.
How should she tell them that their questions keep her up at night?
Why must you judge me? Why must I explain?
It’s my life, am I answerable to all of you for the same questions again and again?
You don’t know my story, I’d always wanted 2, so what if it took a while, does that make me better or worse than you?
I don’t have it easier, I’m sure neither do you. Do you really need to point a finger at me just to feel better about you?

I know a woman just like you.
She is a mother to an adorable little one. Her child is her entire world and comes second to none. People keep asking her what about baby no. 2?
Onlies can be lonely, so do it for your kid’s sake if not for you.
You must be enjoying yourself in all the free time your kid is in school.
Have another one and put your time to good use.
You’ll regret it later, better do it now. A child will learn to be a sharer only if he has a sibling to show him how.
She ignores a few remarks, but has something to say for a few of the points laid, like can’t we learn to share with all the friends that we have made?
It’s easy to share with one’s own, but does your kid share with others too?
A child is a child, whether an only, or one of two. But there are other questions of yours that keep her up at night. Like what if my decision, in the long run, isn’t wise?
We’re happy like this, why do you have to make me think twice? Why must you judge me? Why must I explain? To look busy and important is it necessary to complain? I don’t have it any easier than you do. Do you really need to point a finger at me just to feel better about you?

I know a woman just like you.
She stays at home. She’s never alone, except in her thoughts.
Your questions about her day have her in knots.
She does what she can but the judgements don’t stop. No work? No office? So much time for play. You don’t know the strain of getting home a month’s pay.
She feels less, despite doing more. If it can’t be monetized, does it not still count as a score?
It’s a thankless job, but do you not see?
I don’t have it easy, my hands and my mind- neither are free.
Your words sting even though they might sound polite.
It is a rather sorry plight and it keeps her up at night.
Why must you judge me? Why must I explain? Let me do me, while you do you. Do you really need to point a finger at me just to feel better about you?

I know a woman just like you.
She has an office to go to. It’s her dream job, something that makes her feel at home.
A place where she has come into her own.
But even as she manages her daily routine, juggling between her job and home scenes, there is a part of the day she dreads when she has to listen to the unfair opinions of her very own friends. You’re doing so well, it must be so swell! Having a maid take care of your kids while you work.
Or maybe the cool in-laws who help and allow you to shirk.
Shirk?! Really? Is that the only word you could find? Just because I chose to do it this way, does it mean I’m out of my mind?
Yes, I love my kids and family too, but is the only way to raise a child defined strictly by you?
What do you know about how I deal with my guilt when I have a deadline to meet and my child falls ill. Yes, I have help, but it’s not easy this way or that.
A mother is a mother, you must know that. I have my reasons for why I must go to work till the future within sight, but the thought of being away keeps me up at night.
Why must you judge me? Why must I explain? I have my challenges, as do you. Do you really need to point a finger at me just to feel better about you?

I know a woman just like you.
There’s a bit of her in every one of you.
She hates being judged. But unknowingly, she also judges you.
She must stop herself and put herself in your shoes.
She must realise we all are struggling, and all our struggles are real – for me AND for you.
Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of resenting the next woman, we try to understand that she too must be having her own problems because that, in life, is a given? Build her up, maybe someday she might return the favour.
Even if she doesn’t, be glad at least YOU had it in you to know better.


© 2020 Aanchal Nithin Prakashan All Rights Reserved.

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Note/Disclaimer:-

All rights reserved.

I wrote this article for First Moms Club. This article was published on May 04, 2019 on their official website – https://firstmomsclub.in.

First Moms Club is India’s leading community of over 1 lakh urban Indian mothers across 60 countries. FMC aims to encourage the women behind the mothers to find emotional, entrepreneurial and social identity.

Link to this article on the First Moms Club website – https://firstmomsclub.in/a-woman-just-like-you/

A screen-grab of this article as it appeared on the website http://www.firstmomsclub.in

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