Around 17 years ago when I was expecting my first child, I used to go work in an office and being in a nuclear set-up on many days both me and my husband didn’t feel like cooking after a long tiring day and we would order pizza.  A year later, when my son was a few months old, a lady from the neighbourhood confessed that she and a few of the other women in the apartment assumed for me that “A woman who eats pizza will not be able to raise her child well” and the lady actually was sweet enough to confess that I was doing a great job as a mother.  So many years later, I still relish pizza with my grown-up children without any guilt!

Have you ever seen memes or pictures on social media where young Indian moms are shown partying, enjoying her drinks, wearing her bright red lipstick and carrying her child wearing a mini?  NO…we see memes where a mother is shown as an unkempt, tired, dark-circled creature who is cleaning utensils, mopping floors, carrying wailing kids and still the caption says, “No one sacrifices like a mother does or a true mother never prioritizes herself.”  I mean really?  In my almost 17 years of parenting journey, raising 2 kids in a nuclear set-up, I have lost my sanity so many times.  The memes say a “true mother” cries in the bathroom, hides her pains, is ever smiling, ever cooking, ever paranoid!  I was never and still am not this type of a mother.  I cry and yell in front of my children and husband, I laugh and dance and crack lame jokes with them, I sulk and behave like a “grown-up baby” with them.  My kids know that I have PMS and my bad days and can’t be ever smiling.  I want my kids to know that a mother is a “real” person who has desires, flaws, ambitions, and a life beyond them.  A mother can have a nice haircut and not be a “messy bun” mom, she can order food from outside the days she doesn’t feel like cooking, she can party with her friends, she can be romantic with their dad, and so on!

When will the “sacrificing mother is a good mother” norm end?  A mother is a very real person, human, and her life has many other shades.  On top of that, social media is doing no good.  Day in and day out articles asking moms to behave in a certain manner, showing memes of unkempt and slogging mother as a “proud and good mother” is causing more damage than good.  New moms are setting unrealistic expectations for themselves; as such society pressurizes women to be perfect!

So, let us portray moms better, as more real, more human.  Like I proved the apartment gossipy ladies wrong, “Eating pizza has got nothing to do with being a good mother!”


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