Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mother or stranger?

One of my friends has employed a full time house help whom she got from her village. My friend told me that this lady had been deserted by her husband and that she has a five year old child. She left her child with her parents who are now looking after the little one. To sustain herself and her child she has decided to work for my friend. Once in five or six months she goes to visit her child, stays there for a week or so and comes back again.

My friend has two children aged about four and seven. The house help looks after these children so well that they have become quite attached to her. She feeds them, bathes them, plays with them. In short, she does everything for them with lots of love and joy.

What a paradox life can be when one is under dire straits. On one hand as a mother she is forced to entrust the care of her child to her parents while looking after my friend's children with so much of love. She must be missing out on sharing that special bond of love which can exist only between a mother and child. How she would be worried every moment wondering how her child is faring back in the village, anxious if her child has been fed properly and on time, worried if her child is being taken good care when he falls sick, or wondering if he is crying out for his mother.

When I put my thoughts across to my friend she told me that the lady had told her after coming back from one of her sojourns to the village her child was not at all showing any signs of missing his mother. In fact the little boy was so very attached to his grandparents that for the child his mother had become a total stranger who would come once in a while bringing with her lots of gifts for him.

Well is that also not the harsh truth of life? A child gets attached to an adult person who takes care of  its needs. So for all you know one can give birth to a child and be the biological mother, but it is the person who nurtures the baby who will finally take the place of the mother.This being the case my mind crisscrossed into the question will the same not hold true for children who are adopted? When people hesitate to adopt saying blood relation is more important, I would think motherhood is all about nurturing the child with great love and affection and for this to happen, one doesn't necessarily have to be a biological mother.      


Anonymous said...

How true.... I have undergone something similar.. there was something missing in the way my daughter and I bonded - due to my work-life. I am glad to have taken decisions that have helped me. Seems like your article came at a good time - I had a discussion with my Manager on how I should be improving my work-life balance. Thanks for a good reinforcement. Very touching one!!

jp said...

One more lovely thought provoking post from you.
These days many of us get distracted from the things that really matter to us and start chasing meaningless things and live "thick among thin things".
Some do not have a choice but to work to make ends meet, to provide basic physical facilities but others do have a choice to prioritise .

Shobhana Shenoy said...

Thanks and glad that you are taking a positive step towards what you think is most important in your life. All the best to you and happy parenting..)

Shobhana Shenoy said...

Hi jp,
Totally agree with you. Whatever one chooses to do in life and the reasons for it differs from person to person. Therefore making a choice is very difficult. But then life is always about adjustments and compromises. This is were family and friends can give you that much needed support. Thanks and happy reading..)