Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Things people do

I follow the blog of an orthodox Jewish woman . I do enjoy her views on marriage, parenting and home making. I tend to agree with almost all her views inspite of having very different religious beliefs. She is also a first time mother and doing a good job. Earlier in the year she gave birth to her beautiful baby and then announced it on her blog. She then mentioned as to how she refused all help and visitors for a few weeks, opting to be alone and be with just her husband and the baby. She actually took that step as a concious decision. It was upon reading this that it struck me how this whole stuff can become a huge deal!

In the Indian culture people take pride in being involved in each other's lives. Period. So issues like privacy, individuality, choices, options and other such things dont figure high on anyone's list. I, personally have no hang ups either. Maybe because of my conditioning. I dont get offended when someone wants to enter my ''space'' and be a part of it. Which makes me think why wouldn't a new mother want all the help offered? What made this lady refuse people who were excitedly wanting to be a part of this momentous occasion? Agreed, after like hours of mindless labour pains and a public display of your body parts anyone would want to shut down. I have given birth and I know how helpless that feeling can be. Basically, you are at someone else's mercy who will cut you up, talk about the traffic scene with his/her colleagues over your open belly while you despeately hope that they can get the baby out safely and not leave a knife behing in your guts! And then there is mind numbing pain of every possible kind.

However, once I am fine and gone home, I would love to have friendly folks around. No incessant chatter is required but yes, a kind helping hand is such a boon. Sometimes, I wonder if some women, who put up a stoic brave, private, closed up front actually do so because they are too proud to be otherwise. I see nothing wrong in being vulnareble. In admitting you need help. Ofcourse, many people can have high thresholds of pain, both physical and mental, but the point is, I would feel sad if I push someone away when they want to show their joy and excitement by being around. There will be many moments when the new parents can be alone and soak up the awesome changes a baby brings. There will be no damages done if we let in people in to our lives briefly to share our pain and joy, alike.

Honestly, I cannot imagine saying no to anyone at such moments! I have had it happen to me. When we lived in London, a friend from church gave birth and promptly asked all of us not to visit-at all. Leave her alone! I was seriously aghast! How? Why? What does it achieve except maybe alienate friends who may be from other cultures! As christians , we have a Biblical and God given duty to be all times. To invest in reationships! To be welcoming! Yes, our priority is first towards God and then our family. Then to the church and the community but having said that, I dont feel that new mothers should try and do it all by themselves! Yes, we all manage, eventually. Nobody has the time,energy or the inclination to hang around a new mom-baby for long anyways! But we should take our blessings and count ourselves lucky if we have people showing love and offering care. Becoming a new mother can be and is often an intensly isolating experience. It has been for me for sure! But then I truly believe that it can be a great way of reaching out to people for God! We are entitled to our full rest and recuperation but I imagine becoming a mother ought to make me even more sensitive about causing possible hurt and bewilderment to people around me. What do you ,dear readers, think?

No comments: