I am a MOM. But, I am a Villain!
Shalini, a darling yet disciplined mom to her than 4 year old son Shubham. She only took a backseat in her career, so that she can dedicate all her time in upbringing of her son. Being a nuclear Indian family overseas, it became imperative that one of the parent enrolls self in taking complete care of the kids. However, what remained unspoken, yet evident, was that this set-up doesn't unleash the other parent completely from their share of parenting.
Ever since Shalini and Samarth welcomed Shubham in their lives, Shalini wholeheartedly accepted to be the home maker, while Samarth unquestionably took the driving seat and led the monetary and materialistic matters of their household.
Slowly and subtly, Shubham's upbringing became exclusively Shalini's forte. Her entire day revolved only around her child. Having said that, whatever good or bad habits Shubham picked up, the onus of it undoubtably lied with Shalini.
Since, major chunk of Samarth's day was toiled up with office work, evenings for him mostly meant only to have some relaxing time for himself and to have a brief chat with his child only to fulfill his formality of being a father. It always left Shalini unsettled about whenever she approached Samarth regarding Shubham's development or any wrong doings or bad habits that their child was unavoidably imbibing, Samarth always turned a deaf ear and ignored the conversation giving an excuse that he was already exhausted with the days work and that he had many other things to focus on. Such a response, left Shalini devastated, many a times. She often thought that if being concerned about own child's upbringing was so insignificant for Samarth ????
But she anyways consoled herself by assuming that perhaps, may be she was overreacting. Thus, trying to be an understanding and supportive wife.
As far as Samarth's reasoning was concerned, he always withdrew himself from engaging in any harsh behaviour towards Shubham because he anyways gets to spend less than half of the day with his child so he definitely didn't want to spoil that part of his day and getting in his child's bad books by being harsh or pushing his child for something good, even if it indirectly meant encouraging Shubham against his own mother.
As days passed by and months rolled into years, even Shubham started understanding that it was only his mom Shalini who was always after him for learning new things, pushing him always to be more organized, focused and disciplined, and thus aiming at his overall development. While, on the other hand, his father was very cool kind of a person who never ever pushed him for anything that Shubham disliked (even if it was NOT saying no when everytime Shubham threw vegetables from his plate directly into the dustbin or even when he played video games for hours right on the night before his examination). Shubham always found Shalini very strict and harsh. Little did he know that Shalini became that way, not in a day but over the years, when her husband and Shubham's father refused to acknowledge his duties and responsibilities of being a father and contributing his share in Shubham's upbringing, apart from paying for his school fees and other essentials.
One day a domestic quarrel between Shalini and Samarth sadly turned into a gruesome argument and both started to put each word over the other's, on top of their respective voices. After few loud exchanges of words, Shubham (their child) threw a glassware and shouted - "Mom I hate you, you are a bad mamma. You are a villain. You always want me to do things I don't like and now you are fighting with Daddy also."
There was an absolute silence in the room and for the first time in years, Samarth paid attention to what his son had just said, loud and clear. Shalini on the other hand burst into tears, for she was unable to figure out where did she fail to become a good wife and a loving mom.
As Shalini sat down to gather the broken pieces of glass and her family, she felt a hand on her shoulder . "I am sorry Shalini. Today I realized that unknowingly but single handedly, I made Shubham have an understanding that somehow his father is always superior to his mother and that how conveniently he can ignore your instructions, your preachings and your words just because you always push him to be his best. I am sorry , for I totally forgot that we are not only partners in life but partners in parenting too. Going forward I promise to be a good husband and the best father."
Shalini could only respond by embracing Samarth tightly.
Dear Reader, like Shalini and Samarth, there exist many couples in our society, who somehow fail to shoulder equal parenting responsibilities of their kids. In the race of bread winning for the family, the responsibility of bringing up the child often becomes exclusive liability of one of the parents and the other parent takes it for granted and does not contribute because either they think it is not important or they simply refuse to acknowledge their share of the thing. In such a scenario, even the child often ends up repelling or resisting one of the parent and shows their favoritism towards the other, only to convey their dislike or non-support towards the parent who tries to control and align them. Both the parents must understand and accept that first and foremost parenting should always be a shared journey and more than that both the parents should always be on the same page when it comes to shaping their child. Even if as life partners, couples may at times, disagree with each other , but when it comes to parenting, it is highly crucial for the child to have both the parents playing their respective roles similarly and positively. Besides, let us also not underrate that kids will imbibe and incline to behave the way, they will see their parents behaving and would thus follow the same approach for their next generation. Let parenting be a beautiful journey full of memories and learnings even for parents, and not a blame game full of hardships and negativity.
©️ Dakshata Kudanekar
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