My pregnancy was all about Delivering a boy and I knew how wrong it was!!
09 Feb 2016
“Why do you look so dull? Enjoy this time.” I was told this so often that it rather became a duty to ‘enjoy’. I felt like I was doing something wrong by being upset or scared about my pregnancy. They all said “be happy”, “enjoy”, but no one asked why it was so hard for me.
My pregnancy was like being a different person in a different world altogether. I was showered with immense importance and loved endlessly, but at the end of the day, I was always reminded it was for the ‘boy child’ that I was going to give them.
I was important and loved in exchange of the boy child they expected. But what if it’s a girl? I was scared and angry at the same time! I love myself and I am a woman! I live in a country of Indira Gandhi, of Sania Mirza, of Indira Nooyi and if not all of this, I live in a country where being a Mother is the most honored job but ironically not a mother of a would be mother.... Shallow and scary these words seemed.
I was only a medium of something else that was desired. My voice never heard only silenced by "Rehne de tu Munda hi hona hai": Leave it aside, it will be a Baby Boy!!
I went into depression and severe anxiety.. I took help and I am better.. I delivered a baby girl and she is doing great.. I am happy that I have her but still it pains that when she was born... a tear rolled down someone's eye not in happiness but in sadness that a boy wasn't born......!
What is that Rohini had to go through? Are not 80% of would be mothers in India, Subjected to this?
How do you think it impacts the mother?
Depressed Mood- If pregnancy becomes a performance or a duty to be performed, you cannot expect the mothers to be ‘happy’ or at ‘peace’. Pregnancy needs to be a phase of unconditional love and support.
Loss of Self Esteem- if one is made to feel taken care of only because she will provide the family with a baby boy, then she will not only feel ‘used’ but also lose the respect of being a woman. Perhaps, each time the baby boy is demanded, it is also a form of rejecting the baby girl and hence, disrespecting the mother’s gender.
Anxiety- this constant reminder of giving something, which is not in her hands can make the mothers feel anxious and insecure about what lies ahead.
Negative Thoughts- mothers often tend to go in the thoughts around ‘what if’; for instance, what if it’s a girl? These thoughts make her anxious and insecure about the future. Perhaps, such thoughts should come as planning and not a fear.
Tips for to-be Mothers
Value yourself- at the end of the day, it is your body and life and you should value and love yourself before considering any opinion or demand.
Know what you want- pregnancy also comes to be a time of influx of opinions and advices and often we forget what we really want. Following everyone’s wishes makes one feel incomplete and frustrated within. Perhaps, it is best to know what we want and not flow in many directions.
Allow yourself to Feel- it is humanly impossible to consistently ‘be happy’ or ‘enjoy’ or ‘feel good’ for straight 9 months, if not more. Allow yourself to feel upset and angry and frustrated too and process that pain. You can’t be stable all the time and it is okay. You’re just human!.
Bring assertion to the table: If you give birth to a daughter, that might be just the best thing in the world so be assertive and bring an end to these discussions in your family. Seek help from close friends and confidantes but never accept the baby boy wish list behavior
Tips for Family
Be Aware of your Thoughts- often we hear families say that “we never intended it” but the mother feels pressured. Perhaps, the family members need to be aware of their wishes so they don’t unconsciously/ unintentionally push it onto the mother.
Note your Actions- often you may not be saying that “we need a boy” but your slight actions might be sending those cues. For instance, thinking of boy names or buying boy clothes. Be aware of your actions so they don’t become a pressure in disguise.
Allow the Space to Be- it is surely out of care that we feel the new mothers need assistance; however, that assistance often becomes dominance. Families should be present as a strong support so that the mother can grow and learn at her own pace and through her own ways.
If you are a would be mother or a mother who has faced this subtle or open pressure/demands to rasise a baby boy and this has impacted you and your self-esteem or caused depressive thoughts to you, here at ePsyClinic, we can help you regain the esteem and get out of depression, while also giving you the opportunity to be heard,
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Tags: #baby #boy #depression