I used to wonder at the cliched diagloges in Indian movies that translated to, “Only a woman can understand the suffering of women folk.” I still joke on the usage of the term ‘suffering’. Obviously, they couldn’t have found a word that was more depressing and that could throw the entire womanhood into the slurry of pessimism in one shot. Bang! And there you are – the stereotyped representative of the women folk. But with times, as our films have changed in their attitudes, so has my perception and attitude towards the women folk changed with becoming a mother myself.
The callous self that I used to be suddenly evolved into a sympathetic type that began to relate to women, especially mothers amongst all. I came to learn that right from getting married to conception and childbirth to raising a family, the mettle that a woman must possess is unbelievable – on moral, social, physical and emotional fronts. I came to learn that no matter how privileged you are, women need to represent a more ‘responsible’ human being in them by nurturing perfection in various aspects; and if they fall short of their set expectations, it might take a toll on them. And this is what I saw as ‘suffering’ – something that has exalted my perception of women in recent times. Here’s how I have been stumped by womanhood as a new mother:
Now how many of you will agree that it’s a cakewalk? You aren’t churning out the butter. You are making life with flesh, blood and bones. Any takers for the role?
2. Handling The Daily Chaos
You might work very hard in a bid to have your home stay organised. Yet things might be undone in a jiffy. Your kids will wrinkle the sheets in no time; things are not found in their place when you need them the most, the fridge is messed up…and you can go on and on about how you must grapple with staying organised while raising preschoolers. In the process, you begin to wonder how other women might be succeeding in this domain of life.
3. Relating With Women’s Emotions
As they say, a female child is more sensitive than a male child towards emotions. Perhaps this inherent quality builds up as a girl grows and the trait of empathy reaches the pinnacle with attaining motherhood. It’s only a woman who can best empathise with the hormonal play of emotions of yet another woman – be it a comrade or a stranger – you won’t be able to brush it aside.
4. Cooking For All While Ending Up Eating Less
I guess this is one of the reasons why most women lose nourishment once they start cooking for the family. You will cook plenty and quite palatable, yet won’t help yourself well. You will be prescribed supplements, but do you even schedule a tracker to gulp those pills down, let alone eat well?
5. Your Patience Might Be Tested On Various Levels
It could be work, society or home. Your volatile temperament will define you. As you bear the brunt of everything, the negligence of your kids will provoke you futher. You will remain mum for a long time, until the day the silence erupts and scares everyone around like they must duck their heads under cushions. And at the end of it all – you will regret at the outburst, you will hate yourself for the way you reacted to something so insignificant – and it will all pool into another episode of sorry-tears.
6. You Become A Pointless Preacher
Seriously. Your adult husband won’t escape the preaching meant for your kids either! He must so often listen to what you must say or do at home or elsewhere that he will become immune to it. Your kiddos and papa obviously make a good team doing their fun things while you are lost blabbering – ehmm…to the walls, of course. A question thrown at the dinner table from that preaching is met with – “When did you even say that?”…you can imagine what’s to follow!
7. Sleep Deprivation
What’s beauty sleep? It’s an adage fit for a girl – not a woman! Not when you must breastfeed your baby or go to the kitchen to make an untimely snack for yourself or attend to a task that was long forgotten because you always seemed to run out of time…can all this give you the much needed eight-hour sleep?
8. Going Back To The Times When You Watched ‘The Bold And The Beautiful’
How often have you done that? You wonder whether you match the standards of the women you most admired?
9. Reading About The Joan Of Arc
It will evoke some semblence – at last, you are something!
If these don’t sum up for ‘suffering’, I don’t know what else can. But the undercurrents of the mundane experiences of a woman are the most exhilarating, I must say.