I did NOT do a favour by giving birth to my child!

I came across this photo on facebook a couple of days back which was re-shared by one of my friends from the page of a legendary actor. The photo has got me seething ever since. And it got some 5 lakh plus likes, to add to my chagrin!

Now the part which says that she changes her name, changes her home, leaves her family could be true to some extent. There are families, even today, that endorse the regressive thought-process of girls being ‘paraya-dhan’, where girls are raised to think of the family they grow up in as merely a temporary set up before they leave for their ‘own’ family-by-law.

Having said that I would like to believe that mindsets are changing. More and more women are able to stand their own ground and decide whether to keep their surnames or adopt their husbands’ after marriage, based on their own choice and desire rather than what the society ‘demands’ of them. And its equally welcoming to see men evolve too and accept that their women have every right to choose and decide what they want for themselves.

As for changing home, leaving family, to speak for myself, I have never felt or been made to feel that I have had to ‘leave’ my family after marriage. Yes I did shift from one house to another, but I have been every bit a part of my parents’ house as I have been of my parents-in-law. Also the part which says that a woman moves in with her husband and builds a home with him after marriage, I believe the husband also comes forward and contributes equally to building that home with her.

But the one line that blows it for me is:

Gets pregnant for you, bears a child for you.

I have not found a more ridiculous thing to say than this. Again, I talk for myself and my husband when I clarify that I did NOT get pregnant for him or bear my child for him. It was a well thought out decision to bring our child into this world and we made that decision together, for our own sake and happiness.

When we got married we had decided that having kids would not be our primary focus for another 3-4 years. We needed time to get to know each other, secure our lives a bit better, stabilize our relationship before we could bring a child into our lives.

And when we did decide to take that important step onto the next phase, it’s not as if my husband came up to me, one fine day and blurted, ‘Hey listen will you do me a favour? Can you get pregnant for me and bear a child for me?’! Nor is it as if I went up to him either, asking, ‘Hey listen, will you do me a favour? Can you ‘make’ me pregnant so I can bear a child?’ 🙄

NO! It did not work like that in our case! And I’m sure it does not work like that in any couple’s case! Favour would be the last word befitting here. I was craving for a child just as much. I wanted to be a parent just as much. I wanted to get pregnant and bear our child! The decision was and is never about ‘your child’ or ‘my child’. It was ‘our’ child that we were talking about bringing into this world.

Yes I did go through some bodily changes when I was pregnant, I did get fat, I did go through fair amount of labour pains. But I did not, for a second, begrudge any of that on my husband, neither did I ever think that I was doing him a favour. I know for a fact that if the situation had reversed, my husband would have taken on all that just as well if he were carrying our baby.

I think ‘favour’ is a wrong word to be used to describe anything relating to a relationship as mutually equating as marriage. The onus of every little decision made, every little step taken, every little space give to nurture a marriage rests equally on both the man and the woman.The minute a couple in any marriage starts to think that he/she is doing a favour to the other, it loses its meaning. So merely terming it as thus would be belittling the very relationship I feel.

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31 thoughts on “I did NOT do a favour by giving birth to my child!

  1. Unfortunate Deeps, so many extremists. It’s either this side or that, for them.
    So everything a woman does seems to be a favour on the man. Pah!

    Heartily agreeing to all you’ve said here!

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  2. The whole theme is just dumb!! Seriously, I know there are people who think like this (I’ve seen many memes posted on Facebook about the wonderful self-sacrifice that Indian women do!), but it’s really rubbish to see something like this in this century!

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    1. “I know there are people who think like this (I’ve seen many memes posted on Facebook about the wonderful self-sacrifice that Indian women do!)” Guess that should explain the 5lakh plus likes for the image! 🙄 🙄

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  3. I saw this picture on FB, Deeps, as was puzzled by it, to be frank. There was a lot amiss in it. As someone here has already pointed out – an extreme vision. I mean in a lot of cases the decision is personal, mutual and absolutely an expression of togetherness. It sounded so bitter, the way I read that post.
    I agree entirely with your viewpoint. This picture is so one-sided.

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    1. One-sided. Thats what it seemed to me too, Ushus! And ‘favour’ is such a wrong term to use for something as mutual and personal a decision like bearing a child! It nags me still :\

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  4. You have put it so aptly. As if a woman cannot do it for herself, as if everything she does it has to be for someone but herself. She cannot decide to do anything for herself.
    Such ridiculous thoughts.

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  5. Agree with your points Deeps…
    I too saw this forward. It felt like women do not have anything to live for their own and they do everything for others, which is quite badly put.

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  6. ” I was craving for a child just as much. I wanted to be a parent just as much. I wanted to get pregnant and bear our child! The decision was and is never about ‘your child’ or ‘my child’. It was ‘our’ child that we were talking about bringing into this world.”

    “I know for a fact that if the situation had reversed, my husband would have taken on all that just as well if he were carrying our baby.”

    Can’t agree more with you on these points, Di! But the fact is that there definitely are females who now feel that they are doing a favour by being in the relationship and bearing children. I would say, get out of it if it is a favour, because it doesn’t benefit either of them.

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  7. Oh you missed one one doing the rounds where the dad begs the sonin law to be nice to his daughter. Begs… I wanted to smack the people with the likes and then the dad.

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  8. Unrelated to the post… here is something from NYT that might interest you:

    A study called “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” which appeared in The American Sociological Review last year, surprised many, precisely because it went against the logical assumption that as marriages improve by becoming more equal, the sex in these marriages will improve, too. Instead, it found that when men did certain kinds of chores around the house, couples had less sex. Specifically, if men did all of what the researchers characterized as feminine chores like folding laundry, cooking or vacuuming — the kinds of things many women say they want their husbands to do — then couples had sex 1.5 fewer times per month than those with husbands who did what were considered masculine chores, like taking out the trash or fixing the car. It wasn’t just the frequency that was affected, either — at least for the wives. The more traditional the division of labor, meaning the greater the husband’s share of masculine chores compared with feminine ones, the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction.

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    1. and seriously what is this “becoming fat with pregnancy” if you love yourself, you’ll be happy in your skin..and if you are so much concerned about your fatness, just gym-up ! huh,

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