I was aimlessly scrolling up the feed when a comment grabbed my attention. Not surprisingly, this happened because the post was about a person I have always held in high esteem – Sushmita Sen.
A woman had put it across quite bluntly that Sushmita Sen knows nothing about motherhood sacrifices because she hasn’t given birth to her daughters. She mentioned categorically that it starts from when the embryo is formed and all Sushmita Sen has done is give a good life to adopted kids, making it sound like a cakewalk.
As they say, there is prudence in not reacting to all the noise on social media but this was not just a random, ludicrous comment. While I did respond to the woman stating that her comment was not just insensitive but also disrespectful to mothers who have adopted a child, I realised that this thought in reality is reflective of the mindset harboured by many people in our society.
I wonder if motherhood is a race? Are we in it to seize the trophy of the most sacrificing mother? What are we trying to prove by comparing our struggles and to whom?
It begins with propagating the idea that true motherhood is experienced only when you conceive which is why there is still a blistering stigma around infertility. Once you have a bun in the oven, then natural delivery becomes the real deal and if you have undergone a C-section, you have had it easy.
No, it doesn’t end just here. There is the ‘breastfeeding versus formula milk’ war setup for you soon after and this list is a never ending one. It’s almost like ticking off boxes that cater to the flawed, systemic idea of motherhood.
To me, the beauty of motherhood is actually in its uniqueness. It is a shared experience with a child and hence, distinctive and individual in its very essence.
A mother is not defined by adversity. A mother is not defined by the level of pain she can endure. A mother is not defined by biology. A mother is defined by her emotions. A mother is defined by her nurturing instincts. A mother is defined by her endeavour to pull out all stops for her child’s growth and welfare. She tries and falters, only to get up and try again. This is what it is. This is what matters.
As a society, can we please rise above the ‘adjectives’ to define the ‘noun’ in question here? A mother is a mother is a mother.