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Motherhood, out of wedlock: Understanding a woman’s dilemma

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Can motherhood be a restricted phenomenon? The power bestowed upon women by nature to nurture a new life cannot be restricted by the social norms, feels Aparna Kapoor

“Unwed mother”, “illegitimate child”, “illicit relationship”…such adjectives always catch attention and invite individual views and comments; putting the woman concerned onto the radar by default. But have you ever thought beyond the rules and regulations of the society? Have you ever considered the male and female species as a gift of nature, just like the rest of the living and non-living things provided by nature? Well, if you haven’t, it’s time to realise that everything in nature has some basic characteristics and a few natural instincts.

As far as women are concerned, nature has gifted them with many traits. Women are given the beautiful gift of nurturing life inside of them, hence they are already loaded with maternal loving, caring, nurturing. Or should we put it as that women are programmed to be a mother by default system of nature; it cannot altered, deleted or rebooted!


Social stigma

It is understandable that social norms are essential and came into force with the evolution of mankind to keep the social structure under control and disciplined, but while doing so, sometimes we forget that we are not factory made products, whose operating manual could be altered or changed. Just as a tree is programmed to bear fruits, women are programmed to bear babies, love, nurture; and yearns to do so with all their emotional, physical and spiritual quotient streamlined.

Women are meant to be mothers; and this is a fact even women themselves cannot deny. Ask women who chose to be single, but still yearn to be mothers! Ask the plight of women who are unable to bear babies.

A woman’s identity completes the full circle when she holds her babies in her hand. But with the rules and regulations of the society sometimes it is not possible for every woman to complete the circle of being a daughter, sister, wife and mother. The reason is that our society has made marriage as the threshold of motherhood. Agreed, that the required discipline in the society is ensured but what about the motherly instincts within women, how should they be handled or rather suppressed?

By saying so, one definitely does not imply on having babies out of wedlock encouraging indiscipline in the society. This also does not mean that marriage as an institution is questionable. But the point in question here is that can the feeling of motherhood be taken out, ripped out from a woman’s heart and soul? The answer is a big NO, and we need to find a solution to address and cater for this natural phenomenon in women.

Change with the time

We talk about women liberation and social progress in terms of the mind set of our society, we talk about modernisation, we talk about moving with the changing times; but the moment a girl talks about choosing not to marry but having a desire to be a mother; she is shunned, criticised and slammed. Her decision is ridiculed and the laws make it next to impossible for her to complete the circle of her identity as a woman, by being a mother.

Adoption: There are millions of orphans and thousands of women who are doing very well for themselves wish to have a baby, but the laws of adoption either do not allow or make the process nearly impossible for an unwed girl to be a mother; unless of course you are a celebrity, leaving the orphans crying and single women, sulking.

Sperm donation: This concept of having your own biological child; while being unmarried will still take many years to be accepted not only in India but across the world. Bearing a child inside you is a feeling beyond words. It is said that you don’t realise what life is till it grows inside you. By making sperm donation an easy legal matter will ascertain happiness to many girls seeking to be mothers.
Imagine, there’s so much love waiting to be showered around the world; let’s not stop it…shouldn’t we let it flow?

But…let’s compromise

Despite whatever written above; the fact remains that it will take ages to ease out the process of being a single, legal mother – either through adoption or biologically. But meanwhile, all those girls out there who are nodding in affirmation with me till now and wish to be ‘mothers’; this might help to make your wait a bit easy and bearable.

According to Vedic culture, the status of a woman as mother, is assigned not only to an aged lady or someone who has a physical child but is assigned to a female in general – be she a child, girl, youth or elderly. The family or society becomes civilised because of the presence of women. Criminal or immoral tendencies are significantly reduced if there is guidance from a wise woman. If you review any statistics on crimes, abusive language, violence etc, this fact would become evident. A woman brings us gift of noble innate qualities.

This is true, because a woman acts as mother in a variety to ways beyond biological motherhood. The nurturing, love, care; you as a woman are equipped with, could be generously spread around anyway. Love knows no boundaries or social classifications. Go ahead and spread your arms wide towards all those motherless children living pathetic lives. You might feel that they do not belong to you but you would immediately be accepted, cherished and be ‘adopted’ as a mother by them…what else do you need? Who else are you answerable to other than your own motherly instinct?

The word ‘Mother’ is but the synonym of being a ‘giver’. Just like ‘mother earth’. No matter how much you tread, trot, dig, or hurt her, she only gives – food, shelter, water…life. So even if you are not a mother in the technical meaning of the word, no one can stop you from being a giver; and when you would be a giver, you automatically would be a ‘mother’.

The wisdom

Atharvaveda 7.57.1: Whenever I am hurt emotionally or physically, woman – as a mother, wife, sister, etc., – provides healing touch and rejuvenates me. I bow in humble respect to her.

May all of us (including the women themselves) realise the glory of women, as elaborated in Vedas, and establish them on highest pedestal!

It is upon all of us now to decide whether to benefit from them or plan our own destruction by refusing to respect the motherly woman.