Some years ago an incident took place, which I haven't been able to forget, till date. I was out one evening, walking my pet dog, when a woman residing in my building met me for the first time, and the following conversation, or should I say interrogation, ensued..
SHE : Is it your dog?
I : Yes.
SHE : Why do you have a dog?
I : Because I like dogs.
SHE : Don't you have any children?
I : No.
SHE : Why ?
I kept silent.
SHE : Do you have a dog because you don't have children?
I was agitated and had no intentions to answer her questions so, I just mumbled something and walked away. Now, this woman didn't even know my name, but, she wanted to know the reason why I didn't have children! Being a stranger, she should have had the courtesy to simply ask me my name. And she being a stranger, I did not want to disclose any personal matters to her. But, what is it about a woman without a child, that arouses curiosity in people? Does the absence of a child make the woman different or incomplete? And why can't people accept that there might be certain reasons behind such decisions, that is, reason why the woman is ' not a mother'? Why don't people just leave us alone instead of badgering us with all sorts of questions?
Agreed, that having a baby, or rather, creating a human being in her womb and bringing it safely into this world is a blessing bestowed by our creator on the woman. Agreed, that it is a privilege for the woman to be a part of this miracle called 'child birth', but, does not being able to use that privilege make her less of a woman? That is how it is perceived in our society So, If I look at myself from society's point of view, I am not a complete woman, is that so? Am I a disgrace to my creator because I have not made use of His special blessing to me? I don't think so. I think , and know, that I, and many women like me, have made the right decision. We may not have brought a human being into this world, but, we did save a human being from leading a life of misery and pain had it been born in spite of the health risks involved. And doesn't a mother do her best to protect her child from adversity? So, doesn't that make us much more loving mothers?
I do have a child, though-my pet dog, And he may not be born in my womb, but, he grew in my heart! I have brought him up well. I shower him with my maternal instincts and love him unconditionally. I look after his health and understand his moods and his needs perfectly well. And I just read that " being a MOTHER doesn't mean being related to someone by blood. It means loving someone unconditionally and with your whole heart"! So, we - I speak on behalf of all the women in a similar situation- may not have used our ' privileges ' ,but, we have surely used our hearts in a way He wanted us to, thus making Him proud of his creations!
Every woman on earth is a mother, making use of her blessing and special privileges. She showers a child with her endless love and affection. The child may not belong to the human race, or may not be born to her, but, that does not make her less of a 'mother'. And, I think, this is what the world needs to understand and appreciate.