There are three kinds of women in this world: The sect of the happily married woman with kids and the sect of the insecure woman, who eternally suffers outbursts of emotions. She has them especially when she sees the third sect – that of the single woman swaying along with the winds of spontaneity. In her, she sees her past, the things she can’t covet. She’s either unable to skyrocket from her myriad responsibilities, or she’s just rolled herself in the cocoon of mediocrity hopscotching between responsibilities, trying to maintain a certain homeostasis. But at the end of the day, when she looks into the mirror, she gets visibly anxious about the fat on her stomach which she promised to get rid of six months after her C-section, the greys peeping out from the glitter bobby pin she flicked from her daughter’s dressing table, the Hula Hoop collecting dust in the corner and the loose kurti that has replaced that racy cocktail dress. A cloud of misery engulfs her after every new picture you upload on social media, and she begins to wonder if her husband finds her any attractive anymore. So she joins your Zumba class in an attempt to imitate the chick from the Santoor ad. Little does she realise that you are in class only because home is so lonely.
While most women dream about having children, my sect can’t seem to pull itself out of the ambiguity of motherhood. “You can undo a marriage, but you can’t undo your children”, “Aren’t those nine months really miserable – seeing yourself growing bigger every single day?” or “My husband and I are enough for each other. I don’t think we need a third person to invade our privacy.” Thoughts that’ll make my beloved grandmother turn in her grave. No, I’m not even thinking about the verbal handbook being processed in my mother’s cerebrum. My ovaries are jumping after seeing a cute baby video on Facebook, and hibernating the very next moment. As happy I am to not have those stretch marks and stock up on Bio Oil, deep down, I certainly am worried about the consequences of being child-free. The other day when I was down, my maid asked me if there’s gadbad. And I begin to crave for a dollop of ice cream garnished with jelly, fruits and nuts. Needless to say, there was no gadbad.
So how do we go about this? Do we constantly compare our lives? Will you still complain to me about how you have to plan a drink five days in advance and forget about it during your son’s exams? Should I still crib about what a ghost house my home turns into on nights when he is travelling? The key is acceptance. You feel blessed the presence of a maternal bone, and I embrace the fact that baby-making is not for me. You can never have my life (well, at least till your kids are on their own), and I can never have yours (or maybe I choose not to have yours). The point is, a couple decade down the line, after your son moves to Australia and your daughter gets married to a geek from the States, this really won’t matter. Who knows, we might just make good companions – sipping wine, discussing books and making reservations at a wellness retreat – all while sitting in that pretty little café around the corner.