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Child Prejudice

As I lay down in bed to sleep, my thoughts wander, recollecting the happenings of the day. It was a tiring day not just because it was jam packed with tons of work at office, but also with the thoughts I was surrounded with. Unfortunately the day culminated with a reminder to one of the most harsh truths of our society.

Scenario: : “Its 9.30 PM. Its dinner time. Television is on. We (Me and My Mother) take our plates and continue watching a mega serial. The main female lead character of the mega serial is pregnant for the second time. Her elder son asks her about baby shower. As she begins to explain the ritual of baby shower, there is a wide smile of joy and happiness in the face of the boy. It felt like, he immediately had dreams and plans to celebrate the coming of the new baby in the most extravagant fashion. Unfortunately the smile frowned within few seconds, as the mother continued to elucidate that the baby showers are rituals which are done only for the first child”.

Why do we adore a pregnant lady? Why do we perform baby showers? Is it a festival to celebrate in a grand fashion? Why do we have to make it a big ritual?

Baby showers are celebrated during pregnancy to welcome the unborn baby to the family and bless the mother-to-be with abundant joys of motherhood. Baby showers are way to express our joy, excitement and happiness for the new entry in the family and to wish the best for the parents.

My question to the society is – Why is baby shower ceremony performed only when the first child is born?

Are you not having the same level of happiness when you are going to become parents for the second time? Are you not excited for the second child, just how you were when you had the first child? If not, then why do you even need to have a second child? Or is it just a societal pressure?

It can be argued that, grooming two children without any favoritism is one of the biggest challenges for the parents. Knowingly or unknowingly, there could be predisposition in thoughts and actions of the parents. Though it is seldom intentional, yet, it has a chance to affect the child deeply for years to come.

The sad state is, this predisposition, does not just happen when the baby is born. This starts when the child is in the womb of the mother.

Yes. Prejudice in the Womb. Period.

Just ponder for a second, if as parents it is right on our part to deny our child, our own bloods everything he or she deserves to get. What will you answer your child, when he or she asks why you did not have a baby shower for him or her? Can we get away by stating this as a societal ritual? What will you say, if he or she asks were you not happy when I entered your life? Do you love the other sibling more?

Answer this to yourselves as parents.

A genuine request to all parents, family members and the society as a whole – “Do not be biased in your thoughts and actions. Every child is unique and special. Celebrate the birth of every child”.

P.S: This article is intended not to hurt anyone’s sentiments or emotions. This is just an opinion of a voracious writer who strives to reform the perils of the society.

3 Comments

  • Shyamalee

    A very well written article. And something that totally spoke out the thoughts in my head. But the sad fact is, it is not the mother, or in very few cases, the father of the baby who get to have a say in the baby shower decisions. It is in fact the choice of the “elders” of the house, who are not broad minded enough to realize there should be no prejudices whatsoever. And even sadder is the fact that they will have a “religious/spiritual” explanation for it, which for all the goodness in the world we will never even begin to comprehend. So, just to say that it is not all parents that decide not to have a baby shower, I personally would completely love to have a big blast before every child that I bear, but it is a middle class Indian family we were born into, standing up for what we want is a dream yet to come true.

  • Shilpa

    A well written article. Yes, it is a prejudiced system with pseudo rituals and societal pressure. Not only do the would-be parents go through the apprehension of the upcoming responsibility, they also have to deal with the nonsense that is thrown at them. Added to the problem is the pressure that the immediate family gives. Each one is eager to show off how much they care, whether they really do or not is the question, but they do all the same. Is it not important that the parents should feel nice about the fact that they are bringing a new life to this world? Instead they are pressured so much with rituals and financial commitments. We all have to agree that most of us come from a middle class family and yet want to celebrate things Karan Johar style. Unfortunately, people forget that it is not the ritual for the first, second, third, or more children that come to life that matters. But all that matters is if the would be parents are given enough space to explore their ideas for their decision of bringing the child to life. It is their child and they have all the authority to celebrate the arrival their way. What does ritual have to do with it? I am blunt about the whole ritual fact here and many might not like it. Definitely, this feedback is not to hurt anybody and like the author in here says, it is just my point of view too.
    People, please do not demark and prejudice an unborn child in the name of rituals. If you believe in rituals, then please understand rituals are to bring in discipline and not hurt anybody’s sentiments.

  • S Saravanan

    Baby shower is just yet another of those rituals and not having that does not mean the mother and family are not happy for the arrival of the kid. And saying that this is some kind of a right we are denying the child and the child getting upset on knowing he didn’t get one is i think a bit too far fetched. Sorry but this is my opinion. I think the important thing is to be good parents for our children and nurture them to become responsible citizens of this country.

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