A friend on Facebook shared a very beautiful thought today (I have attached the image) which I believe is very true. I have something to share on the lines of this thought since I have recently been through my pregnancy and now I am enjoying motherhood.
When I was pregnant, every other person I would meet asked me one same question – “40 divas wari bai book kari che ne?”(have you booked a baby sitter for first 40 days postpartum?). I was so annoyed and frustrated by repeatedly answering to this question every single time. My answer always remained – NO. And then they would all try to explain to me why is bai so important! That she would take care of my baby while I recover from the delivery, sooth the baby when cranky, keep my baby during the night time so I can sleep, change her nappies/diapers, sponge her (as babies aren’t supposed to be given bath for those 40 days), dress her up, sing her to sleep, ETC ETC. And I would reply – If bai is going to do what a mother is suppose to then what is the sense of delivering a baby, why not ask her to deliver also for you? Just to see your baby develop that motherly affection for that bai while you relax on the bed? And then complain that your baby won’t stop crying no matter what you do but would stop immediately if that bai picks her up! I am not birthing my baby for some bai, I am birthing her because I am ready to be her mother! But that argument won’t end there, sadly. People would then continue- if it is a normal delivery then may be you can manage, but if you have to undergo cesarean then you definitely need a bai because then you will be having stitches to manage and it is not easy to manage a new born when you have undergone a surgery. Again, I would say it does not matter to me, I know I am ready for it and I know I can manage as I have mom-in-law, mom, bhabhi to help. “But you will still need a bai with all these people, you don’t understand it right now, let the baby come then you will realize that it is not easy, then you will have to search for a bai. Better to book her in advance because you need to do advance booking now-a-days for this special bais” (Can you believe it? Advance booking! So much demand! Wow, sound like a good business.)
I am really grateful to my mom-in-law who shares the same opinion with me, and has supported me in this decision of “No Bai”, which has definitely added strength in me. I underwent cesarean about 68 days back, and in those first 40 days I have never felt any need for a bai. It’s not that I am lucky and I never had sleepless nights or tough days. I have had both and I still do. But when you are determined and you have someone strongly supporting you and your principles, it becomes easy. Nothing is impossible.
I genuinely feel that this recent trend called “bai” is more of a social status statement then an actual need. If you have a bai then your social status is considered to be high and rich. Letting your child grow up the way that bai pleases and teaches, letting your child eat when the bai wants and not when your child is actually hungry, letting your child go out for an evening walk or play with friends under the watch of a bai while that bai is busy talking over the mobile using her headphones, leaving your child alone with the bai for full day while you go out with friends or go to work, taking a bai out along with you to a restaurant so that she can feed her while you enjoy your meal – how is all these a statement of being rich?? Just because you can buy expensive toys and baby gears or afford a full-time bai to help comfort your baby does not mean you are done with your parenting. A real parent is someone who sits with their children to play those toys and picks them up in their arms to sooth and comfort them whenever they need warmth. Children are very vulnerable, they become what they learn in their early years. Parents then complain and get angry on their children for being manner less or using some abusive words or doing things that they don’t approve of. Why not become a parent first rather than scolding your children who learnt what they were taught and observed as they grew up! Where is their fault in this!
My father always held some principles very strong in his life and taught me to do the same. He always use to say, do not birth a child because you have to or your family wants you to or the society is gossiping about you not becoming pregnant yet(27 ki ho gai aur ab tak bacche nahi hue, pakka there is some gynaec issue with her!! ?)or you need a support system when you grow old or you forgot to use precautions; birth a child only when you are ready to be a parent. It is not an easy job, but when you do it right you have something to be proud of for the rest of your life!