26 January, 2021

The Darkness Of The Womb

A hitherto unheard narrative over motherhood is beginning to be voiced—notes of regret, confusion

Jhumli Bhattacharjee with her daughter
It’s taken ­India longer to come to terms with the fact that the regret felt after ­parenthood is not ­unc­ommon.
Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee
The Darkness Of The Womb

“I am a 21-year-old single mot­her of a two-year-old child. I’ve had feelings of regret since the day of her birth. I genuinely believe my mental health is bec­oming more uns­table as a result of not being ready for parenthood. I love my child immensely, but I genuinely hate the task of parenting daily. My question is that for people who experience this, does the feeling ever change or will I alw­ays be silently miserable? And if it does not, how would I be proactive in finding a solution? I am trying to find what is best for both myself and my child, given the situation,” reads a recent (February 11) Facebook post.

A post such as this may elicit a range of reactions from people depending on which generation, region, caste and spectrum of ideology they inhabit at given times. For India, indeed the world, the very term ‘mother’ comes with a historical/cultural baggage spanning centuries (for instance, the proverbial Mother India and terming modern nations as ‘motherlands’). The reverence accorded to the term is...



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