The very question sounds like sacrilege, when parenting surely is the most exalted and glorified job of men and women —absolutely choiceless!
The very question sounds like sacrilege, when parenting surely is the most exalted and glorified job of men and women —absolutely choiceless! Women particularly are so heavily conditioned about becoming mothers that they seldom look at the real feelings they harbor about this extremely important yet difficult task. Down the ages motherhood was supposed to be the prime purpose of being a woman. It is only relatively recently, with women evolving their being and seeking their individuality that they are beginning to look at parenting as a voluntary task. Many women are daring to admit openly that they don’t enjoy motherhood. There has been a recent study at the University of Minnesota, United States. Ann Meier and her colleagues Kelly Musick at Cornell University, and Sarah Flood at the Minnesota Population Centre, used time diary data from more than 12,000 parents that linked to their feelings. They have found that the parents generally enjoy being with their kids, but that mothers are less happy than fathers with their parenting duties because they do more of the “work” and less of the “fun” tasks. Researchers found that not only do parenting activities between mothers and fathers differ; the environment surrounding the activity differs as well.
This issue is so important that it needs to be looked into with fresh eyes. Osho has spoken at length on it, and if his views are studied and imbibed by parents, it will not only help the child-parent relationship, but improve the quality of human life as well.
Ponder these invaluable Osho tips. “First: the idea that the children belong to you is wrong. They come through you; you have been a passage, but they don’t belong to you. Once you start thinking that they are your possessions, you have reduced them into things, because only things can be possessed, not human beings. It is the ugliest act to do. And those poor children are so helpless, so dependent on you, they cannot rebel. They accept whatever your idea is.”
Another important and startling fact is that just by giving birth to a child, a woman doesn’t become a mother. There is a difference between a biological mother and a psychological mother. A human child needs much more than just a biological mother. To be a mother is a great art, one that needs understanding and maturity. If a mother is happy within herself, if she is meditative and centered, only then can she allow the child to blossom as an individual. The child-parent relationship sours because parents have a tendency to burden their children with expectations: their unfulfilled desires and their ambitions, making the children feel guilty about their parents’ sacrifice, and making them feel that something is expected in return. This is destructive. But by helping the child to grow into a beautiful human being, you are also helping yourselves; you are growing as parents too. If parents and children meditate together a loving energy will flow between them. There will be an inner harmony, a silent communion between them, and the generation gap will dissolve, as at the deeper level, as we know, everyone is equal.
Amrit Sadhana is editor Osho Times International. She facilitates meditation workshops based on Osho insights around the country and abroad.