You don’t owe me anything, my child!

Dearest Anu and Li’l Love,

I don’t know how to begin. I am very well aware why I am writing this letter. And so I am just going with the flow.

Years later, there will be a point in life when you’ll be tired of handling my tantrums, my irrational behaviour, my unrealistic expectations, my manipulative efforts and what not. Stay cool and do what you feel is right. Put yourself first. Please do not surrender to societal pressures or emotional blackmail of taking care of your parents. Do only as much as you can and as much as you feel like. Put your foot down when things go out of control. Don’t stress yourself. It’s not worth it.

Giving birth to you was my choice. It was never a sacrifice. Nor did I do you a favour. It was purely my decision. And since I decided to bring you into this world, it was my responsibility to take care of you and provide for you. Your Dad and I have only been doing that to the best of our efforts. Please don’t see it as a sacrifice or a favour that we are doing to you. We do it out of choice. We do it out of love. We do it because we want to do it for you. We do it because that’s our responsibility. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

Tomorrow you’ll have your own life. Your own family. Independent of us. We might still be there. We might try to help you. But if ever I bother you to the extent of emotional abuse, cut me off. I mean it. You are in no way responsible for the bad experiences I have had in my life and hence you don’t need to suffer because of my frustrations and insecurities. Just because I carried you within me for nine months, you don’t have to bear with my silly outbreaks, stranger than fiction kind of insecurities, my shortcomings and failures and the burden of my unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. My actions are not and will not be your responsibility.

I know I am a perfectly imperfect parent. I am aware that I’m highly critical and I swing from egotistical to depressed moods. May be there are many like me. May be we all are on a learning spree. It is stressful at times. And hence I yell. I scream. And then I let it go. I make mistakes. Just like you do. The only difference is I don’t have anyone who explains it to me like I do to you. I know at times I am a really difficult person. And when I cool down, I am scared. I am scared thinking about your future. I am scared thinking about my future. I don’t want to end up scarring your definition of relationships forever. I don’t want to burden you with my unrealistic expectations.

If ever I end up doing something that agonized you, let me go. Distance yourself instead of ending up stressful. If ever someone tells you that you ought to take care of me, shut them up. Nobody but you have the right to decide what you want to do. If ever I abuse you emotionally for the only reason that I gave birth to you, stand up and tell me that it was my choice and not your request or a sacrifice. You’re not my slave. You’re an individual. I want you to be a good human. I want you to be strong. I want you to be independent. And if I happen to be a roadblock, take a slight left or right and move on.

You don’t owe me a thing, my child!

You don’t owe me anything at all. Nothing except loving and respecting this life that you have. Courtesy my choice to be a Mom. Your Mom. Love yourself. Brace yourself. Respect yourself. Put yourself first. Keep yourself happy and strive to be successful. If you fail, try again.

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Your children don’t owe you anything.

Make mistakes. You know I make quite a lot of them. Learn from them. Improve. Make newer mistakes. Learn more. Do anything and everything that you feel like but don’t let anyone break your confidence and hurt your self-respect. Nobody is worth it. Not even me.

Tomorrow, when I put you in a stressful situation, willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly, remember to read these words of mine. I might curse you at that point of time. But I’ll understand. You have a choice. You have a life.

Motherhood is considered in society to be a sacred institute and isn’t supposed to be spoken about in a negative light. It amuses me when people blackmail their own children with how they are bound to repay the debt. Utter nonsense! Motherhood is not a profit and loss register where in you make entries of how much you earned or how much you lost. It is an experience. A beautiful one. One of a kind. It is something I cherish. Something I treasure. Having you is my blessing. Raising you is my choice. None of this is your fault.

I wrote this out and am sharing this because I believe that maybe somewhere someone else will read it and feel less alone. May be they will have the courage to pry themselves apart from their parent and start to heal and live their own life.

I love you and I always will.

Yours always,


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14 Replies to “You don’t owe me anything, my child!”

  1. Rekha, thought provoking and a letter from the heart that every parent must read. Glad to read that as a parent, you don’t shackle your children in boundaries or make them feel guilty. Superb.

  2. I have witnessed few parents dumping their agonies and failures on their children. Even if they themselves were responsible for any unpleasant outcome in their life, they try to cover it up as a sacrifice made for their child. As u rightly said, the child is not a slave but an individual with his/her own choices. Aa parents, we do what we want to do and think right.
    Hugs to u for writing this! A must read for all parents.

  3. Blessed are your daughters to have you as a mother who inspite of facing all the difficulties chooses to break free of the age old notions. What you have mentioned in your letter is worth applauding. Motherhood, parenthood, both are in no way sacrifices. Terming them as sacrifices and hardships gives them a negative meaning thus invoking fear and bitterness. Let them be based on unconditional love and affection.

  4. Mind blowing post, Rekha. Thanks for relieving me from deep pain which I was carrying on my heart for a long ……. Accept it’s ok for moms to make mistake but it’s not ok to forget the lessons learnt from that mistake …….

  5. Now this is good.. It is true many a times we try to dump things on someone else.. If not kids then maybe a friend or parent..

    We are humans and we will make mistakes if not then we will be gods.. the idea is to learn and try not to repeat the same mistakes again.
    I hope many read this ..

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