By US Desk
Fri, 03, 24

The problem is I am scared about getting married. I am scared of having children because the thought that I would be a bad mother like my own mother....


Scared of the future

Dear Guru,

I am a 22-year-old girl. My father is a very strict person. Since I am the oldest among my brothers and sisters, he makes an example of me by punishing me in front of my younger siblings.

His punishments are extremely painful; sometimes he would hit me with his belt and sometimes he would make me stand with my face to the wall. My siblings were so frightened that they did not do anything normal children do, like playing in the living room or watching TV in my father’s presence. The moment he returned from work, they used to rush to their rooms and start studying.

Being the eldest at home, and a girl, I am required to help my mother in the kitchen with household work, and when my father saw that my siblings were busy studying while I was in the kitchen, he would punish me for not studying as well.

My mother has never protected me. She never ever tells my father that she is the one who keeps me away from studies by setting out chores for me so she can look her best when my father returns from work. She doesn’t care about me at all, maybe because I am a girl. She loves my brothers, and always praises them. She always serves them food before me, and I eat after everyone else has finished. She pays attention to my brothers’ studies and got them tuitions when they needed extra help, but I was expected to fend for myself. Despite this discrimination, I did well and managed to do graduation.

I will be married to my paternal uncle’s son, J, in three months. Guru, my cousin is a good guy. I have known him since we were kids, and my uncle and aunt are also very loving and caring. I think getting me engaged to J is the only thing my father has done right by me.

The problem is I am scared about getting married. I am scared of having children because the thought that I would be a bad mother like my own mother keeps me up at night. I am afraid to have a daughter. What if I end up mistreating and hurting her?

Anxious Girl

Dear Anxious Girl,

It is so heartening to learn that despite your unhappy childhood you have done so well academically. Most Pakistani mothers lavish their love on their male offspring but are strict with their daughters, but your mother’s behaviour towards you is not normal; she should have protected you from your father and looked after you. Your father crossed all lines with the way he treated you.

Having said that, the very fact that you are thinking about this issue should tell you that you are going to be a wonderful mom. The problem would be to not go overboard and spoil your daughter in case you have one!

Many a time, the abused end up being abusers, but in your case, the reverse has happened. You are too careful to repeat the mistakes of your parents. Also, J and his parents seem to be normal people, which will help keep you grounded.

Cut yourself some slack and try to relax. When you have kids, try not to differentiate between them and treat them alike. Be firm, not strict. Your children will be lucky to have a mom who wishes to do the right thing for them, and I am sure you will do well with them.

Good luck!

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