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Why I have decided NOT to have an Annaprashan ceremony for my baby boy

The family wants to have a grand Annaprashan for my baby and invite over all the relatives. However, I have decided against it.

I am a mother of three beautiful children. My youngest, is a son who is now 5-months-old. As is natural in most Indian families the talks about conducting his annaprashan keep on surfacing.

The family wants to celebrate it in a grand ceremony and invite over all the relatives. However, I have decided against it.

I am choosing not to have any big celebrations. And yes, this is causing a lot of rift in my family but there is a reason why I am not opting for the celebrations that are considered so important in traditional families such as ours.

Why I am opting out

The reason why I am opting out of this celebration is extremely emotional. Let me try explaining it to you. I have two girls who are now 6 and 4.

annaprashan A baby's initiation to solids is a marked change in his life and hence, celebrated in the annaprashan

When the time came for their annaprashan ceremony my in-laws informed that they would have just a small token ceremony as in case of girls the function is not supposed to be elaborate.

So, we had a small pooja at home with just the family members for both my girls. I did not think much about it until after my son was born.

This time things were different

As early as when my son was two-months-old my mother-in-law began talking about having a big function for his annaprashan. I was surprised as this was never talked about in case of my girls. In the past one month, there have been talks about printing invitation cards, calling over halwais to make sweets.

Inviting all the extended family over. Honestly, the planning is so elaborate as if there is a grand wedding in the family. For me, this all seems so unfair to my girls. If this is supposed to be such a big affair why were the rules different for my girls? Why were they denied a big function? Will I be able to justify this to my girls when they grow up?

By differentiating in the form of celebration are we not already creating a visible difference in the way we treat boys and girls. And hence I have put my foot down and said no to a grand celebration. I want to have the same small set up and pooja the way I had for my daughters.

Am I breaking rules?

My in-laws are miffed with me and feel that I am challenging their beliefs. I have tried explaining it to my husband who agrees with me but sees no harm in having a big function as it will please his parents.

But for me giving in means not standing up for my girls. I do not want to do something that seems unfair to my girls. A grand celebration is not the only way to show that I love my kids. I love my son as much as I love my daughters and that's why I want to keep the rules for them same.

I feel if I set the right example in my family then only I can hope that my daughters grow up to be confident individuals and my son grows up to know that the biggest power is to realise that all genders are equal. What do you think mums?

Read: What Nisha Rawal and Karan Mehra did for their baby's Annaprashan ceremony