Been married for "X number of years" so when's the good news? If this question hasn't been thrown at you time and again and you said you live in India, I would be gobsmacked. The age to marry, to procreate, then procreate again so that your child has a sibling, everything seems to be decided by society here, isn't it.
There are many couples who unfortunately cannot conceive and wait, pray and try every possible way to become parents. But there are some - who do not want to have kids by choice. I see this trend of DINK( Double Income No Kids) on the rise. Though I am always conscious not to raise the "good news" question before anyone, I sometimes do take the liberty with good friends.
One such colleague whom I knew well since a couple of years, was married for close to 3 years and when I asked her casually about having babies, she promptly replied - neither she nor her spouse are very fond of kids so they are not thinking of having one. On thinking about this- I wondered but how can one not love kids? How can a couple not think of having kids? It baffled me.
Today when I am a mother of a 10 month old, I have truly understood what it takes to be a parent, the cuteness factor apart, one gets much more than one has bargained for. It doesn't baffle me anymore. In fact I respect her decision and it seems perfectly ok. In case you had doubts, I love being a parent and love my Angel to the moon, it has changed my life in a big way but I do not have a shred of doubt about it being the right thing for me. I have always adored kids though I now truly realise what it is being a parent. One thing I was clear about though is having kids.
No conflict here, coming back to my colleague's case, what I respect her for is not having kids when she didn't intend to. I have seen lot of couples who though are personally not inclined to have kids end up having them due to societal pressure (to prove that they are not impotent, see we are one complete family now,Mummy Daddy Baby) or to please their parents (beta my Aakhri Icha -last wish) or because they believe that they need someone to take care of them in their old age. Have you heard of any lamer excuse? I would think having a baby when you are not ready or just don't want one- is the worse thing you can do to yourself and the baby. Have personally seen such people being unhappy and passing on the same unhappy spirit to the child as well. Then they hire an entourage of nannies, cooks, teachers to groom and raise the child, while they try to enjoy their life and live it the way they like, the kid craves for their attention, doesn't get it and one fine day he doesn't need it. So why do you want a baby then?
I read an interesting article which raised this issue- it said rather than society asking people to justify why they don't want a baby and trying to coax them to have one, the people who want to have a baby should be asked to justify why they want one? Very often people don't think twice, it's just the most natural thing to do right. So why do we need to justify it, blasphemous! The point I am making here is - are you asking yourself if you are ready to have a child?
Ready emotionally, physically, financially in all respects? Parenting is a full time job , are you ready in the true sense to be available 24*7 for someone, put them to sleep while you sacrifice your sleep, tend to an ailing child, put up with his tantrums,try feeding him a meal while he runs around and refuses to open his mouth, as he grows be responsible for his studies, help him with his project work , and did you say what about me? Well forget about me time, does that even exist once you are a parent? There's so much more to parenting and it's a job for a lifetime, so think and think well before you take the plunge. I can vouch for it that it's a beautiful journey, it's made me laugh, made me cry, brought out this new facet of writing in me that I never knew even existed and though it's a challenge to find time for myself, hubby -wife time, movie time, eating my meal in peace time .I could still not think of having it any other way.
Lets not forget- a little child brought into the world by us looks up to us for care and support for a good part of her life, we can give our best only when we are ready for it. It's important to make a conscious decision and in case you decide in the affirmative or decide to wait longer, both are perfectly legitimate options. It also calls for we as a society to stop putting undue pressure on couples and let them decide when they want to give us the "good news".
Now let me confess- I am really NOT someone who loves watching
daily soaps. I know reading the tile you thought- what the heck, if it’s a
daily soap on TV it is bound to be stereotypical, full of nonsense and drama
and if you watch such stuff why complain, and if complain why watch? There was a
time when I was in college, all naive, and this was when internet was all about
going to the cyber cafe and getting all excited about entering the chat room
and typing asl (age ,sex ,location) and talking to strangers. At that time, the
only source of entertainment for young people like me was the idiot box so I won’t
lie- I used to watch the Ekta Kapoor soaps and probably even like that at that
point, that’s why I use the word Naive. As I grew up, met
diverse set of people, read and experienced new cultures, my thought process
changed. With a hectic job, I hardly found time for any TV watching. My Mom who
is also a working woman used to watch a few Marathi soaps. She always told me
Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
As Aesha tapped her heel restlessly at the Visa Consulate, one
might just think of her as yet another young woman who has set her heart on an
overseas dream, a future in the greener pastures and she is probably nervous if
her visa will be stamped or not as her fate can either be made or broken by
this one seal (or the lack of it). But for Aesha , her tumultuous mind couldn't
be tamed today. While she was at
the cusp of an important milestone in her career and getting the visa would
mean she inches one step closer to her dream professionally- somewhere she
shuddered to think of how it would impact her love life and the very foundation
of her marriage. It seemed like
yesterday- Aman and Aesha met at a sangeet and got talking. They hit it
instantly and never realized where time flew. They would always chuckle when
they got to know later that this had been set up by their parents. Aesha was a young, dynamic, super smart, intelligent woman who was
a great fan of Sheryl Sandberg and truly…