Its just been eight months since I got married and almost everyone I meet is expecting me to have a baby bump by now. From the pujaris who got us married to the owners of a eatery whom we frequent regularly. Wow. Just wow. And the best part was that, some people thought that I was getting married so early because I was pregnant. Well people, eight months gone by and no sign of a baby or the bump. I'm sorry, but I'm deriving immense pleasure in disappointing you. If I ever wanted to have a baby, I would have had one long ago. Whether I was married or not. And to those who think that babies are a compulsion after marriage, well, I pity you. And to those who think sex is only for procreation, well, I'm tempted to kill you.
I'm probably talking about this very early, but this post by Nisha made me want to express my opinions about this topic. I'm still child free after more than half a year of marriage, unlike a lot of people who declared "We're pregnant" with a fake smile plastered on their face a week after marriage, leading everyone to guess when did they actually conceive. I don't know why it is any one's business, apart from the couple involved. They probably are upset enough that their protection failed and then others burden them with their own speculations of date and time. My friend's sister conceived on her wedding night as the condom tore and was confirmed pregnant two weeks later. She was hesitant in telling people about it, as she feared that they might think that she had got pregnant before marriage. Why did she care, I don't know. Whether she wanted the baby or not, I don't know. Today the baby is a happy and pampered girl of three.
Cal and I have discussed this topic. While we were dating, we were so lost and awed about each other that we could not wait to see how our offspring would be like. We even had names chosen for our kids. But once we became man and wife, we do not feel the need to have kids. Not for a long time at least. We believe a child should come into this world when it is wanted and not because the mother missed a pill or because of an ancient condom. The feeling of not wanting a child yet bearing one would be pathetic. We have seen a lot of first time parents cursing their new born. For clearly what is their own fault. You need to be safe. Very safe.
Now it comes to why we do not want to have a child. First, we don't think that the world is a nice place, to bring up a piece of yourself. Also, there are a lot of kids out there who deserve a good family. Why add on to the population when you can give someone existing a life. Second, I think Cal and I still have a lot more to give each other before we begin sharing our love with some one else. We have been in love since two years and are still crazy about each other. Our madness reaches a new peak everyday and we still do not feel saturated. I wake up everyday wanting to give him more love. I'm sure he does the same. How ever rude this might seem, both of us clearly believe that we do not have the space for a baby in our lives. Third, we are selfish. We love our life and independence way too much to be bogged down. We want to follow our passions, travel the world and fulfill all our desires before we are expected to cater to the need of someone else. Yes, I do not have the maternal instinct in me. Even if I have an ounce of it, the only person whom I feel it for is my husband. I don't think that would ever change. Cal protects me like a father and having someone else to replace me is not acceptable to him too. We already are parents. To each other.
The main reason why we do not want to have a child is that we don't think that we would be able to handle the pressure that comes along with parenting. I am not the one to give up on my work and ambitions and happily settle for motherhood. I might curse my child and my life if I did. I do not want to get there. Cal would not let me give up on my ambitions too. Nor would I want to put a full stop on his. Also, taking care of a child should be the responsibility of the parents. We do not want our parents to become maids for our children. They are old and it is our responsibility to take care of them, instead of adding more work into their retired kitty. We have seen so many couples hurrying to work dropping their children at their parent's place. The old lady who can barely walk is expected to run after the kids and the poor man with hardly any sight left is expected to keep an eye on the scampering toddler. We do not want our parents to go through all this. It is better to be selfish than to be callous. Believe me when I say this.
One of the most important reason as to why women unwillingly "settle" to have a child is because of the biological clock. A lot of my friends are hell bent upon having a baby before they turn thirty. They say having a child is a blessing. Since when did blessings shower upon people according to age? Once the baby is in their arms, they crib about everything under the sun. Lack of sleep, lack of free time, the pain, the smell, the responsibilities etc etc. I swear I'm exhausted listening to all kinds of parenting rants. They add on to my repulsion of having children. If I don't want a child, I don't want a child. It is as simple as it is, irrespective of whether I am 27 or 35. In case we feel like having a child later, we will try then. If it does not happen, then well so be it. We might adopt or sponsor a bunch of children instead. Living a life with my husband is enough for me.
We might have to listen to questions like "Who will take care of you when you grow old", "Don't you want to carry on your family name" and all other blah. First of all we do not belong to an Ambani family to carry on the name and next, we do not want to raise children so that they can take care of us tomorrow. Some parents neatly pass the
burden baton to their children for no fault of theirs. Some parents give up on their dreams in order to raise a child and try to enforce their dreams on their children. That is absolutely unfair. We'd rather pursue our dreams and not have children instead of having children and pushing our ambitions into their tiny minds. We have a lot of friends who live miserable lives trying to realize their parents dreams. Its a pathetic state to be in as the people who brought you into this world do not let you live the life you want to. It is better to be childless than to have a child hating you.
Everything said and done, we do like kids. We do not love them nor feel the need to have one. We totally adore the children of our friends and would do anything to make sure they lead a peaceful life. But for now and the near future, we do not have room for a child in our life. We have more than enough happiness in our life, and do not need to rely on the happiness a child brings to a family.
We do not want to have a child. We want to want a child. Then maybe perhaps, we'd be happy parents.
Oh, almost forgot. Happy Children's Day!