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Are you ready for a child? This is a question only you and your partner can decide the answer to, and not your family, extended family, or others.
For a financially independent working woman who married by her choice and lives life on her own terms this can be a really complicated question. Being one amongst them I too thought that mental preparedness, love and health will be enough to bring a child into this world. But as they say each one learns from his own mistakes. I, with all my preparation and reading up on parenting, also stumbled on not one but many accounts.
To begin with, whole-hearted trust and acceptance must prevail. Obviously why is she even saying that; isn’t that a given between a couple deciding to become parents? Aaha, that’s the obvious. But the not so obvious but must thing is to have the same equation with both set of parents too. Because if all other things are in place, they might be one of the pillars who move in with you and actively support you in bringing up the child.
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I for one always had my share of fears and distrust with my in-laws and had never co-habituated with them. So when my son was born, in the midst of all the joy and ‘shouting-out-from-top-of-the-roof-that-I-have-a-grandson’ my in-laws announced that they would take total care of the child once I returned to work. But things weren’t as rosy as the proclamation was. It took a lot of compromise, adjustments and arguments even after which my son isn’t being brought up the way I want to.
Which brings me to the next thing, finances. Finances not just to bear and rear a child but also finances enough to help you take that break from your career if you wish to. Either the spouse bears it all or your own savings can be dipped into so that you can take a 2-3 year hiatus and bring up the kid in the way you always wanted to.
And for that, won’t it be nice if you had a hobby turned passion (read NOT your JOB) which can be pursued full time in-case you wish to be a hands-on mom who works out of the comfort of one’s home. This might not be a replacement for your job monetarily but at least creatively. This way one could still be engaged and productive without being away from home for long hours.
Trust me ladies, this actually gives the confidence in taking a break from your all-absorbing career and trying your hand at an alternate career. It’s like being empowered and not a slave of circumstances when you choose to stay at home instead of chasing usual career goals.
Lastly comes the unsaid and most taken for granted skills in India like driving, taking care of house without any help etc. (mind you these skills are a given in the western world).
The baby will bring with it loads of changes within you, from patience to perseverance, from sensitivity to positivity; don’t be surprised but becoming a parent can bring those changes in you which you struggled to bring about all lifelong. But the rest can become a big blessing to have; it is like being in that sweet spot of your career when hirers approach you and not vice versa!
Image source: By Mark Colomb (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons, for representational purposes only.
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