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Grow up, get married, have kids - why is the journey of life writ in stone for Indian women?
Guest Blogger The Girl Next Door as the name implies, is just another ordinary girl with ordinary dreams and ordinary desires – but she likes to imagine that she leads an extraordinary life, in her own way!
There are 3 words that every newly married Indian woman dreads. If you’ve been married for more than 2 months you would know exactly what I am talking about. You would have surely faced the inevitable question, “Any good news?”
I’ve been married for more than 3 years now and we are yet to have any kids – partly by choice and partly due to circumstances; so one can imagine the number of times I’ve been asked the very same question – in a variety of ways, ranging from the direct ones to the cleverly disguised, accusatory, persuasive and not to mention the inquisitive types.
In the beginning my answers were rather polite; soon they became quite sarcastic. Last year when I was subjected to yet another interrogation by yet another xyz, I replied, “Oh actually, we are waiting to see if the Mayan predictions are coming true. I mean if the world is going to end soon then no point in having a baby now right?” Sadly, my sarcasm was lost on the aforementioned interrogator.
However my patience is wearing thin and I’m running out of witty retorts. Whether we choose to have children or not is seriously nobody’s business. And what is even more irritating is why does no one pose these questions to the man of the house?!? Procreation afterall depends on him too na? Why should I always be the one to answer such unwanted questions? Grrr!
On a serious note, why do we make such a big issue out of having or not having children anyway? It’s not as if the human race is on the verge of extinction that breeding must be of the highest priority. Why “must” we all compulsorily have kids? Grow up, get married, have kids – why is the journey of life writ in stone for Indian women? The next person who asks me about my “family plans” is going to hear, “We have decided not to have any children, ever.” Hopefully that should be scandalous enough to shock them into silence!
I do like kids and I admire all mothers out there for their patience, strength, determination, perseverance and wisdom. Do I have it in me to be a good mom? Honestly, I don’t know.
Spending a day with my niece is enough to make me wonder from where mothers get their energy from. Yes children are so cute and it is fun to spend time with them – as long as you can hand them back to their respective mothers when they cry/scream/throw-up/poop. Mothers, truly, need to have the capacity to love unconditionally. A mother can simply not afford to feel lazy or fall sick. Is a mother born or does life mould her into one? Should a woman be selfless and sacrificing to become a mother or does she change after she becomes one?
Someday, when the time is right, I would like to become a mother. Someday I would like to hold a beautiful little baby in my arms and inhale its sweetness. Someday I would like to see my husband grow into a loving and responsible dad. Someday I would like to marvel at my own living miracle, which would bear testimony to the love and the life that we share.
But till then, I am going to enjoy my life; savouring every lazy Sunday morning, sipping piping hot coffee in bed, while watching the clouds float by, without anything else needing my attention; reveling in every long, warm and soothing shower without little hands hammering on the bathroom door, the freedom to eat last night’s reheated leftovers for lunch instead of worrying about making fresh food for sensitive tummies, the liberty to fight with my husband and cuss without worrying that little ears might be listening. In short, until my bundle of joy arrives in its own sweet time, I choose to live my life – carefree and a teeny bit selfishly! After all child“less” or child“free”– it all depends on how you see it.
*Photo credit: pascal79.
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