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Having a baby or not should be the choice of the couple in question. Will society keep its big nose out of it?
Mothers and motherhood have always been kept on a pedestal by society. Motherhood is taken as destiny, something a woman has to achieve to be a real woman. Is that correct?
We are a nation of 1.25 billion and counting. Population growth rates have been falling for the past few decades but we’ve built up such an inertia of growth that even a minuscule percentage growth is huge in absolute terms. These new children need to be provided for.
A child needs food, education, and above all, care, to be able to fight for her place in this cut-throat world. Should she be brought here just because you wanted to further your lineage? To fill that vacant space in your own life, to feel ‘complete’, since your parents or in-laws wanted you to get them a living, breathing toy?
It is indeed remarkable how a whole new human being is created from tiny, microscopic cells. One might even call it the reason for our very existence — to procreate! Every day, millions come into this world. And we as a society actually encourage that.
But are the people concerned ready for that? Some women don’t quite enjoy the prospect of motherhood. They go along with it because it is one of the things they are ‘expected’ to experience in their lives. Do they do it for the child? That seems unlikely. I mean, poor thing hasn’t even been created yet. How can you do something that big for it?
Let’s be honest, procreation is something people do for themselves. Either because they want to experience it, or because it is one of the to-do things in their life, or maybe because they feel a child (and a male one at that) will help them tide over the problems of old age. All three, in my opinion, aren’t reason enough.
Your own desire to experience something should ideally have any possible adverse effects only on you, not another fully-functioning Homo sapiens. Have you considered the pros and cons of parenthood? Do you have the emotional and material make-up to care for that child? As it grows up, are you going to be resenting it for taking away things you wished you’d had – that vacation, that slice of sweet sleep early in the morning, that demanding but immensely satisfying job?
Every parent has that odd burst of anger and frustration at the kid, that’s for sure. But if it becomes a constant thing, are you sure you are going to be enjoying it?
Quite a few women in our country suffer from malnutrition and anaemia. A pregnancy puts a huge amount of stress on the body when the woman in question might not even be ready for it physically. Yet, we never take that or any other aspect of her health into consideration. How is that normal?
Now this might look absurd but here’s the thing — a woman keeps her own life and career on the backburner when she decides to have a child. Changing parental roles are largely limited to a small percentage in the urban areas. A large number of qualified, intelligent young women are left to be homemakers because of this mindset of having to have a child.
And how is the society’s behaviour towards childless couples a good thing? Witness the murmurs that start going around as soon as a childless man/woman enters a social gathering. Or the constant pressures on newlyweds to give their parents a grandchild “before their time on this world is up?” Why shouldn’t it be a choice that the couple makes itself?
Young adults are pestered everyday by their near and dear ones to get married. And when that mission is accomplished, the next logical thing is to harass them to become parents. There ought to be a lot of things to ponder over before a decision that big is taken.
Too many children don’t get the opportunities to lead a successful and fruitful life, especially when we talk about low-income families. A reluctance to employ family planning across social strata has led us to a place where we are constantly fighting, and failing, to provide for our next generation. And that is where the question of choice comes in.
By all means, have a kid if you feel you can provide it with the best possible care and guidance. Or if you feel that a kid can be the natural extension of your relationship, that you won’t regret having taken this step.
If you feel your life doesn’t need a kid to be validated or completed, why bring a poor soul in this big, bad world?
Don’t use a child as a bait to save your own failing marriage, or for conforming to the double standards of society. It’s your life, and you have every right to live it as you see fit. Society or parents or a spouse shouldn’t be the driving force behind your choices. Stand up and take control of the proceedings. Ultimately, you answer to your own soul.
Thanks for reading. Share your thoughts and views in the comments section.
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I'm a lecturer currently, having graduated in Electrical Engineering. I love reading, playing Badminton,
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