Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
Why is it anyone else’s but the couple’s or woman’s decision to have a child or not? It’s their life, why must the world bother?
C H I L D R E N.
People are always so curious about this particular area of our life, isn’t it? A married couple has to face this question from time to time: “Do you have kids?”
When some of us reply in the affirmative, the response is, “You do? Wow! Aren’t they a blessing?!”
But, heaven forbid if one was to reply in the negative! The instant reaction is arched eyebrows that hit the roof, indignation writ large on the face and eyes that bore holes through your conscience, asking you, “NO? You DON’T have kids!? WHY? Don’t you like kids?”
It fills the couple with such guilt, as if they have committed sacrilege, or some such thing! God help such couples. Especially, the woman.
It is a matter of great concern for the society if a woman hasn’t had a child. An avalanche of whys and wherefores follows the woman everywhere she goes. Her replies, which fail to satiate people’s curiosity, are followed with counterarguments that can wreck havoc on her psyche. Her decisions are then dissected some more; a sadistic pleasure derived out of the entire exercise. Finally, after having had their fill of fodder for gossip and discussed the minutest details of the woman’s life, life gets back to normal – for the society and for the poor woman.
Sometimes they may find greener pastures and leave that woman in peace! I know. I have been through the entire roller-coaster ride of being interrogated, ridiculed…Ugh! Now that I am way past the childbearing age, I am able to live in peace.
Another reason why I am living in peace is, I brought home a dog and brought him up as my child. Of course, it had its own set of teething troubles. For, when I did get him home a decade ago, there began another round of questioning.
“Why an animal? Why not adopt a child? Why not make use of the latest fertility treatments? Who will be your support in your old age?” Aargh! As if it made any difference in their lives that I brought home an animal!
It amuses me, the kind of reasons people come up with! Do they really worry who will care for me in my old age? As if every child cares for his parents when they get old. A countless number of sad stories we have heard of children literally throwing their parents out of their own homes…I don’t even want to think about it!
It is a most personal matter – having a child – and it should be left to the woman to decide if she wants to have any. It definitely will not make her incomplete. It should not! A woman is complete the way she is! Yes, there’s this notion that making use of the ability to give birth to a child through one’s womb, is being thankful to our Creator for His blessing. But, not putting that womb to good use is not going to hurt the Creator’s sentiments; He knows why we do what we do!
I wonder when the day will arise when decisions as intimate as marriage and having children will be the concerned person’s prerogative. It can be stifling following societal norms when the heart isn’t ready for such momentous decisions.
There could be reasons why someone would prefer staying single for the rest of their lives, or why someone might decide to give up the thought of bringing a child into this world. It’s their life, why must the world bother?
Just let people be!
Image source: shutterstock
It's with the help of words that I make my way through the journey
Shilpa well done , you have truthfully put your thoughts. It is indeed very disturbing for anyone to comment on other’s personal decision. Leave alone the society but even the so called ‘Relations’ fail uto understand.
Shilpa, you ask why is the world bothered about you having babies?( you must also ask why do they want you to add to the over population and strain on rapidly dwindling resources?) Don’t bother to find the answer because the truth is that it is based on an invalid and ridiculous concern in the first place. I tell you why- the human social world originally bothered about encouraging or even forcing human couples to have kids because there used to be a serious threat of epidemics, wars and natural disasters threatening man’s very survival and wiping them out or pushing them into extinction. However, long long after we know that that is not true and there is no remote threat, we continue to follow this innate survival instinct. Which only goes to show how much our animal instinct is still subconsciously and subliminally alive!! India is certainly not one of those countries that need worry that we as a species or even as a race will get extinct any time even in the distant far off horizon of the future!! You rest assured – you don’t need to add to the population and cause a further strain on resources just because every one of us who didn’t think about it that way went ahead and had kids. All the hocus-pocus we are given about many traditions and customs and practises (even more so in a patriarchal society) are nothing more than blindly followed beliefs that have far outlived there actual use and often are being continued for no valid reason at all. Educated people must work their brains around and expose these blind beliefs and change our thinking and outlook.
Absolutely Shilpa I agree vehemently with everything u have written here. People need to mind their own lives. All the nosey parkers n needless advice givers ar empty vessels thats it
You, my friend, have articulated this anguish very well. First it’s marriage, then kids, then siblings for the kids. It hardly ever stops! Honestly speaking, as much as I love our country and culture, people have no concept of boundaries here. Sigh.
I totally agree with your story here & there are so many of many friends who suffer the same prying questions & even go into a self doubt mode at these – is there something wrong with them. But I always believe that don’t let such people get off the hook so easily, give them a nice dose of your piece of mind so that they at least know not to bother you next time. Why world is full of idiots is a different story but why do we remain quiet is my question.
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