Anupama writes a letter to her 18-years old daughter. Read what she has to say.
Those who have an opinion on whether I should have a child or not, back off, and let me decide for myself! It is my life, my body, my choice, my decision.
As my biological clock kept on ticking, I waited for a tick which would kick-start my motherly instinct to have a baby. That instinct never arrived, and I let the clock tick away to its heart’s content. I know that the moment might never arrive when I would truly want to procreate and I have made my peace with it.
What amazes me is the fact that people around me are judging me for my decision of being childfree. They call me names – selfish, arrogant, and some even doubt my character!
So today, when I am on a path of self discovery and on the verge of another major turning point of my life (for this single reason that I do not want a child), I decided to sit down with a pen and paper and started writing down exactly why I am not ready for a baby.
And believe me, this write up is for my understanding, and not for anyone else (I am selfish – remember?).
Yes, I did not get many chances to travel during my childhood. So finally, when I am no more (financially) dependent on anyone else and can take care of myself, I do not want to waste this opportunity.
I am planning for my next trip as soon as I am back from one. I constantly look out for places that I would love to go to. Even I love all those phases of arranging a trip, like booking tickets, hotels, coordinating among group members, talking to agents. It is a new, but a real a passion I do not want to let go of. I know that people travel with kids too, but there are so many limitations when you are with a kid. I already have my physical limitations, I do not want to add on to that while going places.
I do not think that I am financially stable enough to fend for a kid. I know that people with a worse financial situation are having kids, and they are doing ok.
But, as I said in the first point, I am in love with going to different places and that needs funds. I save for my trips. I save for my future. I would love to have small house and I save for that. I save for my health – I save for myself. (Here I am answering to those who ask me whom I am saving for if I am not going to have a baby!)
I love my job and it demands my time. I really enjoy getting ready and going to office everyday. I do not mind spending extra hours in office if the job at hand demands that.
Having a kid won’t give me that liberty. Of course there are working mothers in the field where I work and in other fields, even more challenging ones than mine. But I know my limitations and I cannot manage everything. Sorry folks, but I am not that super woman!
Someone dared to ask me that since my career is not that bright, why can’t I have a kid? I am sorry to say, but I am really okay that I am not as successful as I wanted to be, but that is not a reason why I really should be having a baby.
Last year, my mother passed away after a prolonged illness. I have been travelling once every month to my home town (sometimes, more than once), either for a doctor’s appointment, or for restocking the medicines, or simply because my mother was not keeping well.
I did not think of it as my responsibility; rather these were my own necessity. That was the only place where I could be myself, and I could keep my head on her lap and forget all other tensions in life. I still have nightmares of those final moments- taking her to hospital in an ambulance, seeing her taking the last breath. I was there, 100% present, during her final days, just because I did not have a baby to look after and I am thankful for that.
Now that my mother is gone, my father is all alone and I really cannot see him suffer alone. I still travel, once in every two or three weeks, just for being with him. It is not only my duty, but my right to care for my parents irrespective of whether I am a single child or not.
I do not have a perfect figure and I lack in many many ways. But I am not ready to go through this massive change just to have a baby.
I have a weak bone density and already have a back ache since last 4-5 years. I am not up for any physical change which will make these any more worse – ageing is already doing that. I know that my mother did that to bring me tino this world and I am really thankful to her and to every other woman for bearing a child. You people are really very brave. But I do not think that I really have that enormous amount of mental or physical strength.
Working in an MNC gives me opportunities to travel on work. I do not want to miss them. They not only give me some extra income, but also another way to visit a new place – sometimes, a new country! Also, sometimes, an upward step in the career ladder demands more responsibilities which I take on happily, without thinking twice.
Having a kid will definitely affect my decisions regarding these.
A baby might be a bridge between partners, but it is definitely not a solution to all issues between a couple. What if, after having a baby, the situation worsens, what would happen to the baby then? Won’t it be a far worse situation? Even if we do not tolerate each other, we will end up staying together just for the sake of the baby! What if we decide to separate then – what will be the future of the baby?
So Yes, I am selfish, because I am thinking about myself. But this is my only chance in this world (reincarnation and all… who knows?!) to live as I want. I think that unless someone else is affected in a negative way due to my decisions, I have the right to decide for myself. If I want to procreate or not, that is something me and body should decide, not someone who thinks that everyone else is having a baby and hence I should too.
I really appreciate all those women who sacrificed so much because they wanted to have a child. I am just not ready for that. I do not think that giving birth is the first logical step after getting married.
The world is already an over-populated place. There are so many unwanted children. If ever, I would have that instinct of becoming a mother, I would prefer to adopt one of these unfortunate children and give all my love to them. I would teach them to have compassion for other people in this world along with following their own dreams, to not judge people who think differently from the majority. I would teach them to live and let live.
Image source: pixabay
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A software developer with an inclination towards writing.
First article which has explained a woman’s choice without rabble rousing. Appreciate the sensitive approach
It took some time to realize that, every one might not relate to what I think. There will be someone else who thinks in a different way. I need to respect that person’s feelings too. After all, there is no right or wrong when we are talking about motherhood. It is a personal choice – I made mine and made it publicly.
Thank you for reading and commenting Bharati. I really appreciate it.
I too have the similar thoughts…Most of the times either i am travelling or planning for the next one..I am married since 5 yrs & nowi am 31. Still have no plans of procreation & husband too in the same page…Glad to know there are many women like me…Kudos to you & your blog..Simply awesome piece.
I am really glad that you and your husband are in the same page. That makes it a lot easier when dealing with outsiders and their “inquiries”. Whatever you decide in the future, let it be what you want. Keep travelling and Stay happy!
Thoughts are being beautifully articulated here which makes most of the modern time women to relate to it. Appreciate the inspirational soul!
Thank you Shruti. I was just speaking my mind.
Thanks for writing this Snigdha! I’m with you on this a 100%. I’ve been married for almost 6 years, & I’m nearly 33. For the last 5 years, I’ve just been fending off questions regarding motherhood. It seems amusing & annoying that people cannot understand a simple thing about free will.
Like you said about yourself, I’m an incredibly selfish person. I am an avid traveler. I’m off somewhere almost every month. I took a sabbatical to pursue my traveling interests. People have remarked to me “Yes, travel all you want now. Can’t so when a child arrives.” Regarding my sabbatical too, a few people have the audacity to suggest “you may as well utilize this time to start a family.”
I am warming up to the fact that maybe I can have a mini-me tagging along with me. But that’s entirely my decision. If & when I have a child, it’ll be my decision, my asset, my liability, my headache, my travel partner, my whatever… emphasis being on MY! More power to you girl!
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