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Is My Identity As A Woman Linked To My Reproductive Organs?

Posted: August 16, 2020

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Soon well-meaning nudges turned to nasty personal questions. Was there something wrong with one of us? Was it financial issues? Were we heading for a divorce?

I am a woman who has just touched 40 and have been married for the past decade. Just like most young girls, I also dreamt of white picket fences, a loving husband, two adorable kids and a dog. While I managed the first, we decided not to add the next two.

In the beginning it was because we both were busy with our careers and later because we felt the world was already over–populated. While we were happy and at peace with our decision, our relatives, friends and society were not.

A matter of identity?

It’s true that becoming a parent is probably the greatest joy in the world, but in my case I told was it was the very reason for my existence. If I was not a mother, what was I? My identity as a daughter, wife, sister, friend, employee and contributing member of the society were all meaningless if I did not meet the basic need of procreation.

A few years into the marriage, we were barraged by all and sundry to quickly have kids. Soon well-meaning nudges turned to nasty personal questions. Was there something wrong with one of us? Was it financial issues? Were we heading for a divorce? The fact that we did not wish to enjoy parenthood was not understood at all.

However, my objective here is to not justify my decision but give some sage advice to all young girls who are married or about to get married and it comes from personal experience.

Having a child should be your choice

Yes, motherhood is filled with joy and is magical. But, please do not have a child if:

  • Because you have been married for one or two years and it is expected of you.
  • Because your parents or in-laws want to see their grandkids.
  • Because all your friends have babies and you want to join in the play dates.
  • Because you want to take your maternity leave.
  • Because the new baby-mommy clothes collection is so cute.
  • Because your biological clock is ticking away.
  • Because ‘log kya kahenge’.

Having a kid is a huge responsibility fraught with responsibilities that do not end. Once you become a parent, you do not get holidays, off days, or sick leaves. In the beginning, the little bundle of joy will need you 24X7. Later, as he or she starts to grow up they need you for mental and emotional support which you must provide lifelong.

No, I am not trying to scare you or sell motherhood short. All I am saying is that, please have a kid, only if and your partner are sure you want to add to your family. Then try your level best to bring up a well-balanced individual who is level-headed and can take critical life decisions in a logical way. Follow the same decision making process when pressure starts mounting for a second kid.

Always remember it is you who will be the centre of universe for the little life you bring in, not the second floor aunty who will ask, “Arrey, abhi tak bachcha nahi hua?” (Why don’t you have a child yet?)

Image source: a still from Qarib Qarib Singlle

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