I Uploaded My Daughter’s Pics & An Acquaintance Messaged-‘Time To Have Another One’!

This message didn't really go down well with me as I felt it was invading my privacy. And this was not the 1st time I've been advised by random people to plan a second child!

When I uploaded a photograph of my daughter (currently 8 years old) from her toddler days the other day, my WhatsApp buzzed with a startling message from an acquaintance that read, “Time to have another one!” The message that perhaps was sent with a noble intent, did not really go down well with me as I felt it was invading my privacy. And this was not the first time, unfortunately. I have been advised to plan a second child as my first one was growing up.

Why is it so hard for the society to respect the privacy of couples and not provide unasked-for advice? Once a couple has a child, people’s audacity surfaces in the form of  “have another one”, “one is never enough”, “who will take care of you in your old age?” Suggestions/questions like these continue pouring in until you decide to close your doors permanently on them. The notion of my child being lonely or we as parents becoming helpless and alone when she leaves for greener pastures, are some of the many conjectural statements that I have been bombarded with.

Parenting is a huge responsibility & also expensive. A second child is not something that can be imposed!

Child-birth and parenting is a task that spans across one’s lifetime. It does not come with an instruction manual, wherein you acquire skills or expertise to bring up the child. You learn as you go; it is a never-ending journey which brings in essential life lessons every day. And this is a journey that couples voluntarily get into. This is a lifetime commitment which one cannot stop anywhere on the way.

This magnanimous task or responsibility comes at a much higher cost than what one assumes it to be. But again, this is a choice one makes; it is not a choice that the society and its inmates must decide or impose on one.

Besides, it is pragmatic to say that raising a child is expensive. You might have the best of facilities and care givers but the cost in return sometimes leaves a hole in your pocket. Well, this statement might draw in a lot of hate comments but one cannot evade the truth. Moreover, the support that new parents need is immense; the mother especially remains at the most vulnerable phase of her life where any unpleasant experience can scar her for a lifetime.

Child-birth is not easy & brings a lot of changes in the mother’s body!

Post marriage as couples plan their life, before asking them to produce multiple children, society needs to weigh the pros and cons. A mother after her childbirth needs ample time to heal herself. The scars may be physical but the process itself takes months to sink in.

Apart from these, post-partum depression is a reality, which by now our society needs to get acclimatized to. It is no rocket science that a woman who has undergone 9-10 months of unfathomable pain, discomfort and indescribable changes in her body will be superhuman to accept all these, besides nurturing a new life who completely and solely depends on her for all their needs. Then comes the family expectations. When not paid attention, post-partum depression can span over months or even years!

Time for society to stop unsolicited advice & respect the privacy of a woman!

Perhaps this might resonate with many parents/couples who are nurturing a single child or intend to do so. Why does society take liberty in poaching someone else’s boundaries? Who gives them the right? Unsolicited advice comes from quarters that you would either least expect or want. However, these individuals think they can walk into anyone’s life and cause stress without being permitted!

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Sadly, our society abounds in characters like these who assume it their basic right to advice when it is nowhere expected of them. Girls/women of so-called “marriageable age” (again a dictum of the society we live in), are questioned or even accused when they are unmarried. It’s even worse for the ones who have been divorced for no fault of theirs.

Another common scenario is when a couple completes a couple of years into their wedding but are yet to have their first child. The society pitches in again by instigating the family or the couple to plan their first child. They soon start contemplating that there must be something wrong with the woman for we have never learnt to doubt the man!

Our society abounds in characters who assume it their basic right to advice couples and women! Family planning is completely a couple’s (especially a woman’s) prerogative. It’s about time we respect the privacy of a woman!

Image source: Still from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil


About the Author


A dire penchant for words, can summarize my life as “My pen bleeds my life”! read more...

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