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Where is it written that a family is complete only when you have two children or rather, only when you have children?
“Try for a second one, it’s not too late, I’m sure it’s going to be a boy,” said one of my relatives. Just last year, “Try surrogate if you have health issues, that will work,” suggested my husband’s aunt.
“Aunty, I’m already over 40! Health issues aside, I don’t even have the stamina to run around a toddler anymore,” I replied in a bit irritated tone.
Once the first child is born, relatives think it’s their moral responsibility to immediately ask the lady (read, not the couple), “So when are you planning for a second one?”
If the firstborn is a girl, then of course they are all eager for a male child; after all, he is the one to carry the family’s legacy forward. Khandaan ka Chirag! (the pride of the family) If it’s a boy, he should have a sister to tie rakhi, your family will be complete!
Where is it written that a family is complete only when you have two children or rather, only when you have children? Why can’t the couple be a family by themselves?
My husband and I were very keen that we should be blessed with a girl child and girl child it is, our bundle of joy, our most precious gift.
Personally, I never wanted a second child, not only due to my health concerns, but due to many other reasons, and I’m extremely happy with my decision. I’ve managed to raise a beautiful, compassionate and caring daughter.
Here’s why I’m extremely happy with my DECISION.
Living in a nuclear family, it’s not at all easy to raise a child all by yourself; we’ve heard the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise the child.’
As mothers, each one of us knows the package that comes with the birth of a child. Apart from ample happiness, comes along erratic sleep, eating, washroom routine, to say the least, and this is just the beginning of a cumbersome journey ahead. Wait till you see the tantrums, feeding the child, teaching the child; till you have to attend the PTMs, arrange play dates, outings and birthday parties. It will all drive you crazy.
With one child, it’s obviously much easier to manage the show. Imagine doing the same for more than one child!
From the time the child is born till he/she gets married and maybe even beyond that, there is definitely a huge added financial responsibility for the parents. Providing good schooling and higher education, decent clothing and care, doctor’s visits, extracurricular activities, travels, getting them married (Indian context), all these ask for good moolah.
With the increasing cost of living it’s not getting any easier to raise children, it’s more pressure on the pocket. Especially since online schooling has started, most of the parents with two children are in a dilemma, whom to give the laptop to and to whom do you give the tablet/phone! A lot of parents have had to buy new gadgets – an added financial burden.
For a single child, financially it’s a lot easier to provide quality care in every area; in the case of more than one child, parents and families might have to make compromises. It’s quality over quantity unless every parent is financially sound enough to provide well for all.
Trips and travels become a lot easier with one child in tow rather than two or more. Of course, it’s a lot more cost-effective too. I know families who postpone travel citing treasons such as “flight, hotel stay, etc. for four is expensive”, “one of my children has board exams so we can’t travel now, the next year another has boards so we can’t travel.”
If it is school trips, you have to cough up a huge sum for two – you can’t manage to send just one and not send another. As for us, we’ve travelled around the world since my daughter was little, all this hassle-free.
With just one child, there is a lot more ‘me time’ to spare. Now that my child is a teenager, most of my responsibilities have almost become negligible. I’m free to explore my hobbies, interests and aspirations. I can find the right balance between both my responsibilities.
I have many friends whose elder children are in their teens while the younger ones are still toddlers; they say and I quote, “I’m really tired, I’m waiting for him to grow up quickly now, I can’t run around him anymore, I need some me time.”
A happy mother leads to a happy child.
As there are no siblings there are no fights to be resolved, there is no need to play the referee, there’s no need to say, “You’re the elder one na, come on, give it to your younger sister.”
I’ve seen with my close family, how the mothers almost lose it when their children fight, and that’s almost all the time.
No fight over property when they grow up either! Siblings getting into bitter legal battles just for a share in their parents’ properties is very common. When there’s one child, this aspect is more or less taken care of.
No scenes like in the movie Baghbaan! Imagine how hurtful it is for the parents when in their ripe age, children fight over who will take care of them.
Let me also clear the air around these myths.
Myth – single children don’t share.
Fact– It’s not at all that way, my daughter is very much a caring and sharing child.
Myth – Single children are lonely.
Fact– She never feels lonely, she has me and her books as her best friends, and of course real-life friends are always there. During the entire lockdown period, she has never once said she’s bored. She learnt painting, singing, dancing, cooking and much more.
They have a more creative and imaginative solo play.
I can go on with my list, but these are a few pointers from my personal experience, which help me realise I made the right – emotional, mental, physical and financial choice. For me there was no question of two, I was sure and confident to go in for one.
This is my personal opinion on the topic, your’s might be different. Each one is free to make their own decisions and have their own opinions. Some are happy, while some may regret it. Thankfully, I’m on the positive side of being happy.
Do share your views in the comments section, I’ll be glad to read your point of view.
Image credits Absolute-India/Getty Images via Canva Pro
Mother to a bubbly teenager and a student of psychology, Heena is also a travel enthusiast.
She loves to observe the happenings around her and weave them into beautiful stories.
A writer with a passion read more...
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